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


Hit by Lightning, Witnessed


On rare occasion, you may see your horse hit by lightning or standing near where lightning strikes. Lightning can strike a horse directly, run along the outside of the body (called a flash over), jump from its initial target to another, or enter through a limb in contact with the ground near the strike.

The high voltage electrical charge can damage all organ systems, including the skin. 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.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

If you suspect or saw that your horse has been hit by lightning or was near a lightning strike, your vet should evaluate your horse for injuries.

your vet's role

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP