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Dangers of waterproof glues around dogs

  • Waterproof glues used for home DIY can form solid masses in the stomach if eaten by pets
  • Products contain polyurethane and can expand by up to 50 times the original volume on contact with air
  • At least three dogs have fallen ill in the UK after eating the glue which formed large obstructions in their stomachs, requiring surgery

Dog owners are being warned about the dangers of waterproof glues after several cases of pets eating the substance and needing major surgery.

Products containing polyurethane, commonly used for home improvements, are water activated and expand to form a strong foam bond between materials like wood, stone and metal.

But at least three dogs in the UK have fallen seriously ill after eating the glue which then swelled and formed large obstructions in their stomachs.

A warning has now been issued by Veterinary Poisons Information Service, citing three cases which have been reported to the organisation.

They include an eight-month-old cocker spaniel in Suffolk which chewed through a tube of the glue but appeared well until a week later. A solid lump was discovered in its stomach and had to be removed through surgery.

Puncturing a container of the glue causes it to expand on contact with air up to 50 times its original volume, so even a small amount is potentially dangerous if eaten.

In the incidents which have been reported, all of the pets went on to make a full recovery.

If anyone suspects their pet might have swallowed any glue, they should:

  • Contact their vet straight away
  • Watch for any signs of obstruction such as retching, vomiting, loss of appetite or a distended stomach.
  • Avoid giving you dog water for at least three hours as it can increase the size of the mass

Once the glue has expanded and set it is no longer dangerous, unless a large lump is eaten. 

Read more about other hidden dangers to dogs here.

— Page last updated 23/09/2016