What happens when your pet swallows Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue

We’ve all seen the commercials advertising the amazing strength and adhesive quality of Gorilla Glue. Gorilla Glue is terrific for its purpose, but did you realize it can be a major danger to your pet’s health?

The active ingredient in Gorilla Glue is diphenylmethane diisocyanate. This chemical is not exclusive to Gorilla Glue. It can be found in numerous glue products. Diisocyanate products polymerize and form a hard foam adhesive. It also expands multiple times and becomes much larger than its original volume.

It is this expansile nature of the glue that causes the problem. If ingested, in the warm, acidic, watery environment of the stomach, the reaction can be almost violent. Rapidly, the glue will start to enlarge, taking on the form of the stomach cavity. It also becomes hard. This large, hard object cannot pass through the stomach or the small intestines, leading to a complete blockage.

Initially, vomiting is the only clinical sign. It usually occurs after eating or drinking. If this goes on for any length of time, loss of appetite, lethargy and abdominal pain will occur. Dehydration is also a concern.

The consolidated foam from the glue reaction is non-digestible, so inducing vomiting to expel it is not beneficial. It could also lead to obstruction in the esophagus, which is even more difficult to deal with. Giving fluids such as water or milk only make matters worse, as this increases the expansion of the glue. And giving a bulk diet to push the glue through has been unsuccessful due to the large size of the glue foam.

The treatment of choice, or rather the only treatment, is surgical removal of the foam mass.

The good news is that with surgery, prognosis is excellent. Plus, you get a lovely glue mold of the stomach!