10/01/2012 1:05PM

Paynter develops abscess, moving to New Bolton Center

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Haskell winner Paynter was shipped Monday from an upstate New York veterinary hospital to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, where he could undergo surgery as part of continuing treatment for colitis.

Justin Zayat, the son of Paynter’s owner, Ahmed Zayat, and his father’s racing and stallion manager, said Paynter was shipped by van to New Bolton, where he will be under the care of Dr. Louise Southwood. The journey was to take about 6 1/2 hours.

Veterinarians at the Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., discovered what appears to be an abscess, or what Justin Zayat termed “a lump that had a filling of bacteria,” in the colt’s abdomen during an ultrasound last week. Paynter’s attending veterinarian, Dr. Laura Javsicas, told the Zayats that the abscess could be a secondary problem related to the colitis, an inflammation of the colon that can be fatal.

“The reason we’re sending him down to the New Bolton Center is because, first of all, we could have shipped to Kentucky or something but a horse in his condition, it’s just unsafe to put him on a van for that long to ship all the way across country,” Justin Zayat said. “We sent him to the New Bolton Center because it’s a great facility and for the convenience of it. My dad has spoken to vets from all over the country and to all the vets there, and everyone’s on board with exactly what’s going on.

“When he gets there, I think they’re going to take a camera and put it inside of him, see exactly what the lump is, and from there they’re going to decide, ‘Do we go do a surgery or do we medically remove the abscess?’ ”

Zayat said the non-surgical option for treating the abscess is a course of antibiotics.

“There’s good and there’s bad to this abscess,” Zayat said. “The good is, if you get rid of the abscess, you could see maybe that was prolonging his colitis from getting better. But there’s also the fact that, going in for surgery, you have to put a horse in his condition under anesthesia, and then taking it from there. The reason Dr. Laura wanted to send him there is because if you put him on more antibiotics, it could be bad for his GI [gastrointestinal] tract. She wanted to send him there to maybe do the surgery, so she didn’t have to put him on more antibiotics.”

Zayat said Paynter has been on a special diet and is beginning to gain weight but, at about 930 pounds, is about 200 pounds lighter than his normal weight.

“He’s been eating well, and any nutrients we’ve given him over the last couple days, he’s actually been gaining some weight back,” Zayat said. “His attitude is good. He’s happy, his eyes are open, he’s being a little playful and eating, and he doesn’t seem like he’s suffering. That’s why we keep on going. Everything’s going in the right direction, so why not give him the chance to keep fighting?”

Paynter was admitted to the Upstate Equine Medical Center with colitis on Aug. 26. It was his second trip to a clinic during the summer; two days after his July 29 Haskell win, he was admitted to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey with what his connections thought was pneumonia, although he also later developed diarrhea. He improved and returned to light training with Bob Baffert two weeks later, only to ship to Schuylerville after developing a fever and diarrhea again.

In early September, Paynter showed early signs of laminitis, but that disease, caught early and treated aggressively, did not progress, giving hope that the 3-year-old Awesome Again colt might race again if vets can cure his colitis. Justin Zayat said Paynter no longer wears the supportive casts that Dr. Bryan Fraley, of the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, fitted him with as part of the laminitis treatment, and the colt has been enjoying turnout for a while.

“The other day Dr. Laura went out to see him grazing, and, even with the abscess, he started running,” Zayat said.

Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
I've read all the posts here on Paynter and have to say that I really have come to understand most of the people here who are writing. I am utterly amazed. I say that at 8pm tonight, we should all go out onto our front porches. (The curb for all you renters) and light a candle and belt out a loud verse on Kumbaya in honor of good "ole Paynter the mmost brave, courageous, stunning, tough, honorable, strong, sick horse that brought this country together, lowered unemployment, rid us of illeagal aliens, beat inflation, lowered the price of gas, amazed and stunned us on the track and just is so, so pretty. Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Oh, Lord, kumbaya. Someone's cryin', Lord, kumbaya; Someone's cryin', Lord, kumbaya; Someone's cryin', Lord, kumbaya; Oh, Lord, kumbaya. Someone's singin', Lord, kumbaya; [ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/seekers-lyrics/kumbaya-lyrics.html ] Someone's singin', Lord, kumbaya; Someone's singin', Lord, kumbaya; Oh, Lord, kumbaya. Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya; Oh, Lord, kumbaya. Kumbaya.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I hope ponies don't pay you per letter bc you don't deserve it. Got enuf' attention, jerk!
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Good to hear, Paynter survived another round! He has the heart of a champion to be sure. Thank-you Joy for the update, I always like to read your entries, they are always uplifting, never negative. Some could take a lesson from this horse. He has managed to show courage, kindness and class while being sick and miserable a good deal of the time. And suposedly he's just an animal.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Laura. I feel the same about your posts. I agree with you about some people needing to show the attributes Paynter has shown while being very ill. His sunny disposition has been remarkable considering all he has had to endure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
paynther attributes and disposition are so remarkable they are nothing less then spectacular bid in nature!! man that animal makes me all warm a fuzzy inside!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
last time i checked, indeed he was an animal.
Patrick De Vito More than 1 year ago
Sounds like appendicitis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
at approximately 1 pm today Paynter "stood like a champ"..........he should be one heck of a stud! good going Paynter!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
He will be a grand sire. Glad he is pulling through. Hope he's done enough and been through enough to be retired.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Paynter update: According to reliable sources, Paynter's operation was successful. He came out of surgery/anesthesia around 1:00 p.m. EDT today (10/3/12), and, in his doctor's words, "stood like a champ". A 15 inch puss and bacteria-filled abscess was removed from Paynter's intestines. With that removed, he should feel better and stop spiking fevers. The doctor indicated the operation went as predicted and planned. Great news!! Way to go, Paynter! What a courageous horse. He is fighting with everything he has in him for his excellent health. I am thrilled the surgery was successful. Paynter is a warrior.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
joy i actually heard it was a 15 and 3/8th inch puss infected boil on his chin. that darn lieing person! i thought he was lieing and you just confirmed it joy thanks! Paynter is a warrior a champ etc etc
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the update. I truly hope Paynter has seen his worst days. He's been in the best vet hospital in the country and has had a successful recovery, again! God bless you and God bless Paynter.
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Paynter, you continue to amaze! This roller coaster ride (not unlike being on the back of a wild mustang) may soon draw to a conclusion. Hope is only lost when you give up the fight. Someone once penned "A dog may be man's best friend, but the horse wrote history." Paynter is writing an addendum to that history.
rhonda More than 1 year ago
Glad to hear he is doing good…. What kind of sick people are going to make negative comment about a good owner doing their du diligence to save a horse. You people that think animals have no feelings and are not important are sick and wrong. If you are not interested in Paynters condition don’t read or comment on it.. why would make negative remarks! JUST DISCUSTING...
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Quick action (at New Bolton) may have made all the difference. We hope so...
unmarx1 More than 1 year ago
Zayat tweets , ":Paynter out of 3hr. surgery to remove abcess and infection from cecal apex (appendix) rest of colon pretty good. Dr.Southwood very happy with how the surgery went. Paynter standing in recovery room. " sounds very good so far. Horse is a fighter.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
I have read many things posted here over time. Some good,some not so good. But almost always written by fans of the sport who truly care. Then there are clowns like this Cheryl Ahmad. She is obviously a sad little girl with no real intrest other than getting attention by making rediculous comments to try and stir a pot. No further space should be wasted on fools like her. Now back to RACING.
Sharjil Ahmad More than 1 year ago
lol..... yet people like you keep writing about my comments. Only coz they are true, and i have courage to say it. Im in no dream land as you guys.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Now back to RACING
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Thanks for your horse (& people) sense.