Are they toxic or not?

Are they toxic or not?

The Animal Poisons Helpline is often phoned regarding pets that have ingested topical pharmaceutical products. These may include creams, ointments, lotions, and foams. Whilst most of these exposures do not lead to significant harm, the risk of poisoning is highly dependent on the product and amount ingested.

Some topical medications, such as 5-fluorouracil, calcipotriol, and minoxidil are considered much higher risk. These substances can be found in products used to treat solar keratosis, psoriasis, and hair loss respectively. Pets that ingest these products can develop severe or life-threatening effects even following small ingestions.

To prevent poisoning, please store all medications well out of reach of your pets. Do not allow your pets to lick skin that has been recently treated with topical medications. Pet owners using 5-fluorouracil, calcipotriol or minoxidil should be particularly cautious in this regard.

If your pet has ingested something they should not have, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for advice. The Animal Poisons Helpline provides a free service for all pet owners in Australia and New Zealand, and we can rapidly determine if your pet requires immediate veterinary assessment or can be observed at home.

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