The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning veterinarians and pet owners against the toxicity of a topical cancer cream that killed five dogs that ingested the product.
In a news release on Wednesday, the agency detailed that the dogs died after being exposed to the human medication Fluorouracil Cream USP 5% (5-FU). The FDA said even small amounts of the cream— which is marketed under the brands Carac, Effudex and Fluoroplex as well— can be dangerous for pets.
In the dog cases, one animal punctured the tube before its owner could take it away, and the dog began vomiting and suffering seizures within two hours. Twelve hours after ingesting the cream, the animal died. Another dog that ingested the product was rushed to the veterinarian, but after several days of treatment, the animal’s condition only worsened and it was eventually euthanized, according to the FDA.
The FDA advised pet owners to store medications in a place that’s out of reach for pets, to discard or clean any textiles that may retain traces of the medication, and to consult their health care provider on the appropriateness of covering the treated area. If their pet is exposed, owners are advised to consult a veterinarian immediately, and, if the animals begin showing symptoms of exposure, to detail them for authorities.