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Proin For Dogs - Read Carefully!

Updated on February 4, 2010

What Is Proin?

Proin is a medication used to cure bladder control problems in dogs - also known as, incontinence. It works by controlling the urethral sphincter, which helps your dog control its bladder.

All around the internet you will hear what a great pet med this is, with few side effects. This makes it seem like an ideal pet med which makes it low on risk. However, since writing my article on Metacam and later learning of the high risk to cats, I make it a point to dig deeper when researching for these articles as I know you are looking for reliable info - and I want to be certain that I deliver the goods.

From one pet lover to another ... the safety and health of your pets matters as much to me as it does to you.

The Sife Effects Of Proin

The side effects for Proin seem slightly alarming, but manageable. They are:

  • restlessness
  • a change in your pet's appetite
  • a sharp increase in your pet's heart rate
  • an increase in your pet's blood pressure

These symptoms allow one to believe they can safely give their pet Proin and then discontinue treatment if the symptoms manifest themselves. For the greater percentage of cases this is a fact - but for a few there is a horrible reality - stroke!

Stroke isn't mentioned as a side effect of Proin, but there are enough cases after treatment to suggest there is a possible correlation. Now, this isn't a side effect that can be taken lightly, as it can occur suddenly and can leave your pet dead in less than an hour. As such, this is a serious risk that must be carefully considered.

If your currently treating your pet with Proin then I highly recommend watching the following video, as it provides some great info on dog seizures.

Is It Worth All Of The Concern?

When complications provide the warning signs necessary to safely deal with an issue then we can see those complications as manageable. However, when when you have a complication that can strike silently with little to no time to react there is a major reason for concern.

As such, I'm not going to recommend Proin without thorough supervision by a trained veterinarian. Understand, if there is ANY risk, then I need to be honest and make you aware. This doesn't mean that Proin should be seen as a pet med that kills dogs ... this means that one should carefully weigh the risk.

What About Natural Alternatives?

I have seen where some offer natural alternatives to resolve the issue, but these can be dangerous as well - for the same reason. This is why it's so important to speak to your veterinarian and carefully review the risks for YOUR pet, not the thousands who were previously cured.

Regardless of your choice of treatment, you need to be aware of any heart problems or blood pressure issues your pet has had - or may be experiencing during treatment. High blood pressure is the leading cause of all strokes, so having your pets blood pressure monitored regularly is the best way to maintain some level of safety while treating this condition.

So, Is Proin Safe For Your Pet?

Statistically, yes, it's safe ... but ... considering the risk of a stroke, one must take every precaution possible and speak to your veterinarian to insure (as best you can) that your pet will be safe.

Remember ... your pets depend on you to insure their health. Care for them as they would care for you, if they were capable. :)

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    • profile image

      Kathy 20 months ago

      I put my 10 year old German Shepherd onProin 75 mg . After 5 doses she died . She had some vomiting on day 2 & vomiting after she had her dinner. These are side effects from the medicine. She died during the night . She was laying in floor next to my bed . I heard her up & was restless about 3am but then laid back down . I got up at 5:45 & she was dead!!!! I am devastated & blame myself for putting her on this medicine.

      I called the vet & said he had not seen any deaths from Proin .He said with her symptoms & so quickly it was heart attack or stroke

      I would never be able to prove it was from Proin BUT I wanted him & others to know it can happen!!!!

    • profile image

      Allison 2 years ago

      I gave my Lab one proper dose and he had a violent stroke and died with in an hour. Just one pill.... I wish I would have known I would have never given this to him. JUST ONE PILL

    • profile image

      Don L. 2 years ago

      Yes, sad to say my dog (13 year old Lab/Poodle Mix 50 lbs female) died less than 3 months after starting on Proin. Like other post here and around the web the urination issues were resolved in the first two weeks and she was feeling good and frisky, eating well it was such a shock that she died in her sleep. The way she was laying next to her bed when I found her the next morning would indicate that she had a seizure or stroke before she passed.

      Called my Vet to see if they may have any explanations...have yet to get a returned call. Not liking what I'm reading here on line...she may still be with me if I had done more home work earlier...would not expect a Vet to issue something that may cause a dogs death

    • profile image

      Annie 3 years ago

      My dog Lassie is on Proin for the last couple of years. But we have had her at the emergency vet three times in the last six months. Three different vets there said her symptoms were caused by unrelated things. All the symptoms are like over dose of Proin. I'm taking her off the stuff and putting her on Natural Pet of Vermont bladder control an herbal supplement.

    • profile image

      Michelle 3 years ago

      My 6yr old male boxer died 3 days ago, suddenly, while playing ball outside. He just fell over, kicked his legs and was gone, just like a stroke, like everybody is saying. He was on 50mg proin for a year. I noticed his behavior was different. He was anxious a lot and so thirsty all the time. I didn't notice a high heart rate, but that doesn't mean he didn't. I blame Proin for this. I feel so guilty that I didn't study this medicine. My vet didn't tell me of any side effects, and I just trusted he knew best. I so regret giving Roscoe the proin. His check ups are always great, so I didn't question the medicine at all. I can't stop thinking about it and blaming myself. I would not give any dog this medicine! I would rather deal with the leaking!

    • profile image

      Spayne 4 years ago

      My dog died yesterday, and I believe it was from proin. If you are using it now , I would highly recommend taking your dog off this med!!!

    • profile image

      lisa 5 years ago

      my 16 month old boxer pitt mix is a new addition to our home. he has been a wonderful dog. he experiences incontinence at night when he sleeps. the vet gave him proin for this condition. within 2 days, his behavior changed. his heart rate went through the roof. he became very anxious and destructive. and suffered from anxiety the minute we left the house. i just took him off proin and will moniter his results closely.

    • profile image

      SpiritAtBay 5 years ago

      I just lost my sweet dog. i blame Proin. she had a difficult time with this drug. even at 1/4 the prescribed dosage she still had loss of appetite and did not feel well.

      she contracted bronchitis so i withheld the proin while she was on antibiotics, but after 3 days she was leaking so badly that i restarted the proin (1/4 of a 50mg chewable 1x day).

      she became very ill, stuporic, tremors, very dull and in pain.

      spent a night with her at emerg vet. who pointed out that she had many of the symptoms of a Proin overdose. (again i stress she got 1/4 of her prescribed dose.) emerg vet sent us home to follow up with reg vet in the am.

      in the 4 hours between vets, she declined. at the reg vet's she began seizing and died late today.

      i don't have proof that proin caused my dog's death, but i believe it did.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 5 years ago from a land called 'what if?'

      It's a tough call ... given the history of Proin and the issues that can be caused by a UTI. Neither path is without its consequences.

    • profile image

      Shirley 6 years ago

      I just started proin for my 12+ dobie. 50mg a day. My vet told me that Proin was initially made for Human, but some people got stroke from using proin, so they pulled this med out.

      Now they give them to pets, he said the side effects for pets and human are diff. By reading all the comments above, I doubt it now.

      I have been holding off the proin for my dog for a while, I rather use the water proof pads for her, but the only reason I started it now, because she often contracted UTI. She has diabetes. My vet said that if she keeps on leaking and licking,the bacteria will get to her more easily. I am in the lose lose position. I tried to reduct it to 25mg per day. She is on Tremadol too.

    • profile image

      Susan 6 years ago

      My 118# lab mix has been on Proin 75 for a little over two years with seizures starting a few months after starting this medication. I never put the two together and neither has the vet I bring her to. We just had an MRI done last week which didn't show a brain tumor and we are waiting for the results of the spinal tap.

      Emma had her first cluster seizure three weeks ago last Thursday night and the next night wouldn't come out of seizing without the help of propafal. I am going to stop giving her the proin (which she HATES! I have to hide it in goodies to get her to take it) and look for an alternative or buy diapers. I could have bought a lot of diapers for the amount of money I have spent in the last three weeks.

      Thank you to all who have shared your experience!!! It just may have saved my dogs life and for that I am very grateful!

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?'

      Becky and Greg:

      It saddens me to continue to hear the names of pets that have fallen to this pet med. That why I feel the urgent need to keep this article alive to warn others of what could happen. I grieve for the losses of everyone and I'm currently looking into adding onto this article some possible alternatives that are safer. The big problem is that the current alternatives I am seeing are either not thoroughly tested yet, or have horrible complications of their own.

      If anyone has had some good success treating a bladder control problem with a pet med other than Proin we would sure like to hear from you. I'd be willing to research your solutions and hopefully determine if there's a better course we can all take.

    • profile image

      Becky 6 years ago

      We had a 15 year old jack russell that we had to put down 3 days ago. She was on proin for about two years. In that time she responded very well. On the morning we had to put her down, she suddenly lost control of her back legs and was in obvious distress. We immediately went to our vet and then to a university vet clinic as they are equiped to handle anything and we were prepared to do everything in our power to save her. After blood testing and an ultrasond it was determined that putting her down was the most humane thing to do. I suspect that our dog may have had more than one issue going on but what bothers me is that she had a record breaking blood pressure of 270. (I guess blood pressures over 200 can lead to organ damage and failure). Because her pressure was SO high, it leads me to believe that the proin was part of the problem. It was the only med she was taking. Looking back, I wish we would have taken Milo in for regular pressure checks. I feel some guilt for giving her the proin. I also wish I would have researched proin on my own before giving it to her, then in my mind I would know I made the best choice. My advice to anyone considering proin is to closely monitor blood pressure.

    • profile image

      Gregg 6 years ago

      Today is a very sad day for me and my family. Our little Jack Russel, Shilo, had to be put down. She had been on"Proin" for approx. 2 years. I have no idea if this had anything to do with her death. But my story is pretty much the same as many others on this site. This morning our pet was acting a little strange,not full of life which was so normal. At around one in the afternoon she vomited, thinking not much about other than maybe she had an upset tummy. By two she was walking around in circles hanging her head down, by 2:30 she was running into the walls and furniture. At this point I was getting ready to head to the Vet.. By 2:50 she was on her side, stiff as a board with her legs going a 100mph, her head was titled back with her mouth open. By the time I reached the Vet she was still in a seizure state. The Vet worked and worked on her. The Vet was able to get her out of the seizure state by placing her under anesthesia, but once she came out of the anesthesia she started to seizure again. The Vet was not able to stop the seizure. I made the decision to have her put down, was it "Proin" or not, God only knows and our special little 6 year old Shilo is now in dog heaven with God, we will miss you so much Shilo.......

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      There are always natural alternatives for any pet med, but such alternatives are not monitored tightly like prescription meds are. That's not to say that prescription meds are totally safe - because they aren't - but the side effects are better known, allowing a pet owner to know what to look for to know their pet is having an adverse reaction to a med.

      As we tend to assume that natural supplements are all safe, we often get lulled into disbelieving there could be side effect and misfortunately ignore them until it is too late.

      I'm not one to recommend natural supplements unless they have been well-tested, and I can iterate off the known side effects. To do anything less would be like recommending medicine in an unmarked bottle.

      Mish'a Mom:

      Proin is a very controversial pet med. It has its good side and its bad side. Many pets owers have had a good experience with this med, but the few that haven't help us recognize just how dangerous it can be.

      Being the responsible pet owner that you are, you recognized immediately that your pet was reacting badly to the new med and ceased prescribing it. This is what any pet owner should do when they notice a change in their pet during a medicative phase, as often its a sign that something isn't right and corrective action needs to be taken right away.

      I'm saddened by your loss, but I do appreciate your willingness to share it with others as a lesson we all need to learn - not everything we are handed for our pets is guaranteed to be safe.

      As pet owners we are handed a heavy responsibility to care for a beloved that is unable to speak for him or her sof. As such, we must be ever vigilant to recognize when they are in trouble and to do what we believe is in their best interest.

    • profile image

      Misha's Mom 6 years ago

      My beautiful Samoyed, Misha, was "leaking urine" st age 15. His vet prescribed Proin. He began to pant and exhibit anxiety after two pills. He was not himself. He seemed anxious, and his eyes didn't focus. Very unusual for his generally calm and mellow demeanor. I went online to research side effects for Proin. I saw "elevated blood pressure,"and I took him to our vet and the next day and requested that his blood pressure be taken. It was double what it should have been. The vet said to stop the Proin. I did, but that was in the afternoon, and Misha had a stroke in the night. When we woke up in the morning, we thought he was dead. He was unresponsive, and limp. But then we saw a slight rise and fall in his chest. He was breathing, but he was paralyzed. We called a friend to come and sit with us while we got ready to take Misha to the vet clinic at 7:00 a.m. to be euthanized when they opened. We both cried, and then Misha came walking into the room! Apparently, it was only a small stroke. But we never gave him Proin again. Misha hsd other problems and had to be euthanized a few months later. But I would never give a dog Proin again.

    • profile image

      amanda 6 years ago

      are there any natural supplements that have been tried in place of Proin? PetNaturals Bladder Support or Leaks no more??

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?'

      The important thing I want to add to what everyone has said is that we know our pets better than the vet does when it comes to their normal behaviors and any abnormal behavior should always be scrutinized over, as it might be a tell-tale sign of a side effect.

      Never accept a vet's reassurance that a med is totally safe as there really is no pet med out there (that I am aware of) without some side effect that could prove dangerous. I'm not saying that one should be hyper-vigilant, but I am saying that we all need to watch over our pets when they are taking medications.

      And why is it vets reassure us things are perfectly safe when they know there are possible dangerous side effects? Perhaps, for some vets, the risks outweight the possible outcomes or the odds are so far against something bad happening - but never zero.

      My advice to everyone is to become knowledgeable about every medication that is given to your pet. Don't just read what I have to say, read many sources, and be certain you know the risks and how to watch out for them. Though it is said that a dog is a man's best friend, truly it's the other way around, as your dog (as well as your cat) depends on you to look out for its welfare. Trust me, your pet surely appreciates it when you safeguard their life and look out for their welfare.

    • profile image

      Smokey's Mom 6 years ago

      My 12 1/2 year old dog was diagnosed with bladder cancer on June 1st. This week he started to have sleep incontinence, and it's not just drips. Our vet is putting him on Proin to see if that will help. He told me it is a safe medicine to take in conjunction with the other meds he is on. Other than the incontinence, Smokey is still acting himself. The vet wants me to report in on how he is doing after being on Prin for 1 week. I will definitely keep a close eye on Smokey for anything out of the ordinary. Thank you for this information.

    • profile image

      Buffy's mom 6 years ago

      I just tok my dog to vet today and gave her a proin pill for the first time. When I came home, she seemed to have lost her apetitte. She seemed to be sicker than before. After reading so much side effects online, I will stp giving her the pill from now on.

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      My dog was on proin when she was 7Yr till she passed away at the age of 16yr I had to have her put down due to old age her body was shutting down her mind was going too.

      Reading this will make me think twice for my next dog.

    • profile image

      Michele O'Brien 6 years ago

      can you speak to the use of proin in a toy poodle diagnosed with pituitary cushing's? she is 16.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I hear what you are saying and I agree with you. While tragedies with proin are a minority people still need to be made aware of the risks. That's why I do my best to assess the risks for everyone.

      The loss of any pet is a tragedy, but by sharing our misfortunate experiences we educate others - and just maybe we spare others from the same pain.

      There is no unconditional love like that of a pet and if writing an article such as this helps save one family from losing their best friend ... well ... we can then takeall take solace in the fact that we have done something meaningful and with great purpose.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 6 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I hope all goes well, and I definitely appreciate the updates.

    • profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago

      I am devastated. My dog was put on Proin for incontience on Feb. 12. He had a seizure within weeks. He had full blood work, an MRI, and a spinal tap -- all were normal. Within 3 weeks he had two more massive seizures that left him paralyzed. After 6 days, we made the decision to put him down. If Proin has this many dogs who have had sife effects, why are vets still prescribing it? This is a travesty. I am devastated. What can we do to make vets and public more aware about this deadly side effect????

    • profile image

      Laura 7 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback, yoshi97. You (and article)have been very helpful. My dog, Tala, goes in tomorrow for an ultrasound. I hope the results aren't devastating and that all she needs is to be on meds that control her liver problem. I will keep you informed, if you don't mind. It's always good to have other resources (people) to help you get through a difficult time.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I looked for a connection between Proin and liver issues, but I couldn't find any. I would definitely go with the ultrasound. By allowing the vet to see inside your pet's liver he will be able to make a more sound diagnosis.

      As for tick collars - regardless of the brand - I don't really recommend them. My reasoning is not a safety issue so much as it is one of common sense: fleas and ticks that can't attack the front end will find their way toward the other. As such, fleas and ticks are still able to get to the back end of your pet and inflict their agony. Products like Advantix actually get into the skin and circulate about to offer much better protection.

      You make a valid argument for me to mention more in my article, but in actuality I want readers to consult other information sources as well. In as much as I try to keep my articles on pet meds up-to-date, the next great breakthrough might be right around the corner and I might miss it. Also, new research could come out that reveals new information I haven't been provided with yet.

      My goal here is to be seen as a helpful resource, and not as the ultimate guru of pet meds. After all, one can never do enough research when it comes to the health of one's pet.

      I hope all goes well for you!

    • profile image

      Laura 7 years ago

      My 11 year-old dog has been on Proin 50 for about 1 year now - was on DES for incontinence, but vet took her off and replaced with Proin - has controlled her incontinence. During her annual exam vet took a senior blood profile, and stated her liver enzymes were out of whack - stated it could be from Anaplasmosis (a bacterial infection caused from ticks) so he put her on a month of doxycline (antibiotic) and a month of a liver block med. In the meantime, I also bought her a new Preventic Tick collar and put it on her. After a month on these meds, they retested her liver enzymes again and stated her liver was worse. I'm totally confused and the vet wanted to know what other meds she was on other than the 30 days of meds just mentioned - only the PROIN 50 shes been on long-term - But - I just read that you should not use Preventic Flea or tick collars on dogs.........I'm wondering why that is, and I'm wondering if Proin has been known to cause liver damage...........not sure what to do. Vet wants to schedule an ultrasound of her liver. Your article on PROIN is very helpful - but I wish I had more info on this product......and the reason for not using a tick collar - not sure if any of her liver problems are related to PROIN at all - just now doing research....

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I'm really sorry for your loss. :(

    • profile image

      Tracey 7 years ago

      We just lost our 10.5 year old Akita, Wrigley, early this morning at the Animal Emergency Clinic. Vet says definitely neurological, possibly a stroke. Wrigley had been on Proin for about 2 years. We are absolutely devastated !

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      Glad to hear all is well! :)

    • profile image

      bert 7 years ago

      Our beagle cross rescue dog is about 12 yrs old and weighs about 50#. She began leaving wet spots wherever she lay down (including on the couch!)and tried to lick herself constantly. The vet put her on Proin and the problem stopped. She doesn't exhibit any of the advertised side effects and has been taking half a 50mg pill am and pm for about 6 mo.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I'm glad to hear your pointer is doing well, and I'm also very glad to hear you are her in for annual checkups.

      Like you said, the medicine is far from perfect (any medicine is), but if prescribed properly and watched over carefully it can make a positive difference in your pets life.

      One theme I keep going back to is how important it is to know your pet and to know how they are responding to their meds. It's also vitally important to have your pet checked at the vet regularly.

      Unlike humans, they can't talk to us when they're not responding well, which is why we need to keep an eye out for cues that the meds could be doing more harm than good.

      I hope all continues to go well for you and your pointer! :)

    • profile image

      Ken 7 years ago

      My Pointer has been on PPA 50 mg 3 times per day for over eight years it has helped her greatly.

      I keep a close watch of her habits and actions, her health is excellent. She has never had any of the symptoms your article lists. She goes for annual check ups with blood work and the Vet has never found any problems. But don't think this medicine is perfect,there are days that the dog dribbles and leaks in her sleep,and occasionaly has some irritation from the leaking which causes her to lick or clean herself frequently.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'

      gerrb: I agree. Check with your vet for another solution, as most pet problems are able to be remedied by more than one med. :)

    • profile image

      gerrb 7 years ago

      Started my male 11 yr old dog on Pronin and after 5 doses over 3 days he was extremely restless throughout the third night whimpering and waking me up every hour and a half. I did not give him the dose the fourth night and he was fine. I'd rather deal with the urine drops than cause him harm.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      To be safe I would call your vet and mention the tremors. This might be a sign that the med might by acting on the nervous system or it could be a sign of something else. Either way, it's a symptom I would have checked out (soon), just to be safe. Having been with your pet for 10 years, you know him/her well enough to notice peculiar behavior, and I'm a firm believer in never overlooking such things. Even if it proves to be nothing, it's always better to have the vet confirm that and allow yourself a good night's rest.

      I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but I'm well aware that Proin can cause strokes and quite often the first signs to look for are your pet staring off into space or having uncontrollable twitches. Again, I'm not trying to be an alarmist, I just don't want to brush this off if it could possibly be something more serious.

      I wish you and your pet well, and I would be elated to hear you report back years from now to tell me that your loved one is still scampering about. :)

    • profile image

      Connie 7 years ago

      My dog is 10 years old and has been on Proin for about 3 months now. She seems to be doing well. Stopped the incontinence. If you take her off of it, the incontinence starts up again within a week. The only side effect I have noticed is a higher excitability and a small tremor in her rear legs that just started last week. Only happen twice so far. Will keep my eyes on her for any other symptoms. Thanks for the info on the product.

    • profile image

      Freya 7 years ago

      My dog went on Proin about three weeks ago. She had a stroke and died today. If only I had known...

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 7 years ago from a land called 'what if?'


      I feel sorry for your loss. :(

      One of the reasons I wrote my pet series was to share some of the information I have learned from my vet, in the hopes it would help others. I ask a lot of questions, and I look things up to confirm what I'm told.

      If only my article could have helped in this case, but there's always hope it will provide help for another.

      I just had my favorite Siamese, Keisha, put down last week. She developed a respiratory infection that went deep into her lungs and made it very difficult for her to breathe, and while we could have kept her alive with steroids, the pain of breathing would never go away. As we loved her, we allowed her to pass on, but it was a very difficult decision for my family to make.

      Medicine can't cure all ills, but we can always hope for a day when it will - and a day when it will do so safely. She lived a long life, so we can't say it was cut short - but when it comes to a loved pet, it never seems long enough. If only our pets could live as long as we do ...

    • profile image

      NANCY 7 years ago

      My dog who was 8 years old just died of a stroke and was on proin for two years. I believe it caused her death. She died with 15 minutes before I could get her to a vet.

    • yoshi97 profile image

      yoshi97 8 years ago from a land called 'what if?'

      Interestingly enough, part of writing about pet health is revising your article to represent new information. While I confirmed with several sources the content of the video in question, I'm one to air on the side of caution. As such, I have removed the video and replaced it with one that provides more info on dog seizures. While I do believe the video contained much info that was useful, I can also see where one small misgiven fact could cause a pet's lie, and that's something I would never want to take part in.

      I would like to thank Randol for the correction, and to let everyone know that I do my best to research things out thoroughly before presenting my info, but I'm as much a victim at times of 'wives tails' as the rest of us are.

    • profile image

      randol 8 years ago

      Instructing a pet owner to put a wash cloth or the paper towel roll in a seizing dogs mouth is wrong advice and dangerous to the pet. This is an old wives tail or dogs tail in this case. This is very unprofessional advice. Dogs are more likely to to die from homemade airway adjuncts then if no attempt is made at all. Dogs that seize do so and require very little if any airway support

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      From one animal lover to another-thanks, Yoshi.


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