Phenylpropanolamine for Dog Incontinence

Written by brian clark
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Phenylpropanolamine for Dog Incontinence
Phenylpropanolamine is a medication that treats canine incontinence. (dog image by Ramona smiers from

There are many causes of canine incontinence. Many of these causes are related to weak bladder muscles and decreased sensitivity in the bladder. Phenylpropanolamine is a medication used to treat canine incontinence. It works by improving tone in the muscles and structures of the bladder, thereby preventing urine leakage.


Incontinence is the inadvertent or uncontrollable leaking of urine. It is most often caused by a weak bladder sphincter. The sphincter is the name for the collection of muscles of the bladder that control the flow of urine. A weak sphincter can be the result of age, obesity or reduced sensitivity in the bladder. Incontinence can affect female dogs that have been spayed. Incontinence is often treated with a medication called phenylpropanolamine.


Phenylpropanolamine is an alpha-adrenergic agonist. It works by increasing the release of neurotransmitting chemicals. These chemicals increase the sensitivity of the sphincter. It improves the muscle tone of the urethra and bladder neck, thereby increasing the dog's ability to prevent leakage.


The dosage of phenylpropanolamine depends on the dog's size and the severity of the incontinence. It is available in 25mg, 50mg and 75mg tablets. In general, the dosage that is prescribed is 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams per pound, every 12 hours. Phenylpropanolamine is taken two or three times a day. The dog must remain on this medication for the rest of its life. Phenylpropanolamine must be given for several days before a change may be seen.

Side Effects

Side effects of phenylpropanolamine are usually mild. One of the most common side effects is loss of appetite. Phenylpropanolamine was once used in many human diet pills until it was banned for this purpose due to the potential side effects. Phenylpropanolamine may cause increased irritability, restlessness, weakness, pale gums and increased heart rate. It should not be used in combination with tricyclic antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or amitrex. Amitrex is a common ingredient in flea and tick preventive medications. When phenylpropanolamine is combined with these medications, it may cause an unsafe rise in blood pressure.


Phenylpropanolamine should not be used in dogs with glaucoma, hypertension, hyperthyroidism or cardiovascular disorders. Phenylpropanolamine is an effective medication for treating urinary incontinence in dogs where surgery is not necessary or is not an option due to financial reasons. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to control canine incontinence.

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