FDA Warns Topical Drug Poses Toxic Risk to Cats

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about pets’ exposure to a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug after reports of deaths and illness in cats. Their owners had applied flurbiprofen cream or lotion to their own neck or feet to treat pain.

Two cats in one household developed kidney failure and recovered with veterinary care. Two cats in a second household became ill and died despite treatment after developing loss of appetite, lethargy, dilute urine, vomiting and black, bloody stools. A third cat in the second household died after the owner had stopped the medication. Veterinarians who performed necropsies on the three cats found evidence consistent with NSAID toxicity in the kidneys and intestines.

The FDA warns that even very small amounts of flurbiprofen can be dangerous to animals, and while it hasn’t received reports of dogs becoming ill as a result of exposure to the drug, they may also be vulnerable.