Puppies chew. It’s a fact. They’re always going to chew because it’s a time in their life when they explore the world with their mouth; it’s an important part of their development. Unfortunately the consequences of what a puppy chews can be detrimental to their health. For a very cute puppy named Rusty chewing an electrical cord proved to be a challenge in simply catching a breath.
Rusty’s difficult day began early in the morning when his owner found him on his bed suffering from an acute onset of respiratory distress. His owner also discovered a chewed electrical cord within his surroundings; this seemed quite suspicious. Realizing the situation with his breathing was serious his owner rushed him to his regular veterinarian’s clinic where his treatment commenced and continued throughout the day. His situation was critical, and he would need continued medical care throughout the night and into the next day. Therefore his regular vet recommended transfer to REACH thus increasing his chances for survival.
When Rusty arrived at REACH he was already in respiratory distress so he was immediately placed on oxygen support. His gums were very pale and his lung sounds were very harsh. X-rays taken at his regular vet revealed there was fluid on his lungs; this fluid is referred to as pulmonary edema. The harsh lung sounds detected upon auscultation supported this radiographic finding as well as the suspicion that electric shock had occurred. Pulmonary edema is a symptom typical of electric shock and must be addressed quickly before the fluid builds up enough to where the patient is essentially drowning in it. Due to this he was given an injection of a diuretic to remove the edema. As a result the fluid was expelled in the urine. Although some of the edema was expelled due to the diuretic, Rusty would still need to remain on oxygen support, and then he was to be reassessed at a later time.
Approximately eight hours after initial presentation x-rays were retaken to re-evaluate Rusty’s progress; they revealed that he still had extensive edema in his lung fields. This meant he was still to remain on oxygen support throughout the night and into the next day until his body could return to homeostasis. The next day his respirations were still increased; fortunately they weren’t labored. He began eating and drinking very well, and he was eventually weaned off oxygen. Once he was completely off the oxygen he was kept in the hospital for observation. By early evening he was doing so well his discharge was authorized by the doctor, and he was able to go home.
Since his visit to REACH Rusty has been doing well, and his experience with the electrical cord has forced his owner to touch up the “puppy proofing” in the home. Luckily Rusty survived a potentially fatal situation; pulmonary edema from electric shock has historically shown to mostly present a very guarded prognosis. Fortunately the young and resilient puppy in Rusty allowed him to pull through such an ordeal.