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