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PPA safety for dogs.

Species: Dog
Breed: Border Collie
Age: 5-8 years
Hi, Dr. Marie:

I am writing a follow-up question from a few weeks ago regarding my dog's incontinence problem. I took her into the vet, got the urinalysis done, and the results were normal. My vet advised that I put her on PPA for a week as a diagnostic tool to see if it helps (and if it does, she doesn't think that any more testing is necessary and that I can decide to keep her on the medicine or not). My question to you is whether there are any negative side affects to giving her PPA for the rest of her life. So far, it's been great to not have to work so hard to keep her from leaking and she doesn't seem to have had any side effects. But, if there is any chance that the medication poses any detriment (even minor) to her health, it's worth it to me to deal with a leaky dog.

What would you suggest?

Thanks so much!
Julie


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Julie,

I'm glad to hear that Jammy's urine tests were normal!

PPA is a really good medication to help with urinary incontinence. You will read things online though that make it look quite scary.

The reason why it gets a bad name is that a few years ago, human products containing PPA were withdrawn from the market. The concern was that it could cause an increased risk of stroke in women. Strokes are not common in dogs. There has been a very rare report of a possible stroke in dogs on PPA, but the risk is extremely small.

I am cautious in using PPA in dogs that have high blood pressure issues, but this is really not common. It doesn't cause high blood pressure but could make an existing issue worse.

One thing to think of for the future is that the literature shows us that if Jammy was to be put on an NSAID (i.e. an arthritis medication like Metacam, Rimadyl, Deramaxx, or Previcox) then it could increase the risk of high blood pressure. In cases like this where a dog needed both medications I would likely do periodic blood pressure checks.

My main concern with PPA is that I have seen some dogs that, once they are on the drug, get excessively hyperactive and jumpy. It doesn't happen often, but for those dogs I put them on something else. The drug I generally use for incontinence in spayed female dogs is stilbestrol (DES). However, in some areas, DES is not readily available. It comes with its own list of possible but rare side effects as well.

I have a good number of dogs in my practice that have been on PPA for many many years. Jammy should do just fine.

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.