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Dr. Fox: What will help my puppy's incontinence?
Dr. Fox

Dr. Fox: What will help my puppy's incontinence?


Watch as this golden retriever pup ignores her own doggy pool and tries to go swimming in a birdbath. Moose, a five-month-old puppy, can be seen trying to impress her Husky friend Diesel by precariously perching herself on the vessel. But despite her best efforts, Moose ends up toppling over before she can finish her swim. This video was shot in January 2021.

Dear Dr. Fox: My 11-month-old female Rottweiler puppy was diagnosed as being incontinent. She has no infection, and has been peeing in her sleep on and off. She was put on Proin, but it is upsetting her stomach, so I don’t want to continue.

I feed her your dog food recipe, and was wondering if there was anything I could add to her food to help control the incontinence. I really do not want her to be on meds her entire life. I am looking for a holistic approach if possible. L.B., Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dear L.B.: The problem of incontinence in young dogs like yours is all too common, and is most likely due to the hormonal deficiency caused by having her ovaries removed, which weakens the urinary bladder sphincter control.

Many dogs do not do well on the usual prescription of Proin offered by most veterinarians. All too often, it is of no benefit. There is no food additive that may help, to my knowledge.

One of our dogs, Tanza, developed this post-spay incontinence. The obvious solution was hormone-replacement medication, and a local compounding pharmacist provided what we needed (DES, short for diethylstilbestrol). Some veterinarians may throw up their hands and say this will cause cancer, but the dose is very low. We dosed her once weekly for four weeks, then once monthly for four months before tapering off to zero. Her incontinence never returned.

Check, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, for a list of practitioners in your area who may be able to help you and your dog.

A six-year-old labrador named Bella gave birth to 14 adorable puppies in Wentworth, England and it's thought to be one of the biggest litters for the dog breed.

Look out for pet-sale scammers

Scammers are using photos and testimonials from legitimate websites to create phony sites “selling” fictitious pets. The number of pet scams reported to the Better Business Bureau has risen from 884 in 2017 to an estimated 4,300 last year. Many of the scam sites collect payments using Western Union or money transfer apps. Unfortunately, says Jack Whittaker, co-administrator of, authorities don’t have much motivation to track down the scammers. (Full story: WCBD-TV, Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 5)

Email Dr. Fox at or to send a letter to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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