The unspoken danger of 5-FU

The unspoken danger of 5-FU

Chances are, you’ve heard of human medications that can be life-threatening to pets. But others fly under the radar until it’s too late.

One of those is fluorouracil, or 5-FU, a chemotherapeutic ointment used to treat certain skin cancers and other skin diseases in people. Even licking small amounts of 5-FU can damage a dog’s digestive tract, bone marrow and neurologic system. Once a pooch develops tremors, unsteadiness and seizures, it’s too late to save him.

To make matters worse, most physicians don’t know how toxic 5-FU is to dogs, so they don’t warn their patients. The package information and pharmacy handouts don’t carry warnings, either.

But the danger is very real. A 13-pound puppy only needs to eat one-eighth an inch of 5-FU ointment to die from the effects. So, take notice and spread the word.

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