Carol Platt Liebau: Barbaro Update

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Barbaro Update

Barbaro is out of surgery and doing well.

The acid test, however, will be over the next two months. Keep the prayers coming -- the main thing is that laminitis (a condition in which blood doesn't circulate to the hoof) doesn't set in. After eight weeks, if things look good for Barbaro, he's golden. But it's hard to know until then.

It's a blessing that the injury didn't break the skin. If it had, Barbaro would have had to be euthanized at the track. Fortunately, Edgar Prado realized something was very wrong, and pulled him up in time. Had Barbaro made it around the first turn, the injury would almost certainly have claimed this magnificent horse's life.

Let's pray that good news keeps coming.


Blogger SicSemperTyrannus said...

If there is one hero in this year's Preakness, it has to be Edgar Prado. His reflexive act of reining in Barbaro displayed that some things are more important than winning a horse race.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

And there are more important things than a horse! This morning all the news driving to work is about this horse, and now, even here, the first item is about a horse! Puleeease! There are much more important issues than a horse's leg (in this case). Like I, or anyone else, should give a rat's whatever about this?

7:58 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

I'm glad to hear that -- thank you.

Could you explain to someone who knows zero about horses why a broken leg might require euthanasia? I gather that it's not just about lameness, since both on an compassionate basis and a financial one (as a stud) it would make more sense to keep the animal alive, even if permanently lame. You did mention laminitis, which sounds like it would be a precursor to gangrene, but are there other issues as well?

8:02 AM  
Blogger Clark said...

Horses with limb fractures: It is difficult to keep them non-weight-bearing, difficult to keep them immobile, and difficult for them to heal bone in their extremities. Horses can be held up in slings to be non-weight bearing, but their temperaments don't often allow this, so people normally keep them locked in stables, tranquilized. When they don't move around, however, they are prone to intestinal impactions ("colic")since they need the motion of their large body muscles to help move waste along. Impactions are often fatal because their GI tract is very long and is not well anchored to their abdominal walls. Straining leads to twists. Horses have weak circulation to their feet becasue they have no muscle below the knee to help with blood return through the veins. What blood reaches their feet tends to pool there, especially when they are not moving around enough. This causes laminitis, or inflammation between the think layers that make up the hoof. It also slows healing.

5:49 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Thanks, Clark!

4:42 PM  

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