Glue Toxicities in Dogs – An Expanding Problem

Dogs Ingesting Polyurethane Glue is on the Rise

Dogs Ingesting polyurethane glue is on the rise, in fact there has been a 309% Increase in expanding glue ingestion cases since 2002!

Imagine this scenario: a young Boxer puppy chews open a tube of polyurethane glue, accidentally left out by his owners who were using it to do repairs on their home, and swallows some of its contents. The next morning to his owners’ surprise, the Boxer refuses his breakfast, and begins vomiting. The puppy’s abdomen appears swollen and seems tender to the touch. The bewildered owners take their pet to the local animal hospital, where they discover a large mass in the puppy’s stomach, and rush him into surgery to remove it. After the successful procedure, the shocked owners are told the mass was a softball-sized lump of expanded and solidified polyurethane glue.

Unfortunately, this scenario has played out many times all across the country. Since 2005, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has managed more than 135 cases involving exposures to expanding adhesives containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate. More astounding is that this number represents an increase of more than 309% in expanding glue cases since 2002.

“Any number of factors could be contributing to the increase, including the growing popularity of do-it-yourself projects or the increased use of this type of adhesive,” states Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice-President and board-certified veterinary toxicologist for the ASPCA APCC. “Whatever the reason, due to the rising number of cases, the importance of alerting companion animal owners to the dangers of expanding polyurethane glue products is clear.”

As diphenylmethane diisocyanate may not always be listed on the label, pet owners should consider any expanding adhesive product a potential hazard, and should be especially careful in keeping such products out of the reach of their pets.

“A dog consuming even small amounts of adhesive containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate can experience serious problems as the product expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach, forming a porous mass of glue,” says Dr. Hansen. “This mass can block the gastrointestinal tract and cause a life-threatening surgical emergency.”

And as with any potentially harmful substance, should an accidental exposure occur, it is important to contact a local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for immediate assistance.

Please Note: Due to a statistical calculation error, the percent increase in cases from 2002 to 2005 was found to be incorrect. The actual increase in cases from 2002 to 2005 is 309%. We regret the error, and any unintentional misrepresentation of information it may have caused.