You’re in the middle of doing your nails when there’s a knock at the door. You set your nail glue aside and answer the door, only to return and find that your dog has devoured your nail glue. Your concern for your furry friend outweighs any unfinished nails. But what exactly are the risks? Can nail glue harm your dog?
Unfortunately, nail glue does pose some health risks to your pooch. The extent of the danger depends on the amount consumed, your dog’s size, and overall health. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when your dog ingests nail glue.
Ingredients in Nail Glue
Nail glue contains various ingredients, including ethyl cyanoacrylate, BHA, citric acid, and hydroxypropyl methacrylate.
Ethyl cyanoacrylate is a common ingredient found in many glues, including superglue. It can be irritating when swallowed or when it comes in contact with your dog’s mouth, causing discomfort and irritation to the mouth and digestive tract.
Surprisingly, BHA is a chemical commonly used in beauty products. It has been associated with allergies, immune system disorders, organ damage, increased cancer risk, and potential effects on the brain and immune system. The toxicity level of BHA is not precisely known, but consuming a large amount can be concerning.
While not toxic, citric acid is highly acidic and can lead to skin or digestive tract irritation in dogs.
Hydroxypropyl methacrylate, like citric acid, is an irritant. Although not strictly toxic, it can cause discomfort and irritation.
Stomach Irritation and Upset
If your dog ingests nail glue, there is a high chance they will experience stomach upset. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they have consumed a toxic substance. The ingredients in nail glue can irritate the stomach and digestive tract, often resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Treating digestive upset caused by nail glue might involve a bland diet and stomach medication.
Mouth Irritation or Injury
Eating nail glue can cause mouth irritation or injury in dogs. Similar to the stomach, the mouth can become irritated due to the chemical composition of nail glue. Signs of mouth irritation include redness, reluctance to eat, or whining during mealtimes. This can be likened to the discomfort experienced during a toothache or mouth infection. Additionally, there is a risk that the glue can seal your dog’s mouth shut, which is undoubtedly a terrifying experience for both of you.
When a dog ingests glue, it initially enters their system in liquid form. However, once it solidifies, it can potentially cause an intestinal blockage. Symptoms of a bowel obstruction may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy, and difficulty passing stool.
If your dog ingests nail glue, there are several steps you should take. While most dogs will recover without any lasting issues, it may be necessary to seek veterinary treatment.
Remove the Glue
The first and most obvious step is to remove access to the nail glue. Ensure it is stored in a place your dog cannot reach.
Check Their Mouth and Airway
Inspect your dog’s mouth for any signs of glue or blockages. If their mouth is glued shut or if they are experiencing difficulty breathing, immediately bring them to a vet.
If your dog’s mouth is not sealed shut, providing water can help reduce irritation caused by the glue.
Contact a Professional
Once you have taken immediate steps, it is advisable to seek professional help. You have two options: calling your dog’s vet or reaching out to animal poison control. The experts will assess the situation based on the type and amount of glue ingested, as well as your dog’s age, size, and health. They can advise you on the next steps, including whether to monitor your dog or bring them in for evaluation.
Monitor Your Dog
If immediate veterinary care is not necessary, closely monitor your dog for any concerning symptoms. Some digestive upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, is common after ingesting nail glue. Watch for other signs of toxicity, such as lethargy, weakness, and difficulty breathing. Trust your instincts and consult a vet if you are worried.
Treating Digestive Upset
For mild digestive upset, you can treat your dog at home with over-the-counter medication and a bland diet. Boiled chicken and rice are an excellent option. Gradually reintroduce their regular food after a few days, starting with a mixture of 1/4 regular food and 3/4 bland food. Increase the ratio of regular food every 1 to 2 days until they are fully back on their regular diet. Medications like famotidine and Pepto Bismol can also help alleviate stomach irritation.
Prevention is the best approach to avoid any mishaps with nail glue. Dogs are curious creatures and explore the world through their nose and mouth, making them prone to sampling unfamiliar substances. Here are some preventive measures:
Keep it Out of Reach
Store nail glue and other potentially harmful items in a place that is inaccessible to your dog. Placing them on high shelves is an effective way to keep them away from your curious companion.
Don’t Leave it Unattended
When doing your nails, don’t leave nail glue unattended if your dog is nearby. This eliminates the opportunity for them to ingest it.
Keep Them Entertained
Providing ample mental and physical stimulation will help deter your dog from exploring harmful objects. Regular walks, play sessions, and puzzle toys are fantastic ways to keep them entertained and prevent boredom-induced mischief.
Remember, the well-being of your canine companion is a top priority. By taking precautionary measures and being aware of the potential dangers, you can ensure a safe and happy environment for both you and your dog. Stay vigilant and always consult a professional when necessary.