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Barbaro puts best hoof forward

October 2, 2006

Barbaro with jockey Edgar Prado, who visited his Kentucky Derby winner recently.

Photo: Kathy Freeborn/University of Pennsylvania

It can take about a year for a horse's hoof to completely grow out, and so far Barbaro's laminitis-affected near hind hoof has grown 18mm.

Veterinarians at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital continue to be pleased with his medical progress.

"The left hind hoof on Barbaro has grown about 18 millimeters in the heel area," said Dr. Dean Richardson, Chief of Surgery.

"It has to grow at least three times that, which could take more than six months. It's a very gradual process; the bottom of his foot has to completely heal as well."

Barbaro continues to be comfortable in his right hind leg cast, so there are no immediate plans to change it.

"As always, we monitor his comfort very closely, and we will likely change the cast within the next two weeks," said Dr. Richardson.

"Barbaro's vital signs continue to be excellent, as is his appetite. He definitely enjoys his daily excursions outside to walk and graze."

Barbaro spends about 30 to 40 minutes outside every day, depending on the weather.

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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