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Incontinence is when someone cannot hold their urine and sometimes involuntarily leak or completely lose control of their bladder. It is common in spayed female dogs. Edit

Proin: prescription drug formerly known as Dexatrim Edit

Proin is most commonly prescribed to dogs with incontinence, and was previously marketed as the weight loss supplement, Dexatrim. Dexatrim was pulled from the market as it was found to cause strokes in humans. As with all drugs, Proin has side effects. The most common, severe side effects I've heard are seizures, high blood pressure leading to heart attack, and drug interactions (such as with NSAIDs, anti-depressants, aspirin, and Rimadyl).[1] All potentially fatal; I was lucky. I found that Proin eventually just quit working so I took my dog off it before I knew how severe - and not completely uncommon - the side effects were.

Copaiba Oil Edit

Through many searches for an alternative to Proin, I found copaiba oil. The Animal Desk Reference confirms its effects but unfortunately is vague about its application. In my instance, it was just as, or more effective than Proin in stopping the leaks of my 4 year old, 50 pound, female, boxer mix. Sites I found suggested a weening period from Proin to copaiba (giving small doses of both for several days or weeks).[2] I was already out of Proin and knew it was no longer working so I cold-turkey stopped the Proin and started copaiba oil. I initially gave her one drop of therapeutic grade copaiba oil in her dry dog food every morning. Within a couple days, it was clear it was not working so I went to one drop twice a day but still it did not do enough. Not having any other immediate options, I bought another bottle of Proin and did a weening period giving her half a Proin pill (25 mg) and two drops copaiba (one drop morning and evening) daily. That did the trick - not perfectly, but my vet has told me my dog's incontinence is unusually stubborn. Now I see her leave behind an occasional drop of urine but absolutely no more puddles.  

Even better, copaiba oil drastically reduced the intensity of my boxer's allergies and no more hot spots! She is allergic to milk, rice, dust mites, and several grasses and weeds leaving her sneezing and very itchy. I have tried benedryl and chlorpheniramine for a while so they no longer worked, and didn't work real well even initially.  

Application Edit

Bottom line: Ween your dog off of Proin and onto copaiba oil. Always start with a lower dose and work your dog up to the target dose. Don't assume that because something's natural that it can't hurt you or your pet. Not all essential oils can be taken orally. Also too much, too quickly can cause detox effects in your dog just like in humans. For me, 2-3 drops of therapeutic grade copaiba oil per day (given with her food) was best for my 50 lb dog. When increasing the dose, I found the best results when I gave her one drop 2-3 times per day rather than all at once.  

For smaller dogs or cats, dilute the oil. That way you can give half a drop (one drop of a 50/50 dilution) at a time. For a starting dose, always estimate on the low side. Weight is often a good estimate (i.e. half the weight = half the dose).  

Tolerance Edit

My dog tends to build a tolerance to everything I give her - don't know about copaiba yet. It's always good to have a plan B. I read today that corn silk may also work for your dog's incontinence so I'm working on that as a plan B.[3] If you try it, let us know, especially what form you try it in.  

 
  1. <http://www.vetinfo.com/proin-for-dogs.html>
  2. <http://essentiallymaroon.com/2014/01/06/replacing-proin-with-copaiba-essential-oil-for-my-dogs-urinary-incontinence/>
  3. <http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjincontinence.html>