A new warning has been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and this one is for cat owners. It's about topical analgesics that are for humans that can be fatal if your cat comes in contact with them.
Your cat is at risk if exposed to topical pain medications containing the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) flurbiprofen. People using these medications, should use care when applying them in a household with pets, as even very small amounts could be dangerous to these animals.
Two households have reported that their cats became sick or died after their owners used topical meds that contained flurbiprofen on themselves, not their cats.They had applied the lotion or the cream to their own neck or feet, hoping for relief from muscle pain and stiffness. They did not apply it directly on their pets. Nobody knows how the pets became exposed.
The products contained the NSAID flurbiprofen and the muscle relaxer cyclobenzaprine, as well as other active ingredients, including baclofen, gabapentin, lidocaine, or prilocaine.
One household had some scary moments with two of their cats, they developed kidney failure. They were nursed back to health after having to go to their vet. Another family was not so fortunate. Their two cats lost their appetite and became very lethargic. They started vomiting and developed melena (black, tarry, bloody stools), anemia, and had diluted urine.
Even though these cats went to their vet and were treated, they died. A third cat in the second household also died after the owner had stopped using the medication. Autopsies found they had poisoning that was consistent with NSAID toxicity.
The FDA recommends that you take these precautions:
- Wash your hands and your clothing keeping all residue away from your pets.
- Keep your meds up and out of the way of your pets.
- Ask your vet and your doctor before you apply any ointment to see if it can harm your pet just from having contact with it.
- If you are using topical medications containing flurbiprofen and your pet becomes exposed, bathe or clean your pet as thoroughly as possible and consult a veterinarian.
Be aware even though there has not been any warning of toxicity to dogs, they could be vulnerable as well.
This warning is also extended to veterinarians to take note of patients that show signs that they have come in contact with household medicines that contain flurbiprofen.
Pharmacists that fill prescriptions need to make sure they advise patients of what the adverse reactions can be to pets.
Pet owners and veterinarians can also report any adverse effects to the FDA.