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Pets and Adhesives

From the ASPCA newsletter:

STICKY SITUATIONS: 740% INCREASE IN CASES OF PETS INGESTING POLYURETHANE GLUE Imagine this scenario: a young boxer pup chews open a tube of polyurethane glue, accidentally left out when his owners were doing home repairs. The pup swallows some of the glue, and the next morning, he refuses breakfast and begins vomiting. His swollen abdomen seems tender to the touch. The concerned owners rush their pet to the local animal hospital, where they discover a large mass in the pup’s stomach. Surgery is required to remove the 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 has managed more than 135 cases involving exposure to adhesives containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate. But what’s more astounding? This number represents an increase of more than 740 percent since 2002! Whether this is due to the growing popularity of do-it-yourself projects, or to the increased use of this kind of adhesive, the importance of alerting pet owners is clear.

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,” explains the APCC’s Dr. Steven Hansen, Senior Vice President and board-certified veterinary toxicologist. “This mass can block the gastrointestinal tract and cause a life-threatening surgical emergency.”

As diphenylmethane diisocyanate may not always be listed on the label, pet owners should consider any expanding adhesive product a potential hazard, and should take care to keep these products out of their animal companions’ reach.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested adhesive containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate—or any other potentially dangerous substance—call your veterinarian or the APCC's emergency hotline at (888) 426-4435 for round-the-clock telephone assistance. For more pet poison prevention tips, please
visit APCC online.

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