30.8 C
Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

Pets dead after eating skin cancer cream

Latest News

A dumb act of STP

Council is stating that breaches of licence conditions, in part, justifies spending $10m on transferring raw sewage from Ocean...

Other News

No means no, say traditional owners

As Water Week draws to a close, with a theme of 'Caring for Water and Country', a group of Widjabul Wia-bal elders have emphatically said they do not want the Dunoon Dam proposal to be put back on the table by pro-dam councillors.

Diadem Street, Lismore

Around 2,000 residents in Lismore lost their electricity connection on Wednesday night after a large gum tree took out power lines.

Editorial: Jabby jab jab jabb

As of this week, NSW reached the double vaccination target of 80 per cent!

Egotistic rabble

Strident anti-vaxxers claim that COVID-19 vaccination violates their individual sovereignty and freedom. However, there’s not a beep from them...

Immunity

I know I’m not the only one who has joined the dots between Byron Shire having the lowest vaccination...

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.

Fluorouracil 5% topical skin cancer cream (in this instance marketed as Efudix 5%). Photo supplied.

A local vet nurse has recently been made all too aware of the toxicity for pets, of a fairly common prescription cream for humans.

Registered Veterinary Nurse Kaylene Doust, said that losing one pet can be heartbreaking, especially if they are young and their death is sudden.

‘Losing two young pets within a few days of one another is tragic.’

Ms Doust said that sadly, these were the circumstances faced by a local pet owner a few weeks ago, after her dogs accidentally ingested Fluorouracil 5% topical skin cancer cream (in this instance marketed as Efudix 5%).

‘In the early evening, soon after applying this cream to her skin from a nearly full tube, the owner left the room to answer a phone call, leaving the capped tube on a nearby coffee table. When she returned, she noticed the cream all over the blanket on the lounge and found the oldest of her three dogs had the punctured and the near empty tube in its mouth.’

The woman removed the tube and the blanket placed into the washing machine. With all three dogs yet unaffected, no clear idea of which ones were exposed, and no sense of the danger posed by ingestion of this chemical, no veterinary advice was sought at this time.

Dog having a seizure and vomiting

‘By 3am next morning the owner was woken by her 5 kg, 8-month old Mini Fox Terrier having a seizure and at this point also noticed he had been vomiting’

Veterinary opinion was sought by phone and the affected pup was presented for assessment at around 3.45 am.

Ms  Doust said the pup was displaying neurological signs that included; incoordination, uncontrolled head and body movements, dull demeanour and confused behaviour. ‘Between vet and owner, it was estimated that the little dog had ingested more than twice the invariably fatal dose of this chemical.

‘With such a dire prognosis the owner elected to euthanase.’

Later the same morning around 8am, the owner noticed her 3kg, eight-month old male Chihuahua had vomited at home. He displayed no other remarkable symptoms at this point but was presented for examination. ‘Supportive therapy was commenced at the same local veterinary hospital. By 3pm that afternoon, he too had developed profound neurological symptoms, tremors and collapse.

Pup was euthanased

‘Two and a half days later, the pup was euthanased after his condition deteriorated, despite treatment.’

Symptoms of Fluorouracil toxicity can include vomiting and diarrhoea, tremors, lethargy, incoordination, uncontrollable seizures, cellular, neurological, metabolic and bone marrow impairment.

Veterinary toxicology studies show as little as 2-3g (1/2 tspn) of Fluorouracil 5% cream can be fatal in small patients. There are recorded cases of toxic ingestion in animals after biting tubes, licking owner’s skin, and even grooming their coat after being petted by an owner who had Fluorouracil %5 cream on their hands.

Fluorouracil 5% topical cream is extremely toxic to pets if ingested, yet there are no warnings on the product or the dispensing labels. Medical practitioners and pharmacists are often unaware of the significant risk of pet toxicity. Even in veterinary circles Fluorouracil toxicity isn’t widely documented. However, young pets are known to eat surprising things.

‘While all medications should be kept out of the reach of children and pets, mistakes happen,’ said Ms Doust. ‘With an aging population in an area of high skin cancer incidence, greater awareness of the danger of Fluorouracil 5% cream to pets may help prevent this happening to others.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.

NSW Education responds to Teachers Federation over Murwillumbah Education Campus staff cuts

The NSW Education Department has responded to the NSW Teachers Federation's accusation that Education Minister Sarah Mitchell has only just revealed the extent of staff cuts at the mega school.

The Rebels and the Wraiths visit Nationals: ‘We are facing a planetary crisis’

As part of a fortnight of climate actions and protests with the Extinction Rebellion, over 30 activists visited MP Kevin Hogan’s office in Lismore yesterday pushing ghostly empty white prams.

NSW Legislative Council expresses concerns over push to burn native forests for power

The NSW Legislative Council unanimously passed a motion expressing its concerns over the growing push by industry to burn NSW native forests for electricity and hydrogen production.