Burned Pennsylvania Horse Receiving Treatment at OSU

Burned Pennsylvania Horse Receiving Treatment at OSU

Northstar, seen here two weeks after being doused with an accelerant and burned, is receiving treatment at The Ohio State University.

Photo: Northstar Equine Foundation

While Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities continue to seek his attacker, the horse that was doused with an accelerant then set ablaze is being treated for severe burns at The Ohio State University (OSU).

On Aug. 26 "Northstar" was grazing in his pasture when someone doused him with an unknown accelerant and set him afire. The horse survived, but sustained first-, second-, and third-degree burns to over 40% of his body.

Jane Carroll, public relations manager for The Ohio State University Foundation, said that on Sept. 5, the horse was brought to OSU where Samuel Hurcombe, BSc, BVMS, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, assistant professor of equine emergency and critical care at the Galbreath Equine Center is supervising intensive wound care for the animal's burns.

"Dr. Hurcombe and his team have removed 85% of the dead skin and can see some very good healing taking place," Carroll said. "They are also seeing some good response from the wound edges as the body starts to try to close the space where skin is missing, a process called epithelialization."

Carroll said that the healing will be watched closely in the coming weeks to determine when skin graft surgery--a multi-operation process--can begin. How long the horse will remain at OSU is uncertain, she said.

Hurcombe said that there is other evidence that the horse is recovering, as well.

"We have reduced the type and amount of pain medications he needs," Hurcombe said. "He was previously unable to reach all the way down to the ground because of pain, (but) as of two days ago, he has been able to graze from the ground seemingly with ease and without significant discomfort."

Northstar's care is being underwritten by donors, Carroll said. Those wishing to contribute can visit www.helpnorthstar.com.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Police continue to seek whoever is responsible for injuring the animal. Anyone with information about the case should call 814/663-2043.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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