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