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Skin cancer cream may prove fatal for dogs

New Delhi: A skin cancer medication cream may prove harmful for dogs even in very small amounts, a study has warned.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning alerting pet owners and veterinarians that pets are at risk of illness and death when exposed to the topical cancer medication Fluorouracil Cream USP 5 per cent (5-FU) intended for use in people.

Fluorouracil may also be marketed under the brand names Carac, Effudex and Fluoroplex.

People using this medication should use care when applying and storing the medication if they are also in a household with pets, as even very small amounts could be dangerous to these animals, the FDA said.

The FDA had received reports of five dogs that became ill and died after accidentally ingesting the topical cream.

In one case, two dogs began playing with a tube of Fluorouracil and one punctured the tube before their owner could retrieve it. Within two hours, the dog that punctured the tube began vomiting, experienced seizures and died 12 hours later.