One of our loyal clients recently asked… “Hey Dr. Tenney:
I just picked up some medication for my Rat Terrier, Bailey. It is Proin for some urinary incontinence. I have not yet started her on it, but I was doing some reading up on it, as I hate to put my pets on any medications. Can you please tell me the difference between Proin and Incurin? Is Incurin safer since it is a natural estrogen? Bailey is only a year old, and her occasional bouts of incontinence did not start until after she was spayed. She can be sleeping, or sitting on your lap and she suddenly piddles. I just want to make sure I am doing the best thing for my baby. Thanks in advance. – Donna R
Urinary incontinence (involuntary urine leakage) can be caused by different medical conditions. Hormone-based urinary incontinence is a common problem in middle-aged and elderly spayed female dogs. The pet can urinate normally, but they leak urine while resting. Frequently the dogs are not aware that they are leaking urine. Physical examination and blood and urine tests are usually normal in these pets. Hormone-responsive incontinence can occur months to years after a dog is spayed.
There are two generally accepted treatments for hormonal urinary incontinence. We generally begin treatment with Proin after ruling out other causes of urine leakage such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, etc.
Proin – a chewable formulation with the active compound of phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride (PPA). This has proven to be both safe (if given at the prescribed doses) and effective (In an FDA approved 28 day clinical trial PROIN reduced mean urinary accidents per week in female dogs by 82%. In the second part of the clinical field study (180 days), PROIN achieved 98.1% owner satisfaction for the control of urinary incontinence.) In a margin of safety study, phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride (PPA) was administered to dogs twice daily at 1X, 3X or 5X the recommended dose (2 mg/kg) for 182 days. This study demonstrated the safety of phenylpropanolamine administered to dogs at 2, 6 and 10 mg/kg twice daily for 6 months. The most pronounced effects of treatment were a dose-dependent increase in blood pressure, and a dose dependent decrease in heart rate.
Incurin – The second prescription we use is Incurin. Incurin (estriol) is a natural estrogen hormone. Estrogens increase the resting muscle tone of the urethra in females and can be used to treat female dogs with urinary incontinence due to estrogen depletion. The most common side effects associated with Incurin treatment included a loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive water drinking and swollen vulva.