Updated on 08/30/2012 4:34PM

Paynter found to have colitis; vet expresses great concern

Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter has had his return to California delayed by illness since his Haskell Invitational victory.

Paynter on Tuesday night was described as being seriously ill by Dr. Mark Cheney, the respected equine veterinarian who is overseeing his treatment, who said the Haskell Invitational winner has colitis - an inflammation of the colon - and that a principle concern now is also founder.

"I'm worried to death," Cheney said in a telephone interview. "You've got to keep your fingers crossed. Just hope and pray."

Paynter was taken late Sunday to the Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, N.Y., nine miles northeast of Saratoga. He had been at Saratoga for several days after arriving from Belmont Park. This is the second time in less than a month that Paynter has become so ill that he needed to be sent to a veterinary clinic.

On July 31, two days after his win in the Haskell, Paynter was sent to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, N.J. He remained there for two weeks before going to Belmont Park. His trainer, Bob Baffert, said Paynter had diarrhea that time, and said "we dodged a bullet" once Paynter's condition improved.

Baffert earlier Tuesday said Paynter's temperature had reached 103 degrees in New York - normal for a horse is around 100 - and that he again had a serious case of diarrhea. Baffert sounded much more concerned with Paynter's condition this time than he did the first time he took ill in New Jersey, and Cheney says those concerns were justified.

"I just don't think he got over what he had down there," Cheney said. "I'm just glad they didn't ship him on Monday."

Paynter was scheduled to fly back to California on Monday. He had been at Saratoga since late last week after spending several days at Belmont Park. He was sent to Saratoga because Baffert had several horses there who raced last weekend -- such as Contested in the Test Stakes -- who were all scheduled to fly to California on Monday.

Cheney said that when he examined Paynter over the weekend, "He had lost weight, and you could see in his eyes he was not as healthy as he should be."

The decision was then made to send him to the clinic.

Paynter earlier this year finished second in the Belmont Stakes to Union Rags. He is owned by Ahmed Zayat.

- additional reporting by David Grening


Kay Foley More than 1 year ago
Prayers are with you youngster. Sending a huge horse hug your way.
Ziggy Pop More than 1 year ago
Tweet says he did not have a good night. Second Tweet says Zayats on way to see him.
Marc Rogala More than 1 year ago
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Zentanic144 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Zayat tweeted a little while ago that Paynter is doing a bit better and that they were hand-grazing him, I believe. Power Up, Paynter
unmarx1 More than 1 year ago
"more playful, and eating fresh grass', but no word on less diarrhea or a reduction in fever. still, it sounds positive.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
You give an addictive substance to any breathing creature, they will get sick without it to any number of degrees. And yes, withdrawal can mean death for many opioids. I'm not saying this happened to Paynter or any of the others this yr with similar illnesses. I don't claim to be an expert horseperson or even a vet. But I have worked in the field of addictions, forensic and neuropsych and specialized in psychopharmocology. So, don't tell me to go back to the kitchen, get off the board or correct my inexperienced remarks. I love to see these glorious animals race; I hate to see them get sick, injured or killed because if medications that can do harm, legal or otherwise. I care about the animal as well as well the racer. And yes, withdrawal can cause fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, diseases like colitis and ulcers and death. This message board us about a sick horse and mostly people who care about his well being. Thanx for the read.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Paynter isn't "addicted" to any medication. And horses can't vomit Susan. For that matter no horse of note has had a similar serious illness as Paynter this year. I don't know what to call you. So I will just skip past your non sensical posts going forward.
Five More than 1 year ago
cat fight, eh.......
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Yeah, right? Geez! It was a hypothetical. I guess I didn't make it clear!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I didn't say he was. I didn't say horses vomit. Get a grip ....
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Bode was ill also from his efforts. Wake up n come out of wonderland alice
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I never said either if these horses were medicated. It was regarding the article as well as illness in general. Geez!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bode had a brief fever like a lot of racehorses, never came close to going to a clinic, returned to training, and then had a completely separate shoulder injury a month later. Bode was working quite well for a month before his fever in early July, too.
Ange More than 1 year ago
You may know about human drug problems but it sounds like you don't know the front end of a horse from the back end. As Barbara said, horses can't vomit, physically impossible for them to do so which is why they are so prone to intestinal issues like colic. And they can pick up intestinal bugs because of the food they eat, bugs tend to grow in grasses & grains.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Susan. You have an intelligent comment backed w experience and knowledge. Dont let the blind persaude your intellect. Some are just infatuated with fame and power. You could be exactly right. Lets just pray for Paynter now. You'll never convince the ignorant
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Thank you for that. Now about your other two comments... I have no illusions of Wonderland, Doubting T. What do you mean when you state I'm referring often to money?? As for the ''value" I meant non-monetary worth. (Yes, I've combed through 100+ comments looking for this one)
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Those comments were for dear ms. bowen..who admirably defends baffert at all costs even threatening me with lawsuits from the wealthy connections of this colt.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
They were sent to my account:-)
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
I didn't threaten you with anything, I'd just be careful when you sling nasty, baseless accusations around as easily as you do about anyone.
Ponies Payme More than 1 year ago
colitis....Since when is this an Additive Medication issue. You are one of those bleeding heart idiots who talks nonsense just to get heard. MODERATOR. Can we have this MORON banned??????? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE
Jack More than 1 year ago
Get REAL , Take away the "DRUGS" or Juice as it's called on the BACKSTRETCH and 90% of those So-Called "SUPER TRAINER'S" will DISAPPEAR.....This game NEEDS a GOOD HOUSE CLEANING..............................
Five More than 1 year ago
Jack, what you're saying is not the politically correct thing to do,but I agree. The so-called animal/horse lovers are in denial of this fact. If they are "truly" animal lovers, they should support any action to clean up this sport. We all feel for Paynter, but, we the fans did not put him there. Jack, you know what, "SUPER TRAINERS" do not act alone nor unknowingly to the ownership. Crooked owners make the trainers crooked. Gambling winnings, purses = greed. Any heavy or high gambling owner is not good for this sport. If the racing authoriies do not act, the Federal Gov't should, to save this industry.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Amen Brother
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Jack, You are exactly right.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Can you not see the connection?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
It's possible. Think sick junkie.
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
For more on the subject (?) of doping, here is a link: http://www.rmtcnet.com/content_recentrulings.asp This is the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium website. Now, they don't have access to every single ruling, as they state on the site, so there could be drug violations they don't list. I notice many of the horses are not Thoroughbreds and many of the tracks are minor. I also noticed some were given caffeine... I definitely need caffeine to perform my best! Nonetheless, make of the data what you will.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I am going to suggest to all you know-nothings out there that you google colitis-x. This is a life-threatening disease which is almost always fatal (it killed Landaluce). When you ship horses they can get sick. Just the stress of moving and the possibility of picking up infections in a stall which was previously occupied by another horse who might have been sick. There is no way to completely sanitize a stall, especially in these old barns at the track. You people are wacko on the subject of doping.
Truthhurtssometimes More than 1 year ago
Yeah okay Cell. Now take your own advice and become educated before calling others out okay? Colitis, in & of itself, won't kill a human or a horse. However, it causes a very painful abdomen & as a result of the pain, a horse can develop laminitis & founder. And this is what is normally fatal to a horse. Because they will not want to move around since movement increases the abdominal pain & will stand in one place for too long. That can cause laminitis. They also try to stand with their back legs extending out behind them further than is normal, trying to alleviate the pain. That, too, can cause laminitis. The pain can prompt them to lie down & not want to get up. That, too, can lead to laminitis. The stress of pain of any kind can also cause a horse to develop laminitis. These are all very real reasons why Paynter's condition is so grave. Colic, brought on from stress, is also a very real threat. I read where Paynters fever has subsided which is great news for him. My questions are in regards to his previous treatment. He was released from this same clinic on August 10th and send to Belmont Park. He had either one or two works before being shipped to Saratoga where he suffered a relapse. I think I might have taken a little more time with him to insure his condition was stabilized before working him again. The best treatment for Paynter (provided he recovers) is to keep him stress free and on steroids/antibiotics to control the condition. It's a sad situation for this horse and their snake bit connections.
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Google is definitely NOT your friend, Truth. You'd be a vet's worst nightmare. But I bet you don't own a horse, so we won't worry about it. And Paynter never "worked" he only tack walked, jogged, and galloped.
Truthhurtssometimes More than 1 year ago
And Barb the keyboard is not yours. Your ignorant comments not withstanding, what exactly are you disputing. I was raised around horses my entire life. So really think what you may. My point to cell was calling out others for their opinion when his is incorrect only shows the ignorance of the general public. As far as your opinion of my comments, or me I really could give a flying leap. So please google that honey. You may go back to your housework now. Thanks so much for participating
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Truth, half of what you said was the opposite of reality in your first post. You were "raised" around horses? Clearly you have never had a horse suffer from colitis or laminitis or you don't understand either disease at all. I have had a horse suffer in a clinic setting with laminitis and severe founder as a consequence of an injury, so yeah, I DO know what I am talking about. You are proof that sexist clowns are alive and well, though, so that's something in your favor. Specifically the frequent consequence of laminitis s is not weight bearing in the case of colitis, the endotoxins are. A horse standing with his legs out front is a symptom of a horse that already has laminitis, not a cause. Lying down does not cause laminitis and in fact can help alleviate the pain and inflammation. In Paynter's case there is a very good possibility that a sling is being utilized to give him interval relief as they don't want him to go down because he might not get back up due to his weak condition. Lastly, as a note to you and accuracy, he didn't ever " work" since his initial illness. But I doubt you know the difference and there is no cure for clueless in your case. The good news is that I do recognize the sheer insanity of trying to reason with someone like you and will bow out here.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
I was typing a reply and seen there was already one . Looks like someone got > Google up unbound hypocrisy
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
I stand by everything I said. I have had personal experience with this - not with a thoroughbred, but with an American saddlebred (and I have owned horses for over forty-five years). A horse from our barn was shipped from Montgomery, Alabama, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a Monday morning. Wednesday night my friend got a phone call telling her that her mare was dead. Now, this mare was not "juiced", but she was shipped into a strange barn, where she got sick. There is not one shred of evidence that anything Bob Baffert did caused his horse to get sick.
Robert Smith More than 1 year ago
So if you follow your own logic i can assume that you where standing right next to BB when he received medical instructions.
Five More than 1 year ago
ok Cell, who's really the know-nothing, now ?
Barbara Bowen More than 1 year ago
Truth won that contest in a walkover.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
I guess you pulled those endotoxins out of your arse?. But my real question is mos of you have nothing to do with Thoroughbreds or wager on them, so why are you even here? Is it because nobody will listen to you and it's a free forum? I bet you never even purchased a DRF.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
You are absolutely correct. And colitis-x (in humans it's C-diff) can be contagious or idiopathic. I've said many times these 3yo have been using the same 'trough'.