Gorilla Glue’s Dangers To Dogs

Gorilla Glue is dangerous to dogs in its uncured state.

We woodworkers use a lot of Gorilla Glue. Here you can see the enlarging, foaming action on the project as well as on the old credit card used to spread the uncured glue.

We woodworkers use a lot of Gorilla Glue. Here you can see the enlarging, foaming action on the project as well as on the old credit card used to spread the uncured glue.

It still has not been established why dogs are attracted to it. Cats, as one might guess, have better sense.

Some readers may not be familiar with Gorilla Glue. It is categorized as a polyurethane adhesive. An excellent technical description is available by clicking here.

There are a number of brands of polyurethane adhesive, Gorilla Glue is the one best-known.

Polyurethane glues have a unique characteristic in that they expand when they come in contact with water. Indeed, users are directed to apply Gorilla Glue to one dry surface and to moisten the joining surface before clamping. Moisture initiates the curing process.

What happens next is where the danger lies upon ingestion. Polyurethane adhesives foam up two or more times their uncured size during the curing process.

Polyurethane adhesives are excellent for outdoor projects like this mitered fence corner.

Polyurethane adhesives are excellent for outdoor projects like this mitered fence corner.

Dogs like to chew on the containers Gorilla Glue comes in. Upon puncturing the bottle with their teeth, the raw glue is exposed. Because the material has a pleasing taste to dogs, they don’t just continue to chew the container, but actually swallow the glue.

Of course, saliva and gastric juices provide moisture to activate the glue. Affected dogs can present with foamy, cured glue in the hair around their mouths. However, it is their repeated, unsuccessful attempts to vomit that usually trigger concern for pet owners. Vomiting ensues because of the polyurethane glue’s enlarging nature, which usually fills the interior of the stomach. The glue is not digestible, and results in blockage of the intestinal tract.

TREATMENT OF POLYURETHANE ADHESIVE INGESTION

Induction of vomiting is contraindicated in polyurethane adhesive ingestion. Interestingly, Gorilla Glue’s MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) indicates that a “call a doctor, ambulance or seek veterinarian assistance immediately.” (italics mine) There must be a lot of dogs eating this stuff!

Here you can easily see the foaming action. Dogs may also ingest polyurethane glues when in use, such as glue dripping from this vertical project.

Here you can easily see the foaming action. Dogs may also ingest polyurethane glues when in use, such as glue dripping from this vertical project.

In addition, if a patient aspirated (breathed into the lungs) polyurethane glue during vomition, the prognosis would become much more grave.

Instead, surgical removal is needed. Gastrotomy, surgical incision of the stomach. almost always leads to successful removal of the foreign material and full recovery for the patient. Fortunately, this glue does not adhere to the lining of the GI tract, so the surgery is much like the extraction of any other gastric foreign body, except that this one forms a “cast” of the inside of the stomach. Long-term sequella are typically not reported.

As always, prevention is far superior to treatment. Keep polyurethane adhesives, and all chemicals, out of reach of children and pets. I keep mine well away from Willie.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

9 comments

  1. Prudence Brown says:

    I am thinking of buying w homemade wood dog bed that uses gorilla glue, It it safe to buy?

    • Yes, in fact, the photos I used in this article are from the fence that encloses our dogs. Once Gorilla Glue is cured, there is no danger factor. As you can see from the pictures, it foams significantly as it cures. I suggest that, if there is any cured glue that foamed out and didn’t get scraped off, you do that before allowing your pet to use the bed. Good luck, and thanks for reading, Dr. Randolph.

  2. Des says:

    Is it safe to fix a dog’s toy using Gorilla Glue? It’s my dog’s favorite toy, but if there’s any risk, I will just go get her a new one. Thanks!

  3. Kaylee Berry says:

    My dog got into some gorilla glue, and there is now a glob of it stuck to his upper lip, right under his nose. We are so lucky he didn’t ingest it, but we can tell he is in pain and we have no idea how to get the glue off. HELP!!

    • Cured polyurethane glue is pretty inert. About the only way to get it off of hands is let it wear off. I don’t think it’s going to do any harm in the hair, but you should be able to take him to a groomer and have the hair gently and carefully clipped from under the glue. Let us know how that works.

  4. rose barrett says:

    Two days ago, our family shown victim to Gorilla Glue injestion by pet. There are no resources available that would aid us to proceed with surgery. If there are products out there whose manufacturer will add a counteracting ingredient to detour pets from otherwise being attracted to investing, wouldn’t it be a right to challenging this corporation to, seeing how their current awareness of its problematic they display right there on its label? And, seeing how their reccomend to seeing doctor will only evolve to a greater cost of medical surgery lest fatal cost, shouldn’t it be for them to gain?

  5. malinda says:

    My dog got in the Gorilla Glue. My husband was gluing a broom and not knowing how much. She punctures the bottle and it was gooey and that was a week ago. The last two days she is vomiting up brown mucus and won’t eat her food. She had all hard glue on the bottom of her chin and we shaved all under her bottom lip. What should we do or be concerned about?

    • Malinda, the usual progression of events is vomiting caused by gastric and/or intestinal blockage. If your dog is vomiting, he needs to go to an animal ER or see his regular veterinarian on an emergency basis. At the very least, you need to talk with his regular doctor and get his opinion on your next step. I quote from our article on polyurethane adhesive ingestion: “The glue is not digestible, and results in blockage of the intestinal tract. Induction of vomiting is contraindicated in polyurethane adhesive ingestion. Interestingly, Gorilla Glue’s MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) indicates that a “call a doctor, ambulance or seek veterinarian assistance immediately.” (italics mine).”

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