A HORSE IS STRUCK BY LIGHT­NING

EQUUS - - Eq Tack& Gear -

Light­ning is al­most al­ways fa­tal to four-legged an­i­mals, but some horses do sur­vive—usu­ally be­cause they were far enough away that they didn’t re­ceive the full brunt of the blast. But even a “small” jolt can cause se­ri­ous in­jury. Call your vet­eri­nar­ian if, af­ter a thun­der­storm, you dis­cover your horse with th­ese signs:

• Un­will­ing­ness or in­abil­ity to rise.

• Singed hair; pos­si­bly run­ning in a line up one or more legs, or in rounded patches on one side of the body.

• A stunned, un­co­or­di­nated man­ner.

• Head tilt, par­tial paral­y­sis or other signs of neu­ro­log­i­cal in­jury.

The only treat­ment is to ease the pain with med­i­ca­tions and pro­vide sup­port­ive care while the horse re­cov­ers. Chances are, some signs of neu­ro­log­i­cal in­jury will be per­ma­nent. “Those that re­cover of­ten can have a full re­cov­ery, but re­cov­ery is ex­tremely rare,” says Robert Judd, DVM, of Judd Ve­teri­nary Clinic in He­witt, Texas.

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