A horse in Tennessee has been treated for injuries after having an axe lodged in its skull between the eyes.

Vet Dan Hitch who sutured the wound at Robertson County Animal Clinic described the injury as “awful”.

“[The axe] was a quarter to a half-inch into the skull,” he told NewsChannel5 in the US, adding: “no creature deserves that kind of treatment”.

The blade of the tobacco axe narrowly missed a major nerve in the horse’s head. It is thought the equine will make a full recovery without any brain damage.

The horse’s owner, Sheila Wilborn, said she thought the attack was planned, and has decided to keep the horse — called Fancy — at a livery yard rather then take the animal home while the assailant is still at large.

The attack, which occurred on Wednesday 15 August, is being investigated by police.

Sgt Tom Ryan of the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office admitted to NewsChannel5: “I’ve never seen anything like this.”