Barbaro develops deadly infection

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kathy in MD, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Kathy in MD

    Kathy in MD Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know some one here on the forum was interested in Barbaro's health...I'm not sure if this is making national news..

    Barbaro Develops Potentially Deadly Infection
    (AP) Kennet Square, PA Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro has developed a severe case of laminitis, a potentially fatal disease caused by uneven weight distribution in the limbs, and his veterinarian called his chances for survival "a long shot."

    Dean Richardson, the chief surgeon who has been treating Barbaro since the colt suffered catastrophic injuries in the Preakness on May 20, said the Derby winner's chances of survival are poor.

    "I'd be lying if I said anything other than poor," Richardson said Thursday at a news conference at the University of
    Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. "As long as the horse is not suffering, we're going to continue to try" to save him.

    "If we can keep him comfortable, we think it's worth the effort."

    If not, Barbaro could be euthanized at any time. Richardson said if Barbaro doesn't respond quickly to treatment, "It could happen within 24 hours."

    Richardson said the laminitis, a painful condition, has all but destroyed the colt's hoof on his uninjured left hind leg.

    "The left hind foot is basically as bad a laminitis as you can have. It's as bad as it gets," Richardson said, while adding that horses can recover from the disease. He said he has discussed the situation closely with owners Roy and Gretchen Jackson, who have stressed that their main concern is for Barbaro to be pain free.

    Richardson said Barbaro's injured right hind leg the one that shattered at the start of the Preakness is healing well, but
    because a horse has to be evenly balanced to carry his weight, laminitis set in on the other foot.

    A procedure called a hoof wall resection removed 80 percent of Barbaro's left rear hoof. Both rear legs are now in casts.

    "The reason we cut away the hoof wall is because the hoof wall is not connected" to the bone, Richardson said. "If you had a nail that was separated from the end you'd pull it off. It's dead tissue that's in the way of living tissue. It's a problem in horses due to excessive weight bearing inflammation."

    Richardson said it would take several months for the hoof to grow back. "What we're doing on this horse is absolutely unusual, but it's not unheard of.

    "It's a devastating problem in horses that nobody has a solution to."

    Perhaps what makes it even more wrenching is that the horse is acting normal.

    "This horse, you look at him in the stall -- his ears are up, he's bright. He's looking around," Richardson said.

    "He's spending some time in the sling. Other times, he's out of the sling. We are not torturing this horse."

    The grim update came after nearly six weeks of what was considered to be a smooth recovery. Barbaro underwent five hours of surgery May 21 so a titanium plate and 27 screws could be inserted into three broken bones and the pastern joint. He has had three more operations in recent days.

    "I really thought we were going to make it two weeks ago," Richardson said. "Today I'm not as confident."

    Barbaro won the Derby by 6 1/2 lengths, was unbeaten in six races and expected to make a Triple Crown bid before his misstep ended his racing career. He was taken to the New Bolton Center hours after breaking down and underwent five hours of surgery the next day.

    At that time, Richardson said the chances of the horse's survival were 50-50.

    Since the break down, there has been a public outpouring of sympathy as well-wishers, young and old, showed up at the New Bolton Center with cards, flowers, gifts and goodies. And thousands of e-mails poured in to the hospital's Web site to voice concern and support.


    http://wjz.com/topstories/local_story_194074043.html
     
  2. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    Only the greed for stud fees has prolonged this animal's suffering. He should have been euthenized the day he was injured...
     

  3. Country Doc

    Country Doc Well-Known Member

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    On a human, infection with hardware (screws , plates, etc) don't mix. Generally you have to remove the hardware or the leg both of which is fatal to this horse.
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Boleyz, I think perhaps you're somewhat mistaken with your statement about suffering. His pain is being carefully managed and I can assure you that when it comes to horses, they're quick to let you know if they hurt. I initially thought that money might have something to do with his treatment but I also concluded that there is a lot to be learned from these treatments that carry over into ordinary equine treatments. There are a lot of reasons to keep trying to save this horse, other than money and I know people who have gone to such extremes to save their daughter's show pony or an old ranch horse and without vets that will take risks and horses with a strong will to survive, these advances would never happen. We've been talking about this over on the horse forum and the last time an elite TB had a break like this, the treatment failed terribly but there was enough learned from it that they could get this little guy out of anesthetic before he reinjured himself. The lesson from the previous time allowed vets to realize suspending the patient in water till they are fully conscious prevents further injury. I think it is wrong for us to believe that people with money can't care about their animals. It doesn't matter who's paying the bill, if treatment is not working, the vet will bring an end to the treatments.
     
  5. Kathy in MD

    Kathy in MD Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Country Doc...According to the TV broadcast I saw the infection is in the other leg

    WR.. very good insight thanks for pointing that out
     
  6. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    They actually already removed all the hardware and replaced it all last weekend. That infection was gotten under control, but now the other leg is the problem.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is national news, & I don't think it is an 'infection' but rather an 'inflamation' or over-stressing of the 'good' hind leg?

    --->Paul
     
  8. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Laminitis is a complex condition that can range from mild to so severe it's fatal and the after effects range from mild to fairly complex as well. It is technically not an infection. I noticed in the article I read that there was mention that part of the hoof wall had been removed and this struck me as interesting. I really don't expect the horse to survive and I wish his prognosis looked better but I find what his team of vets has done for him to be absolutely fascinating and being involved with horses, I can see so many practical applications that will stem from his treatment. Each time I read of this horse, I can't help but think of the man who received the mechanical heart. I don't think he or his family expected longevity, although they hoped for it but so much was learned.
     
  9. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    As of about 9 AM today, it is reported by Dr. Richardson that Barbaro had a good night, he feels a little more hopeful for him today than he did yesterday. He said he slept deeply through the night, laying on his side.
    I live in the area and have had dealings with the New Bolton Center where Barbaro is being treated. It is the best place he could be. Dr. Richardson is a tough, no nonsense vet. I truly believe he will not let the animal suffer. BUT, he will do everything possible to give him a chance to survive before deciding to end his life.
     
  10. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Everyone that comes into contact with this horse agrees that he is special....he has an extraordinary personality and no one wants to lose him.
     
  11. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I watched about a thousand replays of the race and the horse himself amazed me, he showed great heart and determination, I watched the shock and terror on the owner's faces, a jockey in tears and a trainer stunned beyond emotion. I've watched the colt's body language and physical condition in the treatement area and everything I see tells me this colt wants to live and wants to recover. Even medicated for pain, he shows no signs of dullness, he's curious, playful and eager. If it were about money, I can assure you the quickest way to handle the finances would have been to put him down and collect the insurance and walk away. This colt seems to have touched the hearts of everyone working with him and it is my fondest hope that there is a successful conclusion to this. I've handled stock that were sure to die for various reasons and it's amazing what the will to live will do for them and it's just as amazing to me when you're treating a sure bet and they simply quit trying to live and die for no apparent reason. I can assure everyone that this colt is being properly treated for pain or he would be dull and droopy and loosing condition or he would have simply quit and died on his own and none of this is the case.
     
  12. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Very, very well said WR....I've had horses that didn't want to die for various reasons, and then I've had some that just knew it was their time....and there is a big difference in how they act.....I just hope this guy makes it....money or no.....I hate to see any animal suffer........