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Barbaro gets special shoe to prevent laminitis

May 29, 2006

Barbaro's special hind shoe is fitted by New Bolton vets.
Photos: Sabina Louise Pierce/University of Pennsylvania

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro continues to take small steps toward recovery from a shattered hind leg. The three-year-old colt broke bones above and below his ankle at the Preakness on May 20, ending his racing career.

Chief of Surgery Dean W. Richardson said "He has had an incredibly good week, and is doing very well."

A special horseshoe designed and patented by the Farrier Service at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine has been applied to Barbaro's hoof.

"One of the complications that can occur following leg fractures in horses is the risk of developing laminitis in the opposite foot from bearing extra weight," said New Bolton Center farrier Rob Sigafoos.

"To reduce this risk, we applied a supportive shoe to Barbaro's left hind foot immediately following the surgery for the fracture of his right hind leg."

Sigafoos explained that the shoe is designed to reduce the risk of laminitis in several ways: • By supporting the sole of the left hind foot
• By containing materials that minimize weakening and possible infection of the sole
• By being built up to extend the length of the left hind foot, which compensates for the additional length of the right hind limb created by the cast.

Barbaro remains in intensive care at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center.

• Jockey Edgar Prado met Barbaro for the first time yesterday since the colt's accident.

"I was happy to see him doing so good, feeling so good, looking so bright," said Prado after the visit.

"He's not out of the woods yet, but it was really good to see him."

Figure: This three-part glue-on shoe was designed and patented by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and has been in use for more than 10 years.


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