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Yikes! 5-fluorouracil Deadly for Dogs

I saw this medication warning while scrolling through FB this week, and I wanted to be sure you saw it too. It's called 5-fluorouracil is deadly for dogs and cats. It is often used for human dermatology cases, including certain forms of skin cancer. 


CORRECTION - This post has been updated (May 26, 2019). The photo has been replaced with the correct image for the medication being discussed. Our apologies for the earlier mistake. 

5-fluorouracil tube of ointment

5-fluorouracil Dermatology Cream for People, Deadly for Dogs and Cats

You can find full details about why and how it's so dangerous for dogs (and cats) in this DVM360 article. Essentially, though, 5-fluorouracil can cause the following symptoms in about 30 minutes from ingestion:

  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia (drunken walking)
  • Seizures

And, scary as crap ... 5-fluorouracil is deadly for dogs (and cats). It can cause death in as little as 6 hours. According to the article, there isn't much veterinarians can to do help a pet who has accidentally eaten some 5-fluorouracil. 

So, just a quick post today, to let you all know that if you have 5-fluorouracil medications in your home to be super, super, super, super careful that your pets don't have access to tube. And, make sure they never lick it off your skin. 

Just like human dentists recommending xylitol as a sugar substitute but not knowing or not warning people with pets that xylitol is wicked deadly for pets ... there is a good chance human dermatologists have no idea how dangerous this medication is for pets. 

So, if you have 5-fluorouracil in your house too, maybe mention it next time you see your dermatologist so that they can perhaps warn other patients to be careful before the worst happens to any of their patients' pets. 

More details on the photo correction:

The medication we have in our house is NOT the one mentioned in the article linked above or this post. Our apologies for the mix up. The 2 tubes look VERY similar. So to be clear, here are the 2 tubes side by side. 

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Michael Forsyth - June 25, 2019

Major point of clarification on this article. The picture of the tube of cream is not 5-fluorouracil. The picture is a tube of steroid cream fluocinonide. They are very very different medications.

    Roxanne Hawn - June 26, 2019

    Thank you so much for catching the error. I replaced the image with a correct one, and I included a side-by-side comparison of the tubes. I appreciate you letting me know.

Ducky's Mom - June 22, 2019

Well thankfully we don’t have any of this stuff in our house. But thanks for the warning anyway! I love Ducky “kisses”; and I’d hate to think that those “kisses” could be lethal for her. That’s one reason why I don’t even wear makeup any more.

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