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|Barked: Wed Mar 4, '09 9:39am PST |
|MARCH 4, 2009 - GORILLA GLUE HAZARD
----->The IMPORTANT part of this article is that the glue tastes good to animals.
Gorilla Glue sends 3 dogs to emergency vet
MICHAEL JUSTUS/TIMES-NEWS Dr. Fred Rosen, of Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Hospital, surgically removed dried glue moldings from the stomachs of three dogs.
By Leigh Kelley
Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:01 a.m.
FLAT ROCK - Alfred Holcombe first sensed something might be wrong with his family's dogs when his daughter came running to him holding an empty, chewed up tube of Gorilla Glue.
"She was panicking that the dogs had gotten into it and then we noticed that every time they went to take a drink, the water would come back up," the Asheville man said.
That's exactly what happened to the family's three dogs, Sophie, a beagle; Traveler, a miniature pinscher; and Panda, a Chihuahua.
Gorilla Glue, a brand of multipurpose polyurethane adhesive, is typically used in carpentry as a gap-filling wood glue. When it's ingested, it swells to many times the original size, creating a larger hardened mass.
Holcombe said he used the glue to repair some furniture. The glue tube must have fallen onto the floor and he didn't realize it.
Holcombe's worst fears were realized when his daughter, Martha Large, contacted the glue manufacturer and learned that if the animals did not get attention soon from a veterinarian, they would die. Twenty-four hours had passed between the time the dogs ate the glue and when Large discovered the empty tube under a table in the family home.
"It scared us," said the 81-year-old Holcombe. "We weren't sure what was going to happen to them."
The family immediately brought the dogs to the Western Carolina Regional Animal and Veterinary Emergency Hospital on North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock. Unfortunately, animals eating Gorilla Glue isn't unheard of, said Dr. Fred Rosen, who took care of the dogs.
"It (glue) has the consistency of honey and it tastes very sweet to them," he said, adding that Holcombe and Large's dogs were the first time he had ever encountered such a situation. "The major danger is if it gets into the small intestine, then we wouldn't have been able to peel it out. The glue sticks to everything except the lining of the stomach walls."
An X-ray of each dog's stomach showed a huge lump in an otherwise normal silhouette, indicating the position and location of the glue ball.
Rosen performed abdominal surgery on the dogs, anesthetizing them, then peeling back the edge of their stomach linings to take out the hardened masses of glue, which had expanded to the size of a grapefruit in each of the small animals.
After an hour of surgery, the dogs were out of danger, Rosen said.
The dogs, which range in age from 2 to 4 years old, were up and around and eating normally 24 hours later, the vet said.
"We caught it in absolute time," he said. "The moral of the story is that if you use Gorilla Glue, don't leave it where animals can get to it."
Ten days after the surgery, Holcombe and his son-in-law, John Large, were back at the vet's office so the dogs could have their stitches removed.
Holcombe said the dogs were doing well. He praised Rosen and the hospital staff for their quick action.
"It amazes me that they did the job that they did," he said. "It's a big relief to know they're going to be all right."
Sophie, Traveler and Panda delighted the hospital staff as they walked around the lobby, barking and looking none the worse for wear.
It was music to his ears, Rosen said, adding that he was pleased with the outcome of the surgeries.
"Those poor dogs," he laughed. "Hearing that makes it all worth it. That's the reward."
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