07/16/2006 11:00PM

Barbaro remains stable


Barbaro, the ailing Kentucky Derby winner, remained in stable condition and was reported to be eating well on Monday, though his chief veterinarian cautioned that the case of laminitis Barbaro contracted in his left rear leg is severe.

"It is important for people to understand that this is not a 'routine' laminitis," Dr. Dean Richardson, the chief of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, said in a press release issued on Monday. "The care involved in treating a hoof with this degree of compromise is complex."

Richardson said that Barbaro's vital signs are good and that he had another quiet, restful night on Sunday night.

"He remains in stable condition, and he is eating well," Richardson said. "We continue to manage his pain successfully, and he is alert."

According to Richardson, Barbaro is tolerating well the cast on his right hind leg, which Barbaro fractured in the Preakness Stakes on May 20.

To treat a severe case of laminitis in the colt's left rear hoof, last week Richardson and his surgical team performed a hoof wall resection that removed 80 percent of the hoof. Doctors then applied a modified fiberglass foot cast to protect the hoof. According to Richardson, this foot cast will be changed as needed so that the hoof can be treated and watched for signs of infection.

The foot cast is rigid and provides greater stability and support than a bandage, Richardson said.