Steroid creams, both over the counter and prescription, are a common item in many medicine cabinets. These creams are bought and prescribed to treat a number of skin conditions that cause inflammation. And they’re relatively safe; steroid creams have been around for over 50 years.
Types of Steroid Creams
There are several types of steroid creams including:
These types of medications work to keep cells from producing inflammatory chemicals that are released by the body for different reasons including allergies. Each type of cream is also available in different strengths.
Steroid creams are also used in veterinary medicine to treat animals that have developed different types of skin inflammation.
What to Do If Your Dog Eats Steroid Cream
If your dog accidentally eats steroid cream, he should be OK in most cases. He may suffer some digestive tract issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. The symptoms should pass in a day or two.
However, if you’re worried, then we recommend calling the vet to get their advice and guidance on what you should do.
5-Fluorouracil Poisoning in Dogs
There is a steroid cream that can be toxic to dogs and this is called 5-fluorouracil cream. Symptoms of this type of poisoning include:
- Vomiting (can include blood)
- Excessive salivation
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea (may contain blood)
- Blue mucus membranes (indicates low oxygen levels)
- Difficulty breathing
- Cardiac arrhythmias
If you suspect or know your dog has eaten this type of steroid cream, then call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.
One More Danger—Steroid Cream Packaging
One more concern about steroid creams and dogs is that a dog may eat the cream and the packaging. Steroid creams are usually packaged in plastic tubes. The problem is if the dog bites off a portion of the tube, and this piece is sharp, it could cause tears in the stomach and intestinal lining.
If a dog has eaten most of the tube, then the plastic can make it into the intestines where it can become stuck. When this happens, an intestinal blockage develops, which is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
You’ll need to call the vet immediately if your fur baby’s eaten most of the steroid cream packaging.
Dogs love to eat almost anything that seems like food, so keep all medications stored in a place that’s out of reach for your dog (and young kids).