Rood + Riddle Report on Surgery, Medical Status of Rachel Alexandra After Foaling Complication

How could anyone forget Rachel Alexandra’s commanding win in the Kentucky Oaks against fillies and, just two weeks later, in the Preakness against the colts© She was Horse of the Year in 2009…a year with no shortage of superstars, including Zenyatta. Rachel electrified the racing game, and our hearts. She is currently hospitalized at Lexington’s Rood + Riddle Equine Hospital, where she underwent abdominal surgery late last night for complications after giving birth to her second foal, a filly by Bernardini. (NYRA ad, 2009)

Updated Release from Rood + Riddle Equine Hospital on Rachel Alexandra’s Procedure and Current Condition

After foaling Rachel Alexandra was closely monitored by Stonestreet Farm employees as well as Rood & Riddle veterinarians. On Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 a change in her demeanor was noted and she was immediately rushed to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital to undergo exploratory abdominal surgery to determine the cause of excess fluid in her abdominal cavity denoting an infection.

Surgery identified that the cause of the infection was a section of the small colon that had lost its blood supply due to an injury during foaling causing bacteria to be released into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal lavage was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria. Due to the nature and the extent of the problem the surgery was long and technically demanding but recovery from anesthesia was uncomplicated.

Rachel Alexandra is currently receiving IV antibiotics, IV fluids, anti-inflammatory agents, IV nutrition and medications to counteract the effects of bacterial toxins. Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. A standing abdominal lavage utilizing abdominal drains placed at surgery is also being performed several times a day.

Her condition is very serious but it is too early to give an accurate prognosis.

Dr. Brett Woodie (the attending surgeon on the case) said in his press conference this afternoon that she is doing “the best that can be expected”.




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