Racehorse Paynter Recovers from Laminitis, Fighting Colitis

Racehorse Paynter Recovers from Laminitis, Fighting Colitis

Paynter, left, could return to the racetrack if he recovers from colitis.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Belmost Stakes runner-up Paynter has "beaten laminitis" and will be able to race again if he beats colitis, his owner said Sept. 21.

The 3-year-old colt has been hospitalized at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., since the week of Aug. 26 while battling colitis, an infection of the colon. He was diagnosed with laminitis in three feet Sept. 4.

"Dr. Brian Fraley (DVM) in from Kentucky to visit him and wow, yes, he has beaten laminitis, and yes, he can race again," owner Ahmed Zayat said via Twitter, the method he has employed to issue updates on the son of Awesome Again. Fraley's business, Fraley Equine Podiatry, service is associated with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington.

Zayat also said the casts that had been applied to support the colt's limbs were removed Sept. 21, and that he was showing uniform growth in the hoof walls of all four feet.

"Radiographs taken barefoot showed significant sole growth," Zayat tweeted. "The hoof-lamellar zone has returned to a normal thickness, indicating a decrease in swelling within the hoof. Soft-ride boots with EVA foam pads were placed on the front feet and EVA foam pads were placed on the hind feet. He is sound at the walk."

Laura Javsicas, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, Paynter's attending veterinarian, and Fraley are optimistic the feet will not be performance-limiting, meaning the colt could race again at top levels. Paynter continues to battle colitis, however, and continues to spike fevers well above normal. On Sept. 17 doctors began a more aggressive strain of antibiotics delivered directly through a catheter to fight the illness.

"Now that our warrior has beaten this sick disease of laminitis, if he can only beat his colitis and get his (gastrointestinal) tract back to normal," Zayat tweeted. "Healing will take some time but we are heading in the right direction. His fever is normal today. He is bright, happy and comfortable. I am on cloud nine; I will take it day by day."

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at BloodHorse.com in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on ESPN.com, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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