Gorilla Glue Danger
Bridgette, a 1 year old female spayed Airedale Terrier, presented to our emergency service after a known ingestion of Gorilla Brand Premium Glue. The dog had ingested the glue about 90 minutes prior to presentation. Physical exam was fairly normal. The dog had glue on her fur around the mouth and paws. The dog was also retching periodically. Digital radiographs revealed a large radiopaque mottled mass with gastric dilation. A diagnosis of Gorilla Glue foreign body obstruction was made based on the history and radiographs. She was taken to surgery and recovered well following her gastrotomy. The contaminated fur was shaved from her mouth and paws. She was discharged two days after her surgery.
Diagnosis of a foreign body caused by Gorilla Glue is often by history of possible ingestion combined with radiography. If enough glue is ingested the mass can sometimes be palpated in the stomach. The large foreign bodies do not dissolve in the digestive tract and must be removed surgically if they are too large to pass through the small intestine. Induction of emesis is never recommended because of the possibility of esophageal damage or aspiration of the glue into the lungs.
Bridgette continues to do well four months after surgery. She is back to acting like a normal, energetic young dog.
The active ingredient in gorilla glue, diphenylmethane diisocyanate, is also found in Elmer's Probond. When combined with water the glue foams to approximately 4 times its original size and hardens within a few minutes. The warm, acid environment of the stomach intensifies this reaction and even a small amount of glue can form a large foreign body. The resulting "cyano-bezoar" often fills the entire stomach. If left in place the large, firm foreign body can cause mucosal ulceration as well as gastrointestinal obstruction.