Senior pets provide us with great joy and a few challenges along the way.
One of the challenges can really impact your own living conditions and the health of your dog. With an impatient and uninformed pet guardian (I prefer “guardian” to “owner”) this information can be the difference between a long life and the decision to euthanize.
Older dogs, especially spade females, often have issues with incontinence. I have been through this with my 17 year old shelter rescue dog, Chloe.
We first noticed the drips which turned in to “do I smell pee?” Lots of cleaning of rugs and laundering of pet beds…
The vets have a couple of drugs that are prescribed to “tighten up that pee-pee” as I call it. Proin is one of the drugs. It was used as an anti-histamine in humans but was found to cause strokes; it was discontinued as a human drug. Don’t ask me how, but they found it helps with incontinence in dogs.
We tried Proin for Chloe, and it worked quite well. We had to adjust the dosage however, as the prescribed amount for her level of incontinence was one tablet per day. One of the side effects is hyper-activity, and once we got to the point where we were peeling Chloe off the ceiling and ready to shoot ourselves from the constant (and I mean constant) unrelenting pacing and barking, we knew the dose was not acceptable for her. We adjusted it downward so she was on ¼ tablet per day, and this worked for quite a while.
Eventually, the Proin wasn’t cutting it, and if we increased the dose to tighten the pee-pee, the hyperactivity would kick in.
Our vet suggested DES which, although effective in this case, can eventually cause mammary tumors in dogs within about 4-5 years. It does help manage incontinence, and Chloe was nearing the age of 17 at the time. After weighing the options and taking into consideration that by the time it might cause her problems, she would be about a 22 year old dog, we decided to try DES.
The DES worked for a while, but eventually was not stopping the leaking even with doubling the dose at the vet’s direction. The problem was mostly at night, and I was resigned to wash her bedding every morning.
We were soon faced with another problem the incontinence was causing…Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs. We treated two of them a month’s time. This showed up as dripping blood across the kitchen floor and was a very scary experience!
All this was very discouraging as Chloe (although quite deaf) was doing great in so many ways. Happy, going for 3 walks a day, still wanting to play…
One morning when I checked my emails, I saw an offer from HomeoPet for a bottle of drops called “Leaks No More”. It was all natural with no drugs at all.
I sent the email to my vet who is very progressive and includes chiropractic, accupuncture and herbs in his regular vet practice. He though it looked good, and as we really had nothing to loose (but about $12), I ordered it.
Long story short, it has been a miracle!! Her bed was completely dry in the morning after just a few days on the drops. We cannot have her on the lowest dose and have had to adjust it to the middle range of dosage, using it with the minimum dose of DES to manage her incontinence. On that combination her bed is dry and so far, no more UTIs!
Chloe is now moving confidently toward 18 years old, and is off Proin and back to the minimum dose of DES!