The Side Effects of Phenylpropanolamine for Dogs

Updated February 21, 2017

Phenylpropanolamine, more commonly known as PPA, helps to control urinary incontinence in dogs. Phenylpropanolamine works as a decongestant in animals as well. However, in veterinary medicine, the use of Phenylpropanolamine is mainly for the control of urinary incontinence in dogs. It works by increasing sphincter tone in the urethra, thus limiting inadvertent urine leakage. As with many medications, there are side effects to Phenylpropanolamine to consider before giving it to your dog.


Restlessness in dogs is often indicative of pain, discomfort or distress. However, if your dog is on Phenylpropanolamine and you notice him pacing or is just restless in general, it could be because of the medication. A veterinarian can examine your dog to determine whether the medication is causing your dog's restlessness or if there is another medical problem affecting your dog.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to other serious problems for your dog; these problems appear when a blood vessel constricts, it becomes too small for the high pressure blood flow trying to go through it. The blood vessels break open, causing bleeding. Depending on where this occurs in a dog's body, it can go unnoticed. However, it is very noticeable when it happens to the retinas. If this occurs in the kidneys there is serious risk because they rely on these tiny vessels to filter toxins from the bloodstream. Tiny blood clots, known as embolisms, may also form when blood flow is abnormal. If your dog is taking Phenylpropanolamine, have her blood pressure routinely checked. If it becomes elevated, your veterinarian can adjust the dosage of the medication to alleviate the high blood pressure side effect.

Loss of Apetite

Appetite loss or a reduction in appetite is a side effect of Phenylpropanolamine. This is a big concern because it can have a serious impact on your dog's health if it lasts 24 hours or more. Your veterinarian will want to see your dog if this side effect is present. As an owner, look for signs of appetite reduction as soon as your dog begins taking the medication. Loss of appetite can happen right away or even three to five days after beginning treatment.

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