The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning pet parents, veterinarians, and health care professionals about the danger posed to pets by topical pain medications containing the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Flurbiprofen. Exposure to even a small amount of these topical medications (commonly used to treat muscle or joint pain in people) can be deadly for pets.
The FDA has received reports of feline illnesses in two households. Two cats in one household suffered from kidney failure and were able to recover with veterinary care. Two cats in the second household died of NSAID toxicity.
According to the FDA, “The pet owners had applied the cream or lotion to their own neck or feet, and not directly to the pet, and it is not known exactly how the cats became exposed to the medication.”
There have been no reports of canine illness related to topical Flurbiprofen medications, but the FDA warns that dogs may be vulnerable to toxicity as well.
Pet owners with flurbiprofen medications in their homes should take the following precautions:
- Store medications safely out of reach from pets.
- Avoid leaving medication residue on furniture, clothing, or flooring.
- Discuss with your doctor whether or not it’s appropriate to cover the medicated area.
- If you know your pet has been exposed to a topical flurbiprofen medication, immediately bathe your pet and consult with a veterinarian. Be sure to report any signs of lethargy, appetite loss, or vomiting.
Please visit the FDA’s website for more information.