The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning that affects those who have pets and use a particular variety of topical cancer medication.
According to the FDA, “pets are at risk of illness and death when exposed to the topical skin cancer cream medication Fluorouracil USP 5%…intended for use in people. Fluorouracil may also be marketed under the brand names Carac, Effudex and Fluoroplex.”
The administration further notes, “…even very small amounts could be dangerous to [the] animals.”
Included in the notice is a report about a dog who found its owners medication; used it as a toy, and punctured the tube in the process; likely ingesting some of the cream.
The canine became violently ill and died 12 hours later.
The FDA notes that it has “received reports of five dogs that became ill; and died after accidentally ingesting the topical cream”.
Though none of the incidents involved cats, it is believed they would be similarly affected by Fluorouracil.
It is advised that people who share homes with animal companions, be they feline or canine, “store all medications safely out of the reach of pets,” and, “safely discard or clean any cloth or applicator that may retain medication and avoid leaving any residues…on hands, clothing, carpeting, or furniture.”
The FDA also suggests that doctors warn patients of the potential hazard; and veterinarians investigate Fluorouracil ingestion a possibility when pets exhibit vomiting or seizures.