Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Burns and Electric Shocks in Dogs

Font Size
A
A
A

Electric Shock

Electric shock (electrocution) can occur when dogs bite electric cords or come into contact with downed wires. A lightning strike is a rare cause of electrocution, but a dog does not have to be struck to be seriously injured or killed. A tall tree with deep roots and spreading branches can act as a conduit for a bolt of lightning, conducting electricity through the ground to any animal in the immediate vicinity. Most lightning strikes are fatal. The singed hair and skin give evidence of the cause of death.

A dog who gets an electric shock may be burned. The electric shock may cause an irregular heartbeat with circulatory collapse, followed by cardiac arrest. Electric current also damages the capillaries of the lungs and leads to the accumulation of fluid in the air sacs, a condition called pulmonary edema.

A characteristic sign of electric shock injury is finding the unconscious dog on the floor near an electrical outlet. Electric shocks cause involuntary muscle contractions of the dog’s jaw that may prevent him from releasing his hold on a live wire. Dogs who survive electric shock may cough, have difficulty breathing, drool, have an offensive mouth odor, and have burns in the mouth.

Treatment: If your dog is found in contact with an electric cord or appliance, do not touch the dog. First shut off the main power and pull the plug. If that’s not possible, use a piece of wood to move the source of the electricity off the dog, or to move the dog away from the electricity. If the dog is unconscious and is not breathing, administer artificial respiration or CPR, if needed. Dogs who revive from electric shock should be seen by a veterinarian at once.

Prevention: Electric cord shocks can be prevented by placing cords in inaccessible locations, covering cords with plastic sleeves, unplugging cords when not in use, and providing appropriate chewing toys for puppies and dogs.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow