Gorilla Glue toxicity is a very serious problem, and can rapidly end your companion’s life. Many people are not aware that this common household item could pose a health risk for their pets.
Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane material that is activated with moisture. Diphenylmethane Diisocyanate (MDI) is the active ingredient. When triggered, the foaming action allows this product to expand as needed to fill empty space as it cures. This is wonderful if you are using it for the intended purpose of holding items together; however, the results are hugely detrimental when Gorilla Glue is accidentally ingested by a curious canine.
As the sweet material is ingested and activated, it rapidly grows into a large mass, often expanding to the borders of the stomach. The acidity and warmth of this environment make this happen very quickly; and heat is produced during the reaction. The hardened material prevents food from entering or exiting the stomach. It typically can’t be vomited because it is too big to pass through the esophagus. As little as 2 ounces can cause a blockage in a medium sized dog.
Symptoms can occur shortly after ingestion; but may take up to 24 hours to develop depending on how much product was consumed. Poor appetite and vomiting are the most typical signs. Canines may also show low energy and appear restless.
This toxicity is diagnosed based on the history of potential exposure, symptoms, and radiographs. Abdominal films can indicate a large space occupying mass in the stomach. Sometimes barium is needed to highlight the foreign body.
Surgery is the only treatment, and should be done as soon as possible. The glue is not digestible; and vomiting can’t and shouldn’t be induced at any time because it is worse to have this expanding material trapped in the esophagus or accidentally aspirated into the airways. The longer it is present, the more irritation that occurs along the stomach lining. Ulceration is a possibility, as are thermal burns. A ruptured stomach is also a potential if a large quantity of glue is consumed.
If you suspect your pet has ingested Gorilla Glue or another type of rapidly expanding adhesive, take him or her to your veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible.