Believe It Or Not

 Expanding polyurethane adhesiveOne sticky situation. As a veterinarian in a busy practice, I see many interesting cases. I learn so much from my experiences and I think other people can too. Here's one such case.

Puppy and Gorilla Glue. An 8-month-old puppy came into Pulaski Animal Hospital with vomiting. The owner said that two days before, the puppy ate a small amount of glue called “Gorilla Glue.” The glue comes in 2-ounce bottles and there was about half of the glue left in the chewed bottle.

Symptoms. On examination, the dog was alert and stable, but she was in pain when I felt her belly. I was also able to feel a round mass in her stomach. We did an X-ray of the abdomen and found a round filled stomach. The picture would have looked normal if the dog had just eaten a large meal, but she did not have anything to eat for at least 14 hours.

Expanding polyurethane adhesive. Not having any experience with this type of glue ingestion, I went online and obtained information on the glue. This type of glue is an expanding polyurethane adhesive. It forms an expanding ball in the stomach. The warm and wet environment of the stomach aids expansion. This glue is not toxic, but it is harmful because of its foreign-body formation.

Expanding polyurethane adhesiveOptions? When dogs eat other harmful things, we usually recommend vomiting or dilution of the products.  With this glue, we don’t recommend either as the foreign body forms within minutes of ingestion. Vomiting can cause an obstruction in the esophagus and liquid allows more rapid formation of the glue ball by giving the adhesive something to absorb.

Therapy. The only treatment for this problem is surgical removal. We had to go into the stomach and chip out the Styrofoam-like ball that was size of a large cantaloupe. The owner watched her puppy closely after ingestion of the glue and brought the dog in before she was too sick. The surgery took about 2 hours. 

Do not wait! Although this puppy did well for 2 days without treatment, some won’t. It depends on the amount of glue absorbed and the dog’s response to it. Consult your veterinarian as soon as you learn your pet has eaten glue.

Prevention. As we know, puppies will eat almost anything they find. As responsible owners, we must prepare their living environment so they will not be exposed to harmful substances.

Dr. Angelica Bialek