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FDA Warns Public About Skin Cancer Creams As It May Kill Pets

Update Date: Jan 20, 2017 09:10 AM EST

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a public announcement on Wednesday, warning pet owners about skin cancer creams. Carac, Efudex and Fluoroplex contain an active ingredient called fluorouracil or 5-FU which has been found to be lethal to dogs, cats and other animals.

FDA received a report were five dogs were reported dead after ingesting the skin creams that contain fluorouracil.

One dog owner shared his case about his dog that ingested a tube of the cream. The dog was immediately rushed to the veterinarian's clinic where he was treated. For three days the dog's condition worsened and the owner was left with the decision whether or not to euthanize the pet.

Another case was about a dog that just pierced through a tube of the cream. After vomiting and seizures the dog died 12 hours later.

According to CNN, Fluorouracil is considered an "essential medicine" by the World Health Organization. One of the basic drugs every health care system has. Roche, the company that developed the creams has yet no comment about the issue.

The drug is commonly used by doctors in chemotherapy to treat two different types of skin cancers.

Dr. Tom Rohrer, a dermatologic surgeon said the drug is "a very safe, very effective medication that prevents skin cancer -- stops the pre-skin cancerous lesions before they become skin cancer -- in lots of Americans."

FDA said even a very small amount could be dangerous to animals.

In response to FDA's warning Rohrer added "Like any medication, it has to be stored in a safe place... and [kept] out of children's reach."

NBC reported sanitation should be the main focus for pet owners that use the cream. FDA recommends pet owners to safely discard or clean cloths used for applying the cream, and discuss with their doctor whether the treated area should be covered or not. Should pets get exposed or show signs such as vomiting, seizing or other illness, owners should seek immediate veterinary care.

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