A Warning on Human Skin Cancer Cream

The Food and Drug Administration is warning owners, veterinarians, healthcare providers and pharmacists of the risk of pets’ illness and death associated with the topical human cancer medication fluorouracil.

Initial reports cited the death of five dogs who accidentally ingested the prescription cream, which is also sold as Carac, Efudex and Fluoroplex. While the FDA has yet to receive reports involving cats, the agency expects cats to be extremely sensitive to the cream, which is used to treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths. If an owner applies the cream and touches his cat, the cat may accidentally ingest it when grooming.

The FDA recommends that cloths or applicators be cleaned or safely discarded to avoid leaving residue on hands and clothing. If you or someone in your household uses topical medications containing fluorouracil and your cat becomes exposed, consult a veterinarian immediately.