Infection surfaces on Barbaro's hoof

Horse racing

July 07, 2006|By SANDRA MCKEE

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who has had six good weeks of recovery from a shattered right, rear leg, ran into a couple bumps in his road to recovery this week, Dr. Dean Richardson revealed yesterday.

Late Wednesday evening Dr. Richardson decided to change Barbaro's cast for a third time and found a small infection on the sole of the horse's uninjured left hind hoof.

The chief surgeon had just put a new cast on Barbaro's injured leg Monday, but said, "Barbaro was not comfortable with the second cast, so we decided it would be best to replace it sooner rather than later."

In a release from the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, Dr. Richardson also indicated Barbaro showed a slight elevation in body temperature.

Dr. Richardson said he found the infection in the hoof near the frog, a V-shaped cushiony growth that helps absorb shock, during the surgical examination.

He is treating the infection topically and Barbaro is on systemic antibiotics, a common post-surgical practice. He also has a new protective shoe on his left hind foot, which is designed to help protect the horse from laminitis, a painful inflammation. And he is being closely monitored to make sure he is comfortable.

No one knows how much longer Barbaro will have to remain at the hospital in Kennett Square but estimates suggest he will remain there for at least two more months.

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