Columbus, OH – A horse burned burned by an arsonist is finally on the mend. A vet from the Ohio State University helped the American Paint with burns on 40 percent of its body, come back to life. The burned horse is affectionately being called the “Caped Crusader” but is also known as Northstar.
The burned American Paint came to the equine clinic at the OSU center in August. An arsonist had coated the beautiful horse in a flammable liquid before setting the animal on fire in a pasture in Pennsylvania, the Northstar Equine Foundation notes.
Northstar suffered burns down to his bones in two places. Large portions of his skin were totally burned off. The horse’s survival was questionable at best.
OSU Veterinary Medical Center Dr. Sam Hurcombe had this to say about helping the burned horse recover during an interview with the Columbus Dispatch:
“Northstar has surprised us beyond our expectations.
To replace Northstar’s burned skin, the Ohio State University veterinary staff grew some of the horse’s healthy skin cells. The new cells were injected beneath granular tissue to help regenerate new skin. Pieces of undamaged skin from Northstar’s chest were used for skin grafts on the burned horse’s neck and back. To combat the American Paint’s natural urge to roll on the ground and scratch itches from the healing tissues the Ohio vets had to get very creative.
Northstar dog cone style collar was strapped to the horse’s neck to keep him from biting his skin. The OSU vets also attached a wire to his stall to prevent the American Paint from lying down to scratch. The form-fitting cover placed over his body to deflect germs earned Northstar the Caped Crusader nickname.
Approximately half of Northstar’s skin had healed. The OSU vets hope that the remainder of the damaged skin will recover by next years. The Northstar Equine Foundation, the horse’s owners, and an anonymous donor have covered the $40,000 cost of his care thus far.
The arsonist who burned Northstar remains at large. A $3,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Donations for the care of the burned horse are accepted via the foundation website.
WARNING: Video contains graphic images
[Image Via: Northstar Equine Foundation website]