With multiple uses ranging from house projects to crafts, glues and adhesives are mainstays in most households. Depending on the particular type of glue/adhesive and type of exposures, these products can be harmful to your pet.

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Instant glues, like Super Glue or Krazy Glue, are cyanoacrylate glues/adhesives. Ingestion or dermal exposures of these glues are easily treated in most circumstances. Mild skin or intestinal inflammation can occur quickly after exposure. If a significant amount is ingested, vomiting may occur.

High-strength glues, like Gorilla Glue, are referred to as diisocyanate glues. These glues are considered nontoxic but ingestion can be dangerous due to expansion of the glue. This growth can lead to foreign body obstruction, a dangerous situation that often requires surgical intervention to remove. Ingestion of just 1-2 teaspoons may be enough to cause obstruction. Vomiting, lethargy, a stomach firm to the touch, or abdominal distention are all signs that a gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction has occurred. If an obstruction is left untreated, gastric rupture can occur.

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Rubbery, water-soluble glues (like the popular line of Elmer’s school glue products) are classified as polyvinyl acetate glues. These glues may cause minor gastrointestinal inflammation but are not usually a major toxicosis concern.

References:
– Lubich C, Mrvos R, Krenzelok EP. Beware of canine Gorilla glue ingestions. Vet Human Toxicol 2004; 153-154.
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com