6 TIPS TO PROTECT OUR PETS
Welcome everyone to another #Wellness Wednesday. Today we have a Warning for all of us who may be using physician-prescribed ointments for treating a number of skin conditions, including skin cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration has just gone on the record to say that skin cancer creams sold under the names of Carac, Efudex and Fluoroplex appear to be very dangerous for pets.
Now, the active ingredient in these creams is known as fluorouracil or 5-FU. This is a chemotherapy medicine that is used in injection form or as a topical cream to treat various types of cancer. It is considered an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization, which means it’s a drug that every basic health care system should have on hand to treat a multitude of common conditions.
Indeed, 5-FU is, “a very safe, very effective medication that prevents skin cancer and stops pre-skin cancerous lesions before they become skin cancer,” according to Dr. Tom Rohrer of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
There is no question that creams containing 5-FU are helpful for human conditions. However, there are now several reported cases of dogs who have become ill and died after coming in contact with containers of these 5-FU creams and ingesting the contents.
Indeed, the FDA has issued its warning stating that even very small amounts of these skin cancer creams could be dangerous not just for dogs but for all animals.
So, let’s review a few basic rules for the use and storage of any medicated skin cream containing the above drugs.
6 IMPORTANT TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE:
- Safely discard and clean all cloths or applicators when using the cream.
- Keep clothes, carpets, floors and furniture free from any cream residue.
- Always wash your hands AFTER applying the cream AND BEFORE petting your cat, dog or any other animal.
- Do not allow treated skin to make contact with your pet — or with your physician’s permission, simply cover the treated area.
- Store all tubes and jars of such creams in a safe place away from pets.
- Remove old containers from the house and place outdoors in the trash.
This is an issue that’s very close to my heart. I’ve survived three different cancers, including skin cancer. I know the value of medicine in treating a difficult illness. I also know how wonderfully helpful my dogs have been to me during my treatment and recovery from those cancers. The last thing I would ever want to do is to bring something into my house that while helping me, could harm my pets.
So, let’s make sure we always exercise common sense when using any drug or medication. And, let’s always remember that something that’s good for us may be bad for our beloved pets.
Thanks to the FDA for bringing this issue to our attention. And, thank you everyone for joining me again. Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .