1. If you suspect or know that your pet has ingested some polyurethane foam, contact your vet immediately.
  2. Remove food for at least 6 hours.
  3. Remove water for at least 3 hours.
  4. If no signs develop, water and food can be reintroduced but close monitoring for vomiting must be carried out over the next 24 hours.
  5. If dermal exposure occurs, wash the skin with a mild liquid dishwashing detergent. Residual, set glue will flake off the fur or skin over a period of days and presents minimal risk, even if it is groomed off.




Clinical signs usually start to develop within 12 hours of ingestion.

  • Vomiting (possibly containing blood)
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy
  • Bloated or enlarged abdomen (abdominal distension)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased breathing rate (tachypnoea)

Skin exposure:

  • Redness or swelling of the affected area
  • Hair loss around the affected area
  • Painful to touch


Polyurethane foam or adhesives can expand in the gut leading to blockage. Contact with skin or fur usually causes only mild irritation and inflammation.


Your vet may administer a gastroprotectant.

If your pet starts to show clinical signs and a foreign body is suspected, your vet will conduct a physical examination and may recommend x-rays or an abdominal ultrasound to look for evidence of foreign body obstruction.

Radiographs taken 24 hours after ingestion are more reliable. If a foreign body is found, your pet will most likely require surgery as soon as possible to have it removed. Any foreign body that is left untreated may lead to perforation of the stomach or intestine in the region where it is lodged and this is life threatening.


Bailey T (2004) The expanding threat of polyurethane adhesive ingestion. Veterinary Technician. 25(6):426-428.