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Sixth cast change for embattled Barbaro

July 11, 2006

Dr. Dean Richardson and Barbaro. His cast has been changed for the fourth time in a week, the sixth time since he was first injured in May.

Photos: Sabina Louise Pierce/University of Pennsylvania

Barbaro the battler has had yet another cast change in his struggle to recover from the devastating injury to his off hind leg.

Vets also took the opportunity to treat the abscess which had developed in his near hind hoof.

After evaluating the Kentucky Derby winner yesterday morning, Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery, replaced the cast on the colt's injured hind leg for a sixth time.

"The long leg cast was replaced with a short leg cast this morning. This was done with Barbaro in a sling and only under mild sedation," said Dr. Richardson.

"The long cast was used as extra support during the anesthetic recovery phase. It is much easier for him to move around his stall and get up and down with a short cast. We also found and treated an abscess in his left hind foot that was bothering him."

Barbaro spent a comfortable night and is eating well after surgery to stabilize the pastern joint this weekend. "We're continuing his pain medication, antibiotics and other supportive care," said Dr. Richardson.

"He appears more comfortable today and has had a normal temperature, heart rate and overall attitude."

Dr Richardson was quoted on ESPN saying: "I think we're in for tough times right now. I think we're going to have some tough days ahead. I'm being realistic about it. When a horse has a setback like this, it's a problem."

Barbaro continues to be monitored closely in the Intensive Care Unit of the George D. Widener Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.



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