Barbaro Update

Barbaro was recovering well after his second cast change at the University of Pennyslvania's New Bolton Center. "Barbaro is back in his stall and is doing well," said Chief of Surgery Dean W. Richardson, who on July 3 replaced the cast he had put on Barbaro on June 13. "Also, we replaced two bent screws and added three new ones across the pastern joint. His radiographs look great, and he had another successful pool recovery."

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro sustained serious fractures in the Preakness Stakes on May 20. Barbaro underwent surgery on May 21 and since has been recovering in an intensive care stall at the Kennett Square, Pa., hospital. Surgeons changed the now-celebrity patient's cast on June 13 under general anesthesia, at which time his leg looked "excellent."

On June 27, Corinne Sweeney, associate dean of the University's School of Veterinary Medicine and executive hospital director for the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, said, "Barbaro continues to improve; he is maintaining his weight and his coat looks good. I would say he is a happy, healthy horse."

During that June 13 cast change, Richardson was able to view the healing progress with the cast off the leg. At that point he said, "The incision has healed well and judging by the radiographs, the graft is opacifying ('taking')," Richardson said. "Callus is forming nicely, and all of the implants (plate and screws) look unchanged."

The second cast change also was uncomplicated, but the plate and screws holding the fragments of bone together required additional surgery.

In both instances, the casts were replaced while Barbaro was under general anesthesia, with recovery in the New Bolton pool.

Bramlage's Take

Three weeks after telling the world about Barbaro's condition directly after the horse's breakdown at the Preakness, Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., said, "I think our ontrack vet program worked great that day.

"The worst thing for viewers is not to have any information," added Bramlage. "I think we were accurate, gave the best information we had, and made people as comfortable as possible. It was a bad injury and we had to tell people that." —Lenny Shulman and The Horse staff

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