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Gorilla Glue poses danger to dogs
March 6, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY -- Dogs have discovered Gorilla glue to be quite appetizing. But when it's ingested it suddenly grows into a huge, ugly alien inside their bodies.

Gorilla Glue is a great bonding material. You can buy it in any hardware-lumber store, variety store, even craft shops. People who do a lot of handy work love this stuff, but so do dogs.

The glue has the consistency of honey, and for dogs has a somewhat sweet overlay. When a Murray Labrador named Ruby lapped it up, she got sick.

"We couldn't figure out what was going on. We'd been watching her and watching her for two weeks sort of going downhill," Ruby's owner, Jane Rice, said.

"The initial surprise was the dramatic X-ray. I could not believe that the stomach was full of whatever it was," said Dr. Eric Belnap of Redwood Veterinary Hospital.

Whatever it was, was a large, hardened mass in Ruby's stomach, and it had to be surgically removed. Belnap said it was almost like a Nerf football. "I was in shock. It looked like a big piece of lava rock," he said.

The glue slipped through Ruby's mouth and down the throat. But inside the stomach, it reacted with hydrochloric acid and grew into a huge mass. Apparently the glue was so appetizing she had eaten most of it, burying the remains in her favorite backyard spot.

"She had buried the bottle, and my husband had found it coming up out of the ground," Rice said.

That's all in the past now. Ruby is alive and well, fully recovered, with no apparent side effects.

Ruby's initial symptoms, within the first few days after eating the adhesive, included vomiting and a loss of appetite. Veterinarians suggest owners keep Gorilla Glue high up away from a dog's view.

More tips to keep your pets safe

As we head toward warmer weather, safety hazards for your pets abound, both inside and out. Ordinary objects in your home and yard can be a serious threat.

Temma Martin with the Utah Animal Adoption Center warns pet owners, especially new pet owners, that dangers can be found all around the home and "pet proofing" is a must.

"Be very cautious about accessible wires and giving (your pets) people food," she suggests. "And there's always some new product people are just bringing into their homes that we're discovering could be dangerous. Sadly, it can go beyond just common sense."

Here are some tips to keeping your pets safe:

  • Keep Your Pet's Eating and Sleeping Areas Tidy

  • Cleaners
    If you use a product that contains ammonia to clean up your pet's urine, you won't be able to smell remaining odors, but your pet will! In fact, ammonia-based cleaners can actually attract pets and encourage them to urinate where they've made mistakes before. Instead, have on-hand a special enzymatic cleaner specifically made for cleaning up pet messes—all major pet stores carry them. For best results, be sure to follow the directions on the product label.

  • Grooming

  • Animal-Friendly Decor
    Here are some fun ways to spruce up your home for your companion animals:

  • And remember to increase your pet's roaming privileges slowly, room by room. Going from restriction to complete freedom can set a pet up to fail.

    Adapted from articles by Jacque Lynn Schultz, Director, ASPCA Companion Animals Program Advisor, and Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Senior Vice President, ASPCA National Program Office.