Puppies and kittens have a tendency to chew everything in sight. They have no boundaries if it looks good enough to sink their teeth into they're willing to give it a try.
You can be shocked when they tear into the back of your favorite shoes. They can be shocked when they tear into power cables. Chewing on power cables is the most common form of electrical shock to dogs. Puppies and kittens are the culprits/victims more often than older dogs and cats.
If you find your pet either convulsing or lying rigid on or near an electrical source, he may be suffering an electric shock. Most times it is the result of chewing the cord and fraying it, but other times the animal may have urinated on an exposed wire or electrical source.
Obviously you don't want this to happen. Possible complications of electric cord bite injuries are fluid accumulation in the lungs and high blood pressure in the arteries near the lungs. Additionally, there have been reports of animals developing cataracts – an eye abnormality - after such injuries.
What to look for
Some of the most common signs of serious electrical injury are:
- Abnormally fast breathing (tachypnea);
- Needing to be upright to breathe properly (orthopnea);
- Crackling sounds in the lungs (rales);
- Difficulty breathing (dyspnea); and
- Bluish-tinged skin (cyanosis).
So how do you handle a dog or cat that has had a current sent through their body?
First of all do not touch the animal -- especially if he is lying rigid -- until you are absolutely certain he is no longer in contact with the source of electricity. You could receive a fatal electric shock. Make sure there are no fluids nearby.
What to do
Take these steps next:
- Turn off the power at its source.
- Find a broom handle or a long stick, something you can use to move your dog away from the power source and not near any water.
- Check to make sure your dog is breathing; use CPR if necessary.
- If your pup got zapped and his mouth got burned, use cold compresses on his mouth.
Obviously, you want to prevent this from happening, which means power cords must be out of reach of your pet. Put the wires behind the furniture or up on the wall. Just make them out of reach of your animals. For wires that just can't be moved, lather them up with a spray or a bitter tasting compound so the dog won't be tempted to keep coming back to the same spot.