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FDA: Exposure to Skin Cancer Cream Could Endanger Your Pet's Life

Jan 20, 2017 04:30 AM EST

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has released a new warning that alerts pet owners, veterinarians, health care providers and pharmacists of the potential danger of skin cancer cream exposure to pets.

The new warning was made after the FDA received reports of five dogs that became ill and died after accidentally ingesting the topical cancer medication Fluorouracil Cream USP 5% (5-FU.).

According to the report from CNN, Fluorouracil Cream is considered by the World Health Organization as "essential medicine," which means it is one of the drugs that every health care system should readily have to treat common conditions. Often marketed under the brand names Carac, Effudex and Fluoroplex, Fluorouracil Cream is intended to be used only for humans.

One of the reported cases, two dogs was playing with a tube of Fluorouracil Cream and one accidentally punctured the tube before their owner could retrieve it. The dog that punctured the tube quickly experience vomiting and seizures within two hours. After 12 hours, the dog died.

In another case a dog found its owner's tube of Fluorouracil and ingested its contents. The owner soon realized that the dog was exposed to the cream and quickly rushed him to the veterinarian. The dog was treated by the vet. However, the dog's condition continues to decline over three days and was ultimately needed to be euthanized.

Despite not receiving of any reports involving cats, the FDA warns that cats could have the same response to the Fluorouracil Cream as the dogs. Officials warn that cats may touch areas where their owners applied the cream, which could result to possible ingestion when the cat is grooming itself.

Out of abundant of caution, FDA advises pet owners to store all drugs and medications safely out of their pets reach. Any cloth or applicator should be safely discarded of cleaned. Additionally, pet owners should make sure that there are no residues of the medication on their hands, clothing, carpeting and furniture.

Health care providers and pharmacists are being advised to tell the patients with pets in their home regarding the dangers of such medications.

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