An electric shock has the potential to be devastating to any living creature, and your dog is no exception. Perhaps the most common way for a dog to receive an electric shock is for them to chew on an electrical wire, with their teeth penetrating the cable jacket, as well as the wire insulation, coming into contact with the live conductors themselves. The severity of the electric shock can depend on the strength of the current passing through the wires, along with the size and general health of your dog. Would you know what to do if your dog received an electric shock?
Immediate Emergency Procedures
If you discover your dog immediately after an electric shock, you need to quickly secure the scene before you can assist them. Go to the electric switchboard for your home and disable the electricity for the room in question. If you're unsure, temporarily disable the electricity for your entire home. If your dog is unconscious, they will need immediate help with their breathing. CPR is an important skill for anyone to know, but dog owners should also familiarise themselves with how to perform CPR on a dog. You will then need to urgently transport your dog to the nearest veterinary surgery, even if they regain consciousness and can breathe unaided.
Even when the electric shock hasn't resulted in a loss of consciousness, your dog will still need to be assessed by a vet. There can be localised burning at the point of contact (generally around your dog's mouth), and these burns can require professional cleaning and assistance to heal. Although not immediately evident, your dog's heart, and possibly even their lungs, might have been affected by the electric shock, so a full medical inspection will be needed after an electric shock.
Electric Shock Aftercare
Your dog might need to stay in the veterinary surgery hospital for observation and will require special care for a certain period of time once they return home. This generally involves minimising their physical activity and changing their diet to accommodate their mouth, which might have been burned by the shock. It can be as straightforward as only giving your dog soft foods for the designated period.
Some electric shocks can be so minor that they will only give your dog a mild surprise. Of course, this is not a given, which is why it's so very important to know what to do when your dog receives a significant electric shock.