Letters October 1999 Issue

Readers Offer More Suggestions

Natural treatments for incontinence; a warning about air travel with dogs.

The July 1999 issue of WDJ contained an answer from an expert concerning urinary incontinence in the spayed female dog. Our readers had several additional suggestions for treating this condition:

I was so excited to read your article concerning urinary incontinence in the spayed female. For the first time in many years of owning spayed females, I have a Labrador who at four years of age had symptoms of this problem. Not wanting to use hormone replacement therapy, I looked for an herbal combination containing the best herbs for menopause in women. I have been using “Women’s Menocaps” from Wise Woman Herbals for over a year now, two capsules a day. They contain dong quai, burdock, black cohosh, motherwort and licorice.

Only once, when I ran out of capsules for a couple of days, has she had an accident. Otherwise, my girl can sit with me on the family room couch and sleep with me in bed without fear of accidents.

-Sue Nolen
Warrenton, VA

Wise Woman Herbals, of Creswell, OR, can be contacted at (800) 532-5219.

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My spayed, older Giant Schnauzer had urinary incontinence. At one time she was on DES, before my vet stopped using it. He suggested at that time that I try her on black cohosh. This has worked successfully for over a year. She gets one capsule a day along with her meal. Black cohosh is readily available at any natural food store, and no prescription is needed.

-Katie Britt
McCloud, CA

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I’ve had good luck with a homeopathic solution made by HomeoPet for my dog’s urinary incontinence. I buy the small bottles of liquid remedy from Chamisa Ridge, a catalog order company that features a wonderful selection of natural products for dogs, cats, horse and rider.

A hint: don’t put the homeopathic drops in your dog’s water bowl if other dogs drink out of it or else it could precipitate the symptoms in otherwise healthy animals. (Ask me how I know!)

-Debbie Underwood, Flatwallet Farms
Roswell, NM

HomeoPet, of Westhampton Beach, NY, can be reached at (800) 556-0738. Chamisa Ridge, of Santa Fe, NM, can be reached at (800) 743-3188 or www.chamisaridge.com.

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I have a five-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, Mattie, who we adopted at one of our local shelters when she was one year old and already spayed. We noticed very soon on that she was incontinent at night. She was completely housebroken, but puddles – usually small, but sometimes large – would appear where she slept. I had her on phenylpropanolamine for about three years while I continued to look for a more natural method. I, personally, was not pleased with the side effects I read about in the Merck Veterinary Manual.

About a year and a half ago, I found a product made by HomeoPet called “Urinary Incontinence” at my local health food store. I’ve had excellent luck with this product. I also always try to make sure that she goes outside to potty before evening bed and before work, etc. I can’t recall the last “accident” she had. I’m just now experimenting with trying her on the product once a day (I believe it calls for 2-3 times a day, I was doing twice a day).

The product is definitely more expensive than the pharmaceutical, but in my opinion, worth the cost. Two catalogs come to mind immediately that currently carry it: Chamisa Ridge (which also carries “Devil Be Gone” flower essences discussed in an earlier WDJ issue, another great product) and The Vitamin Shoppe. Each bottle costs about $9.95 and I’m sorry to say I can’t tell you how long it lasts as I’ve never kept track (I suspect about three weeks at 10 drops twice a day).

-Name withheld
via email

The Vitamin Shoppe can be contacted at (800) 880-3055 or www.vitaminshoppe.com.

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Air Travel Advisory
I wrote to you some months ago regarding airline safety while transporting dogs. I feel compelled to report an incident on Delta that occurred this week. While traveling from Philadelphia to New York, a dog was kept on the tarmac for about two hours, then in a non-air-conditioned cargo hold for the duration of taxi (one more hour). This occurred in 98 degree heat of late afternoon. Arrival in New York was no better; the dog was kept in the compartment for about another hour during ground holds in the same temperatures.

The owners were distraught and were not permitted to check on their dog. We, (the flight attendants) were the ones to check to see if the dog was OK. The dog was, in fact, OK, but not well.

So much for the airlines’ purported policy of keeping animals out of extreme heat during airline travel. I’m sure that this was not this summer’s only incident like this. Anything to turn a profit!

-A Delta Flight Attendant
via email

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