Fluorouracil cream is used in the treatment of scaly, crusted lesions of the skin on pets as well as a skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma. The cream works by killing abnormal fast-growing cells in the basal cell carcinoma or the skin lesions known as solar keratosis. The FDA now reports that several dogs have died from the toxicity of this medical cream designed to treat your dog.

What is Fluorouracil cream that is used in cancer treatment?

Fluorouracil is also known as Fluoroplex, Efudex or Carac. The toxic medication goes by the scientific name 5-fluourouracil and is capable of abolishing fast dividing cancer cells along with other ill-effects threatening the life of your dog.

The drug is proven safe and effective if used as directed. The problem is that many Dogs access the tube of cream and ingest the ingredients which are highly toxic. The dog gets sick immediately with results likely to be fatal for pets of smaller size. However, the larger breeds can experience adverse effects of the lethal cream. After consumption, your dog may be vomiting or experience a seizure, or worse.

It is not entirely clear as to the cause of the severe toxicosis in dogs that have been exposed to fluorouracil, but studies suggest that 5-fluourouracil breaks down into what is known as fluorocitrate that causes convulsions and cerebral ataxia. It is crucial that pet owners keep this and all medications out of the reach of their dogs.

The FDA also warns that the medicated cancer cream is also toxic to cats.

Monitoring a pet from consuming skin cream used in cancer treatment

Following the warnings set forth by the FDA, another concern is self-ingestion of the medical cream. After application of the fluorouracil cream on your pet’s affected areas, it is not uncommon for a dog to lick itself in an attempt to remove it.

If the treatable area is where a pet can reach and lick, you are advised to contact your vet for options that would be safe for your dog, such as an Elizabethan collar. Treatment for your pet should not come with side effects that could be fatal.