Georgia Horse on the Mend after Lightning Strike

A 12-year-old gelding in Dalton, Ga., is recovering after being struck by lightning on Thursday, according to an article from The Daily Citizen.

Clues suggest Hershel was standing under a pine tree with two other horses when lightning associated with a midday storm struck the tree, ran down the trunk, and hit Hershel, who was knocked to the ground. The other two horses escaped injury, according to the report.

Neighbors alerted owner Josh Land of the situation.

Land found the horse lying on his side. Veterinarian Bucky Bancroft, DVM, treated Hershel with IV fluids and steroids, but the horse was thrashing and unable to rise.

"At one point we used a tractor and a sling to try and help him, but he kept falling back down every time he tried to get up," Land told the paper. "He was alert, but his nerves weren't functioning--one of his ears wouldn't move, and he was beating himself up pretty good every time he fell."

Five hours after initiating treatment, Hershel was able to stand. Land and his father kept watch overnight. As of Friday afternoon, the horse was stumbling had some swelling over an eye from an injury sustained when trying to rise.

"He made progress overnight and he's moving around some, but he still has some recovering to do," Land told the paper. Read the full report and see photos.  

Read more about lightning and horse safety.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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