A HORSE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
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.