When it comes to our pets, we want nothing more than for them to live long, healthy, and happy lives. We want them to get to experience all of the love and care we can provide to them, and the thought that we could cause them any harm is something none of us want to think about.
However, the problem is that while we always have the best intentions, some of the things we do can negatively impact our pets in some really big ways.
The latest warning actually comes from the FDA, and it's something all pet owners need to be extremely cautious of.
Experts are warning that topical pain relief creams can be a huge risk to pets, even when not directly applied to them. This notice comes after one woman discovered first hand how much issues these creams can cause after her cat nearly died after ingesting the smallest amount.
Denise Jones had used a topical pain relief cream, as so many of us do, and went about her day. She didn't think much of it when her cat, Archer, started to lick at her fingers, but then days later Archer was vomiting non-stop and had to be admitted to the animal hospital.
The topical pain relief creams contained a higher concentration of the same anti-inflammatory drug found in popular creams like Voltaren. Even the small amount that the cat had licked off her fingers had been enough to cause kidney failure in the cat.
Drugs like ibuprofen are toxic to pets, but there are no warnings written on any of these creams. It wasn't even like the cat had eaten an entire tube of it either, it was just what hadn't been absorbed into the skin.
Jones was terrified as her cat remained in the animal hospital for five days, and couldn't believe that she didn't know how dangerous these creams were to animals. “It’s not something you think about,” she said. "You keep your medications away from kids, but I didn’t think about cats.”
Veterinarian Dan Schlesinger warned that topical creams of all kinds can greatly impact our pets. "As people use more and more of these creams, I think we’ll see more toxicities and it’s not just the n-saids, it’s the hormonal creams people use, it’s the Vitamin D creams people use for psoriasis."
While these creams are safe for us, we need to be incredibly careful to wash our hands thoroughly after using them and making sure our pets do not come into contact with them. They tend to affect cats more dramatically than dogs, but both can still suffer terrible side-effects.
There is no association or government body currently responsible for verifying that these drugs are safe for animals, so even if there is no warning, if your vet doesn't prescribe it don't let your pet eat it.
The FDA recommends the following to keep your pets safe if you use topic creams:
- Store medications out of reach of pets.
- Properly clean any kind of applicators used, clothing, or furniture that may have reside on it as pets may get into it.
- Ask your doctor about potential risks to animals when they recommend a product.
- If your pet is exposed to the cream, give them a thorough bath and consult a vet as soon as possible because even a small amount can be deadly.
- If there are signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, or any unusual behavior and seek treatment immediately.