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Cast change for Barbaro, and new screws

July 4, 2006

Dr. Emma Adam (top) and Dr. Richardson (above) give Barbaro a new cast.

Members of the surgical team view a
radiograph of Barbaro's leg.

Photos: Sabina Louise Pierce/University of Pennsylvania

Star patient Barbaro received a new fibreglass cast yesterday at the New Bolton Center's George D. Widener Hospital. The Kentucky Derby winner has been in intensive care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine since shattering his hind leg on May 20.

"Barbaro is back in his stall and is doing well," said Chief of Surgery Dean W. Richardson, who 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."

Barbaro had been in some discomfort, because of an abscess in the heel of his near (left) hind hoof, it was reported today by Alex Brown.

As the old cast was showing signs of wear, it may well have been a good opportunity for the vets caring for Barbaro to more closely inspect and treat the abscess in the other leg.

An abscess in a horse's foot is a painful condition. It can be caused by a variety of means, causing the horse to become lame, and experience heat and a pounding pulse in the affected foot.

The degree of lameness can be from subtle to the horse being unwilling to put its foot on the ground. Abscesses must be opened up in order to drain and heal.



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