Rachel Alexandra in serious condition after surgery

Rachel Alexandra and her new foal, by Bernardini.
Rachel Alexandra and her new foal, by Bernardini.

Former star racemare Rachel Alexandra is in a serious condition after surgery for an injury sustained during foaling.

Her filly foal by Bernardini was born on February 12, and owners Stonestreet Farm said Rachel Alexandra underwent surgery at  Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky, to repair an area of bruising in her small colon, which was injured during foaling.

Surgery identified that a section of the small colon that had lost its blood supply, causing bacteria to be released into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal lavage was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria. Due to the nature and the extent of the problem the surgery was long and technically demanding but recovery from anesthesia was uncomplicated.

Rachel Alexandra is currently receiving IV antibiotics, IV fluids, anti-inflammatory agents, IV nutrition and medications to counteract the effects of bacterial toxins. Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. A standing abdominal lavage utilizing abdominal drains placed at surgery is also being performed several times a day.

Dr Brett Woodie performed the surgery and Rachel is currently in recovery under the watch of Dr Bonnie Barr. A full prognosis cannot be determined at this time, but her condition is serious.

“We are solely focused on making sure Rachel is as comfortable as possible. She is showing the same strength and courage now that she demonstrated on the track,” said owner, Barbara Banke.

“Our hearts are broken by this turn of events and I can only ask that you send your thoughts and prayers to Rachel now.”

He said that she was doing “the best that can be expected”.

Rachel Alexandra’s 140-pound filly, born Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. is healthy. The filly has returned to Stonestreet Farm and will be tended by a nurse mare.

Rachel’s first was a colt by Curlin, born on January 22, 2012, and named Jess’s Dream.

Below is a video from a press conference on Rachel Alexander’s condition.

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