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Skin Cancer Cream Threatens Pets

The Food and Drug Administration already issued a warning to people who own cats, dogs, and other animals that these could die if they are exposed to skin cancer creams. The said creams are using the following brand names – Efudex, Carac, and Fluoroplex. All of the creams mentioned contain fluorouracil (also known as 5-FU) as their active ingredient.

The warning was issued after the FDA received reports that five dogs became sick and then died later after they have consumed skin creams that contained fluorouracil. One case says that an active dog managed to puncture the tube of the skin cream before the pet exhibited symptoms of vomiting, where this died 12 hours after the said incident. In another case where a dog ingested the cream, the owner still managed to get the dog to a veterinarian. This was immediately treated but three days later, the dog’s condition became worse, which prompted the owner to have the pet euthanized.

The World Health Organization considers fluorouracil as an essential medicine; it’s something that should be readily available to those who were prescribed with it. Doctors recommend this medicine for two common types of skin cancers – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. This is a chemotherapy medicine that is either administered through injection or used as a topical solution.

According to dermatologic surgeon Dr. Tom Rohrer, fluorouracil is a safe and effective medication that helps prevent skin cancer, halting the proliferation of cancerous lesion before they turn to skin cancer. The warning he says from the FDA is the first time he’s heard of the possible dangers of the medicine. He says that they will be cautioning patients who use these to keep these away from pets and wash their hands before petting them.

FDA warns pet owners to immediately consult a veterinarian if pet shows disturbing symptoms after being exposed to this medicine.

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