Rare survival of high-tension electrocution shock in a crossbred Jersey cattle: a complete profile on critical care monitoring

Document Type : Scientific report


1 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary College and Research Institute (VCRI), Orathanadu-614625, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai-600 051, India

2 Veterinary Clinical Complex, Veterinary College and Research Institute (VCRI), Orathanadu-614625, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai-600 051, India

3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine & ICAR Centre of Advanced Faculty Training in Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Madras Veterinary College, Vepery, Chennai-600007, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), India

4 4MVSc Student in Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, Madras Veterinary College, Vepery, Chennai-600007, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai-600 051, India


Background: Accidental electrocution was more common in animals and death was mostly due to shock and cardiac arrest. Survival of animals or humans could be possible if victims receive immediate medical support. Case description: A 3-year-old crossbred Jersey heifer was presented to the Emergency and Critical Care Medicine Referral Clinic of the Veterinary College and Research Institute, Orathanadu, with a history of accidental electrocution by broken high-tension overhead power transmission line during grazing in the paddy fields. The animal was dull and depressed, dark red, and some areas were charred in appearance on the dorsum and limbs. The animal showed difficulty walking due to the electrocution burn injury and was poorly responding to the surroundings. Clinical examination revealed subnormal temperature, polypnea, pale mucous membranes, ruminal atony, and arrhythmias on auscultation. Findings/treatment and outcome: On point of care (PoC) hematology testing, leukocytosis, neutrophilia, and microcytosis were observed. PoC electrolyte analysis revealed hypocalcemia (ionized calcium 0.89 mmol/L), mild hypochloremia, and severe hypokalemia (2.81 mmol/L). PoC biochemistry revealed hypoglycemia (41 mg/dl). PoC elevated levels of serum cardiac troponin (0.33 ng/dl) indicated cardiac damage. Aspartate aminotransferase (1794 U/L), CK-MB (699 U/L) and LDH (6.7 U/L) were also elevated. On PoC urinalysis, proteinuria, myoglobinuria, and glucosuria were observed. Evident clinical recovery, wound healing, and improvement in animal activities were observed. Conclusion: High-voltage electrocution injury is a serious type of accident with the potential risk of multi-organ damage and death. Early diagnosis of electrocution and immediate management enhances the expectancy of complete recovery.


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