Alternatives to Proin

By Karyn Maier

Proin is a medication used to treat canine urinary incontinence. Its active ingredient is phenylpropanolamine, a member of the amphetamine class of drugs that acts as a decongestant and appetite suppressant. In veterinary medicine, Proin is employed to strengthen a weak urethral sphincter muscle. However, it may cause allergic reactions in some dogs, as well as high blood pressure and excitability. Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to Proin that may help your puddle-prone pooch.

Important Pretreatment Protocols

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing urinary incontinence in your dog. For instance, a leaky bladder can be caused by hormonal imbalances, which can compromise the muscle tone of the sphincter. It can also be caused by hypothyroidism or, rarely, tumor formations in the bladder. Be sure to report any observations you may have made in your pet’s behavior as well, such as an increased frequency of urination, blood in the urine or excessive grooming of the genitals. Make sure your dog’s diet is supporting your efforts to effectively use alternatives to Proin. Feed your four-legged friend a high-quality pet food and avoid the temptation to give it excessive treats or table scraps. Your dog doesn’t need the extra fats, sugar or spices that can lead to weight gain, yet another leading cause of urinary incontinence.

Various Alternatives to Proin

Visit your local natural health food store to peruse the natural pet remedies for urinary incontinence available and, if possible, speak with a knowledgeable member of the sales staff about their effectiveness. Natural products formulated to help control bladder leakage typically include an array of herbs reputed to help strengthen smooth-muscle tissue, like that of the urethral sphincter muscle. Such herbs include uva ursi, horsetail, raspberry leaf, yarrow, marshmallow and plaintain. Consult with a certified herbalist or holistic veterinarian about customizing an herbal formula designed to correct a hormonal imbalance, if applicable. Botanicals that contain estrogenic compounds, for instance, include wild yam and oatstraw. Saw palmetto may help to stimulate androgenic hormone production in male dogs. Help your canine companion to become less leaky with a traditional Chinese medicine remedy. According to veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, the Chinese remedies Rehmannia Six and Rehmannia Eight help to regulate excessive and poorly controlled urination. These remedies primarily contain rehmannia (Chinese foxglove) and several supporting Chinese herbs, such as dioscorea (yam), alisma (water plaintain) and moutan (peony). Consider trying one of the homeopathic formulas commonly used to promote urinary health. These include pulsatilla and causticum for a weak urethral sphincter muscle due to aging, and equisetum or ferrum phosphoricum for poor bladder control due to urinary tract infection.