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What Is Phenylpropanolamine for Dogs?

A dog.
A veterinarian may prescribe phenylpropanolamine to treat a dog's urinary incontinence.
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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2014
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Phenylpropanolamine for dogs is a drug that is often prescribed for urinary incontinence. It increases the strength of the muscles in the bladder and the urethra, which in turn prevents the leakage of urine. The use of phenylpropanolamine has some known side effects and complications that dog owners should discuss with their veterinarian. There are some restrictions to the amount of phenylpropanolamine that can be sold to dog owners at one time, because the drug is often used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. It is referred to as PPA for short and is sold under the brand names Cystolamine, Proin, and Propaline.

The dosage of phenylpropanolamine for dogs is usually based on the animal’s weight. It is sold in chewable tablet form in 25-, 50-, and 75-mg amounts. The typical dose is 0.4 to 0.8 mg per pound of body weight, administered twice a day at 12-hour intervals. Treatment often lasts for several days before the urinary incontinence problem starts to clear up. Administering a dose that is too large for a dog can lead to increased blood pressure, seizures, or a coma. Dog owners often work closely with a veterinarian to determine a safe dosage amount based on how much the dog weighs. An overdose of phenylpropanolamine can often lead to severe problems, including coma and cardiovascular collapse.

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Some of the known side effects of phenylpropanolamine for dogs include increased heart rate and blood pressure. The use of PPA has also been known to cause behavior changes and a loss of appetite. Other signs to watch for include restlessness, seizures, and trouble urinating. If a dog owner notices any of these symptoms, she should discontinue the use of phenylpropanolamine and contact her veterinarian for further assistance.

There are a number of contraindications to using the drug that dog owners should know about. Veterinarians will not prescribe phenylpropanolamine for dogs that are pregnant or lactating, unless the urinary incontinence problem is severe. It’s unknown whether the drug will cross the placenta in a pregnant dog or if it is excreted in milk. A number of drugs, including aspirin and tricyclic antidepressants, can cause side effects on their own or increase the intensity of other side effects if they’re used in conjunction with phenylpropanolamine. Animals with medical conditions like glaucoma, diabetes, or hypertension should not be given the drug. Pet owners should talk to their vet about any medical conditions or prescription medicines that their pet is taking prior to administering phenylpropanolamine.

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Discuss this Article

StarJo
Post 4

Most dogs will take this kind of medicine eagerly. It's chewable, and it must be flavored in a way that they like, because every dog I've ever had to give it to ate it up like it was a treat.

Oceana
Post 3

I believe that steroids caused my dog to start leaking urine. She had to take prednisone after a bee sting made her throat swell, and after she finished this medication, she could not keep from peeing on herself anymore.

She is now on medication for incontinence. If I forget to give her a pill, she starts leaking again, so it doesn't seem to be going away. The medicine keeps it under control, though.

Kristee
Post 2

@shell4life – Young dogs can have incontinence, too. Mine started peeing on herself in her sleep when she was very young, and I took her to the vet.

The vet said that she had low sphincter tone caused by underdeveloped hormones. Many vets used to recommend spaying dogs when they are 5 months old, but now, they are starting to see that spaying them this young keeps them from developing some necessary hormones and can cause incontinence.

The treatment is the same as it is for older dogs with leaky bladders. My vet prescribed Proin, and I have to give it to her twice a day for the rest of her life.

It's sad that this could have been avoided and I didn't know it. At least now, many vets are telling people to wait a little later to spay their dogs.

shell4life
Post 1

My dog is only a year old, but she's been having trouble holding her bladder. She leaks when she's lying down. Could she benefit from this drug, or is she just too young to take it?

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