Glipizide and Gorilla Glue have nothing in common. Other than being bad for your pet, that is! They also start with the letter “G”, which makes them perfect for our purposes!
Glipizide is one of many medications that treat type II diabetes
Glipizide is also often combined with other diabetic medications such as metformin. Other similar drugs include glimepiride and glyburide.
These medications cause increased insulin production, thus lowering blood sugar. In animals with a normal blood sugar level, this can cause a dangerous dip in blood sugar, even at therapeutic doses of the medication. In cats with diabetes, the normal dose is around 2.5 milligrams per day. This means that even one dropped pill could have serious consequences.
Signs caused by glipizide are commonly in relation to hypoglycemia, or lowered blood sugar. Those of you familiar with xylitol may recognize these signs:
- Unwillingness to eat
- Stumbling (ataxia)
- Possibility of liver damage
The length of treatment will vary by animal, as some species may process this medication faster than others. As a general rule, hospitalization for 24 hours is common, just to keep a close eye on their blood sugar. Other treatments for glipizide include:
- IV fluids with dextrose to help raise blood sugar
- Medications to control seizures
- Repeated blood work to check the liver
- Inducing vomiting if it is safe
Vomiting can cause blood sugar to decrease further, and these drugs absorb very quickly. Because of this, do not induce vomiting at home unless directed by a vet.
However, animals that are experiencing signs due to low blood sugar can have a temporary pick-up from a small amount of Karo syrup, honey, or maple syrup rubbed on their gums. While this will not treat the exposure, it can help reduce the severity of the signs, giving you time to get to the vet clinic.
Gorilla Glue has an unusual side effect
Gorilla Glue “holds” anything. Found in industrial or home settings, this glue is a common canine exposure. Made from polyurethane, the glue itself is not especially toxic. The danger is what happens to it in the stomach.
Upon contact with moisture, Gorilla Glue expands up to 4 times its original volume. In an environment such as the stomach, a teensy amount of Gorilla Glue can expand and completely fill an animal’s stomach, thus blocking the GI tract.
An obstruction is an emergency. Dogs with an obstructed GI tract are not only unable to pass food and waste out through their stools, but pressure from the obstruction can also block blood flow, leading to the death of the intestines and tissues. This can be lethal if not treated promptly.
It is absolutely best to seek treatment after discovering the remains of a Gorilla Glue container.
Eventually signs of obstruction will become apparent:
- Repeated vomiting, or an inability to vomit even after repeated gagging
- An inability or unwillingness to eat
- Restlessness due to stomach pain
- Difficulty or inability to pass stool despite attempts
- Pale gums
Because of Gorilla Glue’s tendency to expand upon contact with water, giving peroxide to induce vomiting can be very dangerous. Unfortunately, surgical removal is most likely necessary in these cases. Similar to any surgery to treat an obstruction, the sooner it is done, the better the outcome. Waiting too long can result in an animal struggling to recover, or the vet needing to remove lengths of dead intestinal tissue.
Contact with the animal poison control center or local vet is going to be necessary in both of these cases. While there are some substances that may possibly be handled at home, both of these are best left in the hands of a professional.
For those of you eagerly waiting for grapes, they will be covered with raisins on “V” day under “Vitis species”!