Super Glue Toxicity (Super glue Ingestion) in Cats
Super glue is a common household item kept in kitchens and offices. Super glue is not among the top animal poisons, but cats may be exposed causing questions about their toxicity. There are several types of glue including white glue, super glue and expandable glues. The most toxic of these glues are the expandable glues.
The most common ingredients in super glues are ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate 50 100%, poly (methylmethacrylate 2-30%). These ingredients cause rapid strong non-expandable adhesion upon contact with another surface.
Cats of all age, breed and sex can be exposed. Cats are more frequently exposed by getting glue on their fur and subsequently oral exposure from grooming. The most common problem associated with super glue ingestion is mild oral irritation.
What to Watch For
Signs will depend on the part of the body exposed and may include:
- Shaking head
- Pawing at mouth
- Coughing, gagging
- Lack of appetite (anorexia)
- Squinting, pawing at eye, tearing, red eye with eye exposure
- Presence of dried glue on fur, paws, ear, eye, etc.
Diagnosing super glue ingestion can be difficult unless you witnessed the ingestion or exposure. If the animal vomits, the vomitus may contain bits of the super glue that may be clear and impossible to see but may be smelled (odor of glue).
Physical examination may reveal chemical odor to the breath or to the skin or the presence of glue on the fur. Irritation may be seen in the mouth and throat.
Blood work including a complete blood count and biochemical profile may be recommended in patients that are depressed and vomiting.
Most exposures to super glue do not require treatment and signs are generally mild. Gastrointestinal foreign bodies are possible if the tube itself is ingested which is relatively uncommon in cats.
- If a small amount of super glue is ingested, no treatment is needed. The animal should be kept calm and quiet to prevent vomiting. Treatment and recommendations will depend on area of exposure.