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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 25 October 2008 Issue

Home Improvement: Keep Your Pet Safe from Toxic Glues

As do-it-yourself home improvement projects become more popular, pet parents may unwittingly expose their furry friends to dangerous tools and tricks of the trade. One such product is polyurethane glue, a water resistant adhesive that’s a favorite of woodworkers, but especially toxic to dogs and cats.

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), pet poisonings from wood glues—and other adhesives containing the substance diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI)—are pervasive. In the last twelve months, the APCC has treated nearly 100 cases of pets who’ve ingested expanding glues. Of those incidents, 98% involved dogs and 78% were evaluated at high or medium risk for developing severe, life-threatening clinical effects.

Polyurethane glue—also known by brand names like Gorilla Glue and Elmer’s Pro-Bond—is prized for its ability to bond tightly to wood. If eaten, however, the glue expands in the stomach’s warm, moist environment and forms a softball-sized lump. A dog who eats even a small amount of MDI-based adhesive can experience severe gastrointestinal problems resulting in blockages. This disturbing scenario most often requires emergency surgery to remove the mass.

Pet parents should treat any expanding adhesive as a potential hazard, since the offending chemical MDI is not always listed on product labels. Like all toxic household products, wood glue should be stored in a secure cabinet to prevent your furry beloveds from coming into contact with it. If you suspect your pet has ingested polyurethane glue, please call your vet or the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline at (888) 426-4435. And for more information about keeping your pet safe, check out our accessible guide to a poison-free home.

Info. from: ASPCA

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