What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Electric Shock, Electrocuted, Known to have Occurred


Minor electric shock usually occurs when a horse encounters an electric fence, or other "hot" wiring. It startles a horse, leading to fear and an evasive response. Horses generally become extremely anxious or nervous. Injury or trauma may occur as a secondary response, as a horse tries to retreat from the offending cause.

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.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

When in doubt, assess your horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) and call your vet to discuss your findings and concerns.

What Not To Do

Do not ignore this, because some very serious consequences of electrocution can appear later (lung damage).

your vet's role

Depending on the severity of the shock and your horse's response, your vet may advise you to take a "wait and see" approach or suggest that they examine your horse. There may be value in treating the horse immediately and prophylactically, because some consequences of electrocution do not appear immediately.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Do you know when this occurred?
  • Describe what happened.
  • How is your horse's attitude and appetite?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP