(DES or Stilphostrol® are other names for this medication.)
Use: Diethylstilbesterol (DES) is a female estrogen-like drug that is used to treat urine leaking in some female dogs. It has also been used to treat certain kinds of cancer in both male and female dogs.
Side Effects: DES can suppress the bone marrow causing poor production of blood cells. This may result in bruising, bleeding, anemia, and increased risk for infection. DES can also cause a female dog to come into “heat” and may cause some vaginal spotting. This side effect usually occurs within 1-6 weeks after starting therapy. If you notice any signs of tiredness, fever, vomiting, vaginal discharge, excessive water drinking or bruising and bleeding you should notify your veterinarian immediately.
Precautions: If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you should not touch this medication at any time.
Directions: Dogs usually receive this medication by mouth once daily until the urine leaking has stopped and then is given only once or twice weekly as needed. Cats do not usually receive this medication as they are likely to develop heart, liver and pancreas problems as a result.
Remember: This drug is not commercially available and must be compounded by a compounding pharmacist. DES should be stored in a tight, light resistant, child proof container away from all children and other household pets.
If you miss a dose of this medication you should give it as soon as you remember it, but if it is within a few hours of the regularly scheduled dose, wait and give it at the regular time. Do not double a dose as this can be toxic to your pet.