E.Y. Yamamoto1; L. Lavans1; R.N. Chaves2; F.S. Fragata1; M. Marcondes Santos1
Electrocution may cause pulmonary edema due to the endothelial injuries causing an increase in the pulmonary vascular permeability, leading to a flow out in the interstitial fluid or alveolus. When the animal is too dyspneic, the stress must be minimized. Oxygen therapy is essential in mild to severe cases. There's no specific treatment available for the injured endothelium in the pulmonary vasculature. Inflammatory response cannot be blocked by a specific anti-inflammatory drug leading to the resolution of the edema. Diuretics may be given to normovolemic animals, but they are usually ineffective because the edema is caused by alterations in the permeability and not by high hydrostatic pressure. Corticosteroids in anti-inflammatory doses can be used to minimize the tumefaction with the obstruction of the upper airways. Two dogs with pulmonary edema probably caused by electrocution were attended at Sena Madureira Veterinary Hospital. Both patients, a 6-month-old Beagle dog and a 3-month-old Yorkshire dog presented excessive salivation, intense prostration, dyspnea and labored breathing. All symptoms started suddenly, with no report of previous alteration according to the owner. Physical exams showed cyanosis and paleness, hypothermia and stertors on auscultation. The Beagle also had injuries (edema and erythema) in mouth and lips. The patients were admitted for proper treatment, rest and observation. Oxygen therapy as well as dexamethasone, aminophylline, furosemide, amoxicillin and analgesics were administered. In both cases, radiographs showed diffuse opacification of the alveolar pattern, without alteration in the cardiac silhouette. The beagle had a progressive improvement of the respiratory pattern right after the treatment started. The patient presented sensibility to the manipulation of the oral cavity, but could feed normally. After 48 hours, the patient was discharged; rest, pasty food, aminophylline, amoxicillin, dipyrone and cleaning the oral injuries were recommended. This patient had total recovery. The Yorkshire did not respond well to the treatment, and death happened after 12 hours. We may conclude that it's important to observe the respiratory pattern and frequency and auscultate the patient frequently in the first 24 to 48 hours. Total recovery may occur in the less severe cases, but death may happen even with extended treatment when the patient has severe injuries.