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Barbaro well, but doctors still cautious

August 23, 2006

Barbaro's stable is adorned with gifts and messages from well-wishers. People have sent treats for both Barbaro and his care-givers.

Photos: Sabina Louise Pierce/University of Pennsylvania

Barbaro is doing so well in his recovery that he looks like he wants to go back into work, his vet says. But the Kentucky Derby winner's excellent progress is tempered with caution - there is still some way to go to a full recovery.

Barbaro's hind legs - both in casts - are doing well and there are no plans to change the casts in the near future, vets at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital say.

"Barbaro is doing well on both hind limbs," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery.

"Because of this, we do not plan to change his right hind cast in the next two weeks."

The colt's left hind foot has laminitis, but Barbaro seems comfortable with that foot as well.

"He needs to continue to improve over the next few months before we will have a better idea about his long term comfort." said Dr. Richardson.

"Barbaro's appetite and his attitude right now are phenomenal; he attacks his feed and when he goes out to graze, he acts like he thinks he could train."

Doctors remain cautious about Barbaro's prognosis because, according to Dr. Richardson, there is no assurance that he will surmount all of his medical problems.

"Right now, he is a surprisingly happy horse," he said.

"He is gaining weight and has had his pain medications reduced without any effect on his well being. His strength and overall appearance have been improving since he became well enough to be walked outside each day."

Barbaro remains in the Intensive Care Unit of the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where he is recovering from injuries suffered at the Preakness on May 20.


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