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.
Singe marks may be seen on the legs and are pathognomonic for lightning strike. Treatment: horses surviving lightning strike/electrocution show nervous signs of varying duration and severity.
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.
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.
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.
Physical signs on the carcass or the environment are thought to be present in greater than 90% of cases of death from lighting. This can include what has been described as linear singe marks, especially on the insides of the legs. There is also often damage to a tree, or a fence pole, or there is disturbed ground.
Cattle and sheep are common victims. Guinness reports that the largest recorded number of livestock killed by a single lightning bolt is 68.
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.
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.
A horse in shock has a high heart rate, abnormal gum color, weak pulse, delayed capillary refill time and cool ears, muzzle and limbs. Shock indicates a veterinary crisis that must be addressed immediately by your vet. Lightly blanket your horse if it is shivering.
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.
Both humans and horses mourn the loss of an equine friend. While a period of mourning is natural and expected, prolonged grief and sadness becomes pathogenic and detrimental to the body. Horses can become listless, go off-feed, get depressed or become anxious after the loss of a close friend.
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.
Lightning burns result from energy caused by lightning strikes, and are characterized by a unique pattern of skin lesions. These tree-like lesions resemble feathering or ferning, and are also called Lichtenberg figures.
If you count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by 5, you'll get the distance in miles to the lightning: 5 seconds = 1 mile, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 0 seconds = very close. Keep in mind that you should be in a safe place while counting.
During thunderstorms, she says, most horses show no noticeable response to either thunder or lightning independent of the severity of the rain and the wind.
Horses first evolved in open plains. As a prey species (one that other animals eat), they needed to be able to see quickly if another animal that might eat them (a predator) was nearby. Being able to rest or sleep standing up meant they could get their rest, but if they saw a predator, they could quickly run away.
A number of equine emergency personnel suggest that the safest place for a horse during a tornado is the pasture.
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.
Because the ground current affects a much larger area than the other causes of lightning casualties, the ground current causes the most lightning deaths and injuries. Ground current also kills many farm animals.
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.
Well, the bell sure tolled for this poor Idaho cow stuck by lightning across from a gas station in Idaho, where CCTV captured the moment this poor bovine became a well-done steak. It was business as usual outside the Creekside 66 convenience store near Albion, Idaho when CRACK, lightning split the sky.