Lightning is something to be taken very seriously, especially when horses are concerned. Lightning strikes can injure horses. While 70% of humans that are struck by lightning survive, the injury is fatal in most horses, but not all.
The circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems commonly sustain damage and sudden death may result. Even if your horse is not directly hit by lightning, they may suddenly and violently respond to this stimulus, suffering other traumatic injury including blunt trauma or bone fractures.
Even if you think that the risk is minimal, almost every year lightning does strike horses. And it does not necessarily affect only one horse. In fact, there are examples of crashes in which an entire herd has been killed.
Clinical signs: Immediately, loss of consciousness for minutes to hours is common, however some horses, may never regain consciousness. Other clinical signs include vestibular dysfunction, facial nerve paralysis, depression, haemorrhage (from ears or nostrils) and ataxia.
Cattle and sheep are common victims. Guinness reports that the largest recorded number of livestock killed by a single lightning bolt is 68.
When lightning strikes, most of electrical discharge occurs near the water's surface. Most fish swim below the surface and are unaffected. Although scientists don't know exactly just how deep the lightning discharge reaches in water, it's very dangerous to be swimming or boating during a thunderstorm.
FALSE. Lightning is attracted to the tallest item in an area. If the horse is the tallest item in the area, it may be more susceptible to a strike because of its height but not because it is a horse.
The electricity that does enters a person's body can cause devastating neurological damage, including memory loss, chronic pain and seizures in addition to the relatively superficial burns on the outside of someone's skin. About 10% of people struck by lightning are killed.
A jolting, excruciating pain. “My whole body was just stopped—I couldn't move any more,” Justin recalls. “The pain was … I can't explain the pain except to say if you've ever put your finger in a light socket as a kid, multiply that feeling by a gazillion throughout your entire body.
Many owners keep horses stalled during storms, but turning horses out to pastures might keep them safer. Severe weather can be a troubling event, especially when there are animals whose welfare and comfort is of concern as well.
Flying debris can present a danger to horses during a storm, but it's still generally considered safer for horses to be left outside than inside a barn. In a storm of great magnitude (think Katrina), turning horses loose is of course no guarantee they'll survive, but at least they'll have a fighting chance.
Horses' natural herding instinct during a thunderstorm can also increase the risk of injury or death from a lightning strike. Often, they will group together for protection from the elements and, if the storm includes heavy rainfall, will shelter beneath a large tree — often attractive targets for a lightning strike.
The best option is to ensure your horse is safe and leave him with his mates until after the storm passes. After a few storms have been and gone your horse will gain experience and hopefully find it less stressful. As much as possible try and keep your horse in their normal routine.
Severe electrocution may occur when a horse bites into electric wires or outlets within their reach. If a horse survives severe electrocution, they may have difficulty breathing and succumb to lung-related complications later. For that reason, proactive treatment may give the horse their best chance.
A three-sided shelter can help to keep them warm and dry during a storm in addition to shielding them from lightning strikes,” says Dominguez. Dominguez believes that when storms become more severe, to possibly include tornadoes or high gusts of winds, horses are even safer outside of their stalls.
It comes down to a combination of vulnerability and behavior, according to John Jensenius, the NWS lightning safety specialist and warning coordination meteorologist who conducted the analysis. Men typically find themselves in situations that heighten their vulnerability, Jensenius said.
If your hair stands on end, lightning is about to strike you. Drop to your knees and bend forward but don't lie flat on the ground. Wet ground is a good conductor of electricity.
Most houses are filled with many potential routes for lightning to follow in its journey. This can include gas and water pipes, electric lines, phone lines, cable TV/internet lines, gutters, downspouts, metal window frames - anything conductive in a house is 'fair game' for the lightning to follow.
Risk Factors for Lightning Strikes
A UQ mathematician, Professor Peter Adams, calculated that Australians have a 1 in 12,000 chance of being struck by lightning, which is more than 650 times the chance of winning the Lotto, which is one in eight million.
Florida, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have the most lightning deaths and injuries.
A lightning bolt would explode the glass window before it would travel through the glass. Storm lightning is so fast that even if it were to hit a window, the window would shatter from the heat and speed.
They often huddle in their social groups and become more tightly compacted, just as they would in a driving snowstorm or rain that is independent of thunder and lightning."
You have to observe their behavior and create some incentives for them to go there." He says that equine behaviorists have observed that horses are not particularly bothered by thunder and lightning, but it's the driving rain and wind that compels them to seek shelter near trees and in sheds.
The electrostatic discharge occurs within a cloud, between clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. Lightning doesn't strike the ocean as much as land, but when it does,it spreads out over the water, which acts as a conductor.
He took the average strikes across the worlds oceans, compared it the surface area of the oceans, the number of whales estimated in the ocean, the time the are at the surface etc... and to cut a long story short, he reckons, yes, statistically whales must have been killed by lightning many times in the past few ...