Pet first aid tips: Quick steps to save your furry companion from an electric shock - Hindustan Times
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Pet first aid tips: Quick steps to save your furry companion from an electric shock

By, New Delhi
Apr 24, 2024 06:12 PM IST

Here are quick, indispensable steps to ensure you can effectively administer first aid and save your beloved companion from the dangers of electric shock.

The most common form of electrical injury in dogs and cats stems from the peril of chewing on live electrical cords. This hazardous behaviour not only poses a significant risk but also stands as the foremost cause of such incidents among pets. The consequences can be dire, including the occurrence of electrothermal burns on the skin, and in severe cases, the outcome may be fatal if immediate veterinary intervention is not sought. While electric shock, also termed electrocution, is commonly observed in puppies and young dogs known for their propensity to chew on electric cables, it's crucial to recognize that dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes are susceptible to such accidents. (Also read: Cooling foods for pets: 7 fruits and vegetables to include in your dog's summer diet )

In moments of crisis, knowing how to swiftly react to your pet's electric shock could mean the difference between life and death.(Unsplash)
In moments of crisis, knowing how to swiftly react to your pet's electric shock could mean the difference between life and death.(Unsplash)

What to Do When Your Pet Faces Electric Shock

Dr Charlie Astle, Veterinarian and Pet Wellness Expert in her recent Instagram post said that electrocution is most common in young animals after chewing electric cables but can happen at any age! Other causes include faulty wiring, fallen cables and lightning. Remember to never put yourself in danger and always ensure the power supply is off before touching your pet. Always get your pet checked by a vet as electric shocks can cause the following issues:

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-Extensive, painful, burns that may not be obvious until days later (often in their mouths)

-Pulmonary oedema (lungs fill with fluid which can be life-threatening)

-Abnormal heart rhythms can be life-threatening.

-Twitching, muscle spasms and convulsions

Severe shocks can cause internal organ damage and even instant death.

Here are some tips shared by Dr. Astle to keep in mind when your pet experiences an electric shock:

1. Do not approach your pet until you have switched off the power source. Turn off the main fuse box if you cannot reach the switch.

2. If you can't turn off the electricity, use a non-conducting pole e.g. a wooden broom, to separate your pet from the live wire. Never use a metal object to do this.

3. Take special care around the area if your pet is wet, as water conducts electricity.

4. If you can't turn off the power or safely move your pet, call the emergency number.

5. Check they are breathing and have a pulse. If not, start CPR and get someone to call your vet.

6. If they are breathing, check them for other injuries e.g. burns. Burns can often be in their mouth if they have chewed a wire.

7. Call your vet as soon as possible to book an emergency appointment. Always get your pet checked even if they seem fine, as they may have delayed or internal injuries.

8. Wrap your pet in a blanket to keep them warm. You can use a blanket as a stretcher for transporting large dogs.

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