ISSN 2398-2969      

Electrical burn injury

Clapis

Synonym(s): Electric injury, Electric shock


Introduction

  • Cause: electrocution from chewing live wires within the home environment. Electrocution by low voltage alternating current (AC) seen when animals bite into electrical cables.
  • Signs: if survives the initial electrocution, anorexia from oral burns and lesions around the oral cavity. Respiratory compromise as a result of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, lethargy due to anorexia.
  • Diagnosis: lesions within the oral cavity.
  • Treatment: supportive care, analgesia, cleaning of the oral cavity, surgical debridement in severe cases.
  • Prognosis: depends on severity of the exposure.
Print off the Owner Factsheet on Electrical burn injury to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Severe tissue damage from biting through live electric cables.

Predisposing factors

Specific

  • Wires within the household environment.

Pathophysiology

  • Electrocution causes disruption of tissues and may cause muscle spasms, ventricular fibrillation and vasomotor changes in the central nervous system.
  • Acute pulmonary edema may develop.
  • Electrical energy transformed to heat causing tissue proteins coagulation.
  • Burns and soft tissue damage within the oral cavity.
  • First-degree burn causes red, slightly swollen and painful skin.
  • Second-degree burn there is damage to deeper tissues and blistering is seen.
  • Third-degree burns involve full thickness of the skin and part of the subcutaneous tissue resulting in the formation of escharotic crusts.

Timecourse

  • A first-degree burn usually heals within 2-5 days.
  • A second-degree burn (non-infected) is very painful and may heal in approximately 3+ weeks.

Epidemiology

  • Any rabbit has the tendency to chew wires.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedRource.
  • Johnson DH (2012) Emergency presentations of the exotic small mammalian herbivore trauma patient. J Ex Pet Med 21 (4), 300-315 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Hess L (2017) Electric Cord Bite Injury in Rabbits. Website: www.petmd.com.
  • Saunders R (2014) Husbandry. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA, UK. pp 13-26.
  • Jekl V (2013) The Dental Examination. In: British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) Manual of Rabbit Surgery, Dentistry and Imaging. Eds: Harcourt-Brown F & Chitty J. BSAVA, UK. pp 337-348.
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Electrocution. In: Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Eds: Mayer J & Donnelly T M. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 368-369.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!