Barbaro Update: The Sling is Back

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The latest from New Bolton Center, received this morning:

"Barbaro is stable and acceptably comfortable.

"Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's management has been changed to include sling support for several hours during the day, according to Dr. Dean W. Richardson, Chief of Surgery.

"He is getting up and down on his own and continues to eat and have stable vital signs. Radiographs (X-rays) taken yesterday revealed no additional complications in either hind leg. We are considering several additional therapeutic options at this time. He is stable and acceptably comfortable."

Laminitis therapy is a roller coaster ride, at best. It is not productive to try to read between the lines of the carefully-written reports from New Bolton Center. Client confidentiality and university liability require a precise choice of words.

However, in no way does this report, or yesterday's missive, indicate that the horse has suffered a recurrence of the laminitis itself. The problem is in the management of the partially-regrown hoof wall and in achieving a goal of optimal weightbearing/load share on both hind legs. Remember that both hind hooves and shoes have been adjusted, trimmed or treated recently and the horse surely reacted to one or more of those adjustments and/or pressure of the cast on the exposed hoof tissue.

Adjustments of appliances and minor surgical procedures during therapy are routine parts of the process, sometimes based on trial and error and sometimes on compromise.

Updates and insights will be posted on this blog.