Barbaro still stable, will have cast on left hoof changed

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Barbaro remained in stable condition
Monday, was eating well after another comfortable night in his
stall and was expected to have the fiberglass cast on his ailing
left foot changed.

"The reality is, you have to say poor at this point in time. It doesn't mean it's hopeless and I think that's the
big difference."
Dr. Kathleen Anderson on Barbaro's prognosis

Dr. Dean Richardson said the left cast on the Kentucky Derby
winner "will be changed so that the hoof can be treated and
watched for signs of infection." Barbaro has laminitis, a painful
and often-fatal condition, in his left rear hoof.

Richardson said Barbaro's vital signs, appetite and heart rate
remained normal Monday, though there was no indication the colt's
condition has improved since the vet's grim prognosis last week.

"We will continue to manage his pain successfully, and he is
alert," Richardson said.

The colt, who had 80 percent of his left rear hoof wall removed
last week, still faces the same tough odds to survive a severe case
of laminitis and a reconstructed right hind leg.

"It is important for people to understand this is not a
'routine' laminitis," Richardson said in a statement. "The care
involved in treating a hoof with this degree of compromise is

Barbaro was active in his sling in the intensive care unit,
eating in his "usual voracious style," and the colt's attending
veterinarian said Monday she was "encouraged" by his appearance.

"He has learned how to adapt his posture to the sling so he can
benefit from the most comfort," Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Barbaro's
attending vet when the horse was racing and stabled in trainer
Michael Matz's barn at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton,
Md., told The Associated Press after a visit.

"He's learning how to almost dog sit, which is good because it
takes the weight off the front legs which is, of course, our next
great concern."

Anderson left a mid-afternoon visit feeling good about the way
the colt was looking. But while medical reports were encouraging
for the fourth straight day, she said Barbaro's prognosis was still

"The reality is, you have to say poor at this point in time,"
she said. "It doesn't mean it's hopeless and I think that's the
big difference."

Barbaro has casts on both rear limbs. The cast on the colt's
right hind leg, shattered at the start of the Preakness Stakes on
May 20, has been changed at least four times in the last two weeks
at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals.

On Wednesday, veterinarians performed a procedure to remove most
of the hoof wall in Barbaro's left rear leg to combat the
laminitis, a painful, often-fatal foot disease usually caused by
uneven weight distribution in the limbs. The disease could appear
in another limb at any time, and if it does, it would likely result
in the horse being euthanized.

Barbaro has been listed in stable condition since Friday, the
day after Richardson said the colt had laminitis "as bad as it
gets" and termed his chance of survival poor.