I received the following letter from Dr. Benjamin Otten, DVM, a veterinarian from the Contra Costa Veterinary Emergency Center.
It’s a must read for all dog owners.
Just before July 4th weekend, a family adopted a young male border collie dog named Jack from the shelter. Although Jack was about 1½ years old, he was still a very rambunctious and energetic dog. Jack had never missed a meal since he’d been introduced to his new household. In addition to his energy, Jack was still very puppy-like, and the owners mentioned that Jack had already eaten numerous items from around the house, including socks, but that the items had always passed without incident.
The family brought Jack to the Contra Costa Veterinary Emergency Center (CCVEC) because they awoke to find a partially empty bottle of a polyurethane adhesive construction glue (Gorilla Glue) with the top half chewed off the bottle, with glue dried and stuck to the grass — the rest of the top of the bottle couldn’t be found. In the yard was a large pile of foamy vomitous, and usually energetic Jack was very lethargic. He didn’t want to move, and completely refused food.
In the exam room, Jack was more like his normal hyper self, which made the physical exam challenging, and more difficult to convince owners that radiographs of Jack’s stomach were a necessity to confirm that the small, round, hard area I felt in his cranial abdomen was indeed a problem.
Jack was given a sedative (Torbegesic) to facilitate the radiographs, and a single lateral radiograph of his abdomen demonstrated my worst fear: Jack’s stomach was completely distended with partially dense foreign material. The small hard object I was feeling was the pyloric region, made more prominent by the distended stomach. This view was compared to a radiograph made with the remaining glue product brought in by the owner, and a similar radiographic structure was seen.
I discussed the radiographic findings, the nature of the product Jack had ingested, and the recommendation for immediate surgical exploration. Unfortunately, the owners could not access funds immediately for emergency surgery, so we contacted CareCredit, a healthcare funding source for problems not covered by insurance — including emergency veterinary services. The client was approved, and Veterinary Surgical Associates (VSA) performed surgery. Within the hour a large mass of solidified glue and food material was peeled from the folds of Jack’s stomach. Closure and recovery went well.
Jack was returned to CCVEC for post-surgical care, and was eating ravenously within 12 hours. He was released within 12 hours, with tranquilizers and pain medication to be administered for two weeks.
Jack is at home and back to his interesting eating habits (socks, other stuff), but all glue products have been removed from his home.
Dr. Benjamin Otten, DVM, Contra Costa Veterinary Emergency Center
Keep ALL glues locked up and away from dogs, pets and kids! /Gary