Poison Alert: Human Topical Cancer Medications EXTREMELY Poisonous to Pets

A recent announcement by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is to alert pet owners, veterinarians, and human health- care providers about the risk of lethal pet intoxication from very small amounts of topically applied 5% Flourouracil (5FU) cream, a chemotherapy agent marketed under the names of “Carac”, “Effudex”, and “Fluoroplex”.(1)
Dogs & cats can be so sensitive to these ointments that merely licking recently treated skin can cause a dog to ingest a fatal dose; or, ditto if a cat nuzzles treated skin and then grooms itself.Access to an actual tube of the medicine is also likely to result in death. Signs of illness begin with vomiting & seizures. Treatment is often not successful.
The FDA recommends:
Store all medications out of reach of pets & children
Discard any applicator that may retain medicine, carefully wash hands, & avoid contact of medicine to furniture or clothing.
Discuss with your health- care provider how to cover the treated area.
Seek immediate veterinary help if any exposure is suspected.

Besides 5% Fluorouracil, many other topical medications can be toxic to dogs & cats, including Amitriptylline, Baclofen, Benzocaine, Buvipicaine, Cyclobenzapine, Diclophenac, Flurbiprofen, Gabapentin, Ketamine, Ketoprofen, Lidocaine, Minoxidil (Rogaine), Piroxicam, & Tramadol. Often, there can be more than one of these ingredients in the same cream. So be careful about pet exposure to ANY topical medicine.
If you have any questions about this topic, please call us at Basic Pet Care.

(1) Dvm360, March, 2017

Easter Lilies are Extremely Toxic to Cats!

Cat owners need to beware that a traditional display of Easter Lilies in the house can have devastating consequences for any cat that might be tempted to ingest the plant. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and a single leaf is enough to be fatal. Even brushing up against the plant and then grooming itself can cause severe illness from kidney failure. Easter lilies, Asiatic Lilies, Daylilies, Peace Lilies, Tiger Lilies & Lily of the Valley are all poisonous to cats.
If suspected, immediate hospitalization and decontamination is required, with prolonged intravenous dialysis. The mortality rate is high, especially if treatment is delayed.
To keep a safe & happy Easter for your cat, please do not bring Lilies into the house.


A newsletter issued by the ASPCA poison control this month highlights the following seasonal hazards potentially faced by household pets.

1)Wrapped Presents-Gifts containing food item, especially chocolates or other treats, need to be kept securely out of the reach of pets, otherwise they will smell the foo, rip open the gift and consume the contents. Ribbons and strings pose a particular hazard to cats who often will ingest these with serious consequences.

2)Snow Globes- Some contain ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) which is highly toxic should the snow globe be broken or otherwise develop a leak. Keep them out of reach of pets.

3)Holiday Food- Keep pets away from food preparation areas or or where food will be left out. They may become very devious in their attempt to reach the food, and may gorge themselves and get very sick. Special care with boned meats, chocolates, raisins, grapes, bread dough, alcohol and anything sweetened with Xylitol.

4)Medication- Many medications can have serious effects on dogs or cats, both in pill form or topical creams. Of course, medicines should be secured in a medicine cabinet, but guests to the house may have dangerous medicines in in suitcases or handbags, which pets can readily break into and ingest. So do not allow there to be left within pets reach. Also, medical marijuana; especially in brownies-be sure that dogs can’t find that.

5)Salt- Ice melt, home-made play dough and salt-dough ornaments make tempting treats, but their ingestion can cause life-threatening salt imbalances. Keep them away from pets, band use pet safe ice melt.

If you have any concerns about possible exposure to poisonous substances or foods, be sure to call your veterinarian, or, if out of hours, call poison control. The ASPCA Poison control hot line number is 888-426-4435

Pets and Halloween Safety

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends:

1) Keep pets inside. Especially cats, especially black ones.

2) Pets should have a microchip ID if they happen to escape the house and go missing, this may help them to be returned safely.

3)No candy for pets, especially Xylitol-sweetened products which are extremely toxic for dogs, as is chocolate.

4) Keep candles, jack-o-lanterns, glow sticks, bowls of candy securely out of pets reach where they can’t be knocked down.

5) Pets that are leery of strangers or who might bit should be locked away from the front door during trick or treating hours.

6) Costumes for pets can be a lot of fun but:
a) make sure it fits properly, is comfortable and doesn’t interfere with breathing, eyesight etc..
b) make sure the pet is accustomed to being costumed before Halloween.
c) make sure parts of the costume can’t easily be bitten off and swallowed.
d) never leave a pet unsupervised while it is wearing a costume.

A Halloween safety video can be seen on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JC8LDtCBYQ

Summer Thunder Storms

Many dogs suffer moderate to severe signs of anxiety during thunder storms, In the past, we had to choose between a sedative, which renders dogs drowsy and non-responsive, or a human anti-anxiety medicine, which doesn’t always work.

A new product will help dogs that experience terrible fearfulness during storms. Called Sileo, it is an effective anti-anxiety medicine that performs predictably well for nervous dogs, without sedating them. It is in the form of a gel, dispenced from a dosing syringe, that is rubbed on to the gums as the storm approaches, and it can be repeated in 2-3 hours if necessary.

If you have any questions on this or other behavioral problems, please call us.

Our New Urinalysis Machine

Basic Pet Care is pleased to announce the acquisition of the latest technology in diagnostic lab equipment. The new Idexx Sediview analyzer means that we can do the urinalysis in house, with results in 15 minutes, while you wait. More importantly, we can have the urine sediment analyzed while the specimen is still fresh, instead of waiting for it to be examined in the lab. Our innovative new machine uses Facial Recognition Technology to take and interpret dozens of photographs of each sample, identifying & labeling crystals, bacteria, epithelial cells, plus red & white blood cells. It is able to identify delicate pathological structures called casts that often break apart during transit to the lab. The urinalysis is considered to be one of the most important tests to run on a twice yearly basis. Remember to bring in a specimen so that we can include it in your pet’s regular exam!

Don’t Let Nice Kitty Become a Psycho- killer Zombie on Speed!

That’s what can happen to a cat that contracts rabies. Like a zombie, it’s brain has been commandeered by the virus and it doesn’t know or care who you are anymore. All it can think of is how to bite you, and, unlike a zombie, it can be super- fast and very scary.
Rabies occurs from time to time on Long Island. Currently, Nassau County has sent out an alert concerning a rabid raccoon near Hicksville that had come into contact with a domestic animal. Cats are more dangerous than dogs as far as transmitting rabies to people, and far less likely to have had their “shots”. Even if your cat is “strictly indoors”, it is at risk.
a) It could slip out of the house just briefly. An attack from a rabid animal would take but an instant, and may not be observed.
b) Rabid animals have been known to break into houses, i.e. through screen doors, and bats can get indoors , also.
c) Adopting stray kittens or young cats into the house carries risks, including the risk that the newcomer may prove to have rabies: very bad news indeed for any unvaccinated cats already in the house.
So, don’t run the risk that your nice kitty could become a psycho- killer zombie on speed.
Vaccinate your cat or cats (all of them), whether indoors or out, today!

Rabies Alert on Long Island

The Nassau County Health Department has asked us to alert pet owners that a raccoon recently collected in Hicksville tested positive for Rabies. It had come into contact with a domestic animal. It is the first rabid raccoon identified since 2007.
While classically, rabies is transmitted through being bitten by an infected animal, the virus may also be contracted if a rabid animal’s saliva comes into contact with cut, open or scratched skin.
Nassau & Suffolk Counties will be intensifying surveillance for rabid animals as a result of this finding. They request co-operation from the public and have issued the following advice.
1) Please verify that all pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, livestock & horses, are current with their rabies vaccines. New York State Law requires all dogs, cats & domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies.
2) Keep dogs, cats & ferrets leashed when outside.
3)Never touch or contact any wild animal (including stray/ feral cats.) Keep well away from any unknown or wild animal that seems to be sick or acting in an unusual way.
4) Never touch dead or dying wildlife. If you must remove a carcass, use a shovel, wear gloves, and double bag it.
5)Tell children to inform you at once should they be bitten or scratched by any animal.
6) Notify the Health Department if a bat is found in a room where anyone was sleeping, or in a room with a child.
7) Never feed pets outside & never feed stray or unknown animals around your home.
8) keep garbage cans tightly covered, do not store any food outside.
Individuals bitten or scratched by any unknown animal should immediately contact their physicians or go to the Emergency Room and then call:

The Nassau County Department of Health: 516 227 9663 (business hours), or 516 742 6154 (out of hours) or
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services: 631 473 4439 (business hours), or 631 8524820 (nights, weekends & holidays)

Peanut Butter Hall of Shame!

Urgent alert to all dog owners! As you know from previous e-mail alerts, the sweetener Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, who may suffer a profound drop in blood sugar followed by necrosis of the liver from ingesting very small amounts. Xylitol is available in packets, like sugar, and is also included in many food […]

Update on Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease of dogs that starts with symptoms of fever & cough but may rapidly progress to pneumonia with sometimes fatal results. Outbreaks of Canine ‘flu began in kennels about 10 years ago, caused by a strain of the virus known as H3N8.  In 2009, a vaccine was […]