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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19516
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have a question. I found my dog outside a few days ago,

Customer Question

Hi. I have a question. I found my dog outside a few days ago, deceased from what appears to be a lightning strike, how can I be sure that was the cause of death? How long would I take for rigor mortis to set in? Would that make his skin peel off? I am at a loss and that has to be the only logical explanation at this point. Thank you.
JA: I'm trying to find the right Veterinarian for you right now. As soon as they are ready, I will let you know. I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: His name was Spencer. Beautiful blue pit. He was 8 months old. Thank you so much.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Spencer?
Customer: No ma'am. He was as healthy as an ox. Just trying to figure out what happened.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome,

So sorry to hear about Spencer, this is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

I am a small animal vet with many years experience with dogs and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next five to ten minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 months ago.

Hello again

I have worked out an answer for you below ...

1. Where a dog or any other animal has been struck by lightning then you would expect to see external scorch marks on his coat with typical subcutaneous lesions beneath the fur, but the skin would not normally peel away. These lesion alone are not 100% diagnostic of lighting strike but if combine them with sudden death in an otherwise healthy dog on a day when there was a storm and lighting then it would be by far your most certain diagnosis.

2. As far as we know the advent of Rigor mortis will not be changed in a dog which has died of lightning strike. The onset of rigor mortis is normally variable in the dog, 2 - 4 hours is average for a dog of Spencer's size, however I have known it to happen within an hour.

Again sorry for your loss ...

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 months ago.

Hello again,

I am just checking back to see if you need any more information related to our recent dialogue concerning the suspect lightning strike ...

Regards,

Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.