Electricity is dangerous, especially around young dogs and incorrigible chewers. However, if your dog suffers an electric shock it is essential that you consider your own safety before helping.
A convulsing or rigid dog lying on or near a power cable or other electrical source may be suffering an electric shock. The dog may not be right on the cable as pools of liquid, including urine, can carry electric current. Roots of trees are also known to carry electricity in cases of lightning.
Chewing power cables is the most common cause of electric shock in dogs.
Do not touch the dog or fluids in contact with it, especially if the animal is rigid – you may receive a fatal electric shock yourself. Instead, you should:
Once the dog appears to recover:
Even if your dog appears to recover completely and normally from an electric shock, it is vital to take it to see the vet. Internal damage, shock and fluid build-up in the lungs may not be outwardly visible, but can cause serious trouble hours after the accident.
Although it is rare, a male dog urinating on an exposed power line or electrical source may cause the current to “jump” and give it a shock. Even rarer are cases of dogs being struck by lightning, though the effects are similar.
Electricity should always be treated with care: consider your dog as a small, inquisitive child and take appropriate measures to safeguard them in the home.