Five Dogs Have Died----FDA Issues Warning For Pets Exposed to Human Prescriptions--Especially Creams
Anti-cancer creams are being prescribed in greater numbers each year. Five dogs have recently died nationwide after consuming a cream containing fluoruracil. The FDA is asking pharmacists to instruct their customers about these dangers when dispensing these deadly medications.
As a rule of thumb, always remind your pharmacist that you have pets or small children. You can ask for a large child-proof vial to place your tube of cream, to make it more difficult for them to have access to these medications.
Hormonal creams are also a rising problem. They usually do not result in acute fatalities, like the cancer creams do. They do, however, alter your pets normal hormone levels and can cause issues nonetheless.
Over the years, we have treated countless patients that have eaten pills or capsules. Some are "harmless" whereas some have been life threatening.
Usually the accidental consumption of these has occurred in one of two ways. The first is for an owner to drop pills or capsules while the pet patiently waits at your feet for you to drop what you are putting in your mouth. Usually, what owners put in their mouths is yummy. When you drop it, your pet pounces like and alligator onto the dropped item. The second method is bottle chewing. Dogs will find a plastic bottle and chew it up, often times consuming the medicine inside.
Another helpful hint, dogs will go purse diving. Pet parents will leave a purse on the floor, the dog will pick through it and eat whatever feels right.
A complement to our feline friends. They are so much less likely to eat things like their garbage disposal friends, the canines. Cats do like to lick their coats though. Several toxic situations, that we have treated, involve cats getting liquids or creams on their coats. Then they go find a warm sunny spot and lick away. Next thing you know, they have consumed the toxic cream or liquid.
The bottom line:
- Ask for more details from your pharmacist or doctor
- If you apply creams or treatments, try to cover them up to avoid exposing pets*
- Keep your prescriptions up high and away from your pets
- Take pills over a counter or table. If you drop them, the pets won't get them
- Keep the medications in child or pet proof containers
- Call us if you need more help regarding your pets
- Call your doctor or pharmacist for questions about you humans
*Consult with your health care provider if it is appropriate to cover medicated areas.
As always, call Dr. James M. Greenwell and helpful staff at 214-547-8387, if you have any questions or concerns. After hours, contact the Emergency Animal Hospital of Collin County at 214-547-9900.