ISSN 2398-2942      

Electrocution

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Introduction

  • Electrocution is most commonly observed in younger dogs.
  • Electrical current can cause both thermal injury to tissues and electrical injury to distant sites, including the lungs.
  • Thermal damage is most severe at the site of initial contact, where electricity causes protein coagulation and coagulation necrosis.
  • The severity of electrical injury depends on the type of electrical circuit, the voltage and amperage (most important factor in determining severity of injury) that the animal is exposed to, the location and duration of contact, the pathway of the current, and the resistance of the tissues affected.
  • The most common injuries observed are thermal burns to the mouth and noncardiogenic (neurogenic) pulmonary edema in the lungs Lung: pulmonary edema.

    Tetanic contractions and rhabdomyolysis also occur in humans, but are not a significant finding in veterinary patients that have been electrocuted.

Oral burns and noncardiogenic (neurogenic) pulmonary edema

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Clinical signs associated with electrocution

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Treatment for electrocution

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Dhupa N (2002) Chapter 70: Burn Injury. In: The Veterinary ICU Book. Wingfield W E and MR Raffee, editors. Teton Newmedia, Jackson, WY.
  • (1995) Kirk and Bistner's Handbook of Veterinary Procedures and Emergency Treatment, 6th edition. Bistner S I and R B Ford, editors. W B Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, p.169.
  • Hansen B D, Morgan R V (1995) Electrical cord and smoke inhalation injuries. In: Manual of Small Animal Practice, 2nd edition. Morgan R V, editor. W B Saunders, Philadelphia, PA, p1357.

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