Updated on 09/06/2012 1:55PM

Paynter found to have 'rapidly progressing' laminitis

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Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter became sore on his left foot on Monday and it had worsened by Tuesday.

Haskell winner Paynter appears to have taken a turn for the worse with a laminitis diagnosis, according to recent communications from his owner Ahmed Zayat.

Zayat tweeted at 1:27 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday that X-rays have revealed the 3-year-old Paynter has developed “rapidly progressing” laminitis. “The most concerning news is as of last night he started becoming sore on his left foot and was scared to turn around and walk on it,” Zayat wrote in a series of tweets, adding that the colt’s team initially believed the cause was due to swelling. “But it has worsened because today he has been diagnosed with our nightmare scenario of laminitis. It seems it is rapidly progressing after taking additional X-rays of the foot and discussing with some foot experts. Dr. Laura [Javsicas] have [sic] found out that he has developed it in three of his four legs, which is heartbreaking. Poor Paynter. I don’t know how long he can fight this out so bravely without pain and suffering. So far, Laura is very conscious of that and having his pain under control. But we need to look at all these problems. My deep concern is that if he is a healthy horse he can fight laminitis since it is the beginning but to be a sick horse and fight all these issues all at once, it is asking for too much. We need to be compassionate and merciful and treat our star with the respect and love that he deserves while giving him the best chance in fighting for his life. Please pray. Those are very detailed tweets, as I am at loss in what’s the right thing to do here but will leave it up to his caring and loving vet to decide what are the right courses of action. Please pray for pain-free Paynter.”
On Monday, veterinarians at the Upstate Equine Medical Clinic in Schuylerville, N.Y., informed Zayat that Paynter had developed an infection in the area where a catheter was inserted to feed and medicate the colt. He also had developed some blood clotting that had hampered his ability to get enough nutrients.

Paynter was admitted to the clinic with colitis, an inflammation of the colon, on Aug. 26. He had made some progress recently prior to the infection and clotting setback.

Zayat’s tweets Tuesday noted that the complications are “serious” and wrote: “Other than fighting bravely his colitis, he continues to have diarrhea as well as his protein blood level is very low. We continue to give him plasma to help him out. His blood work continues to make some progress fighting that disease, on the other hand, as I have explained in my tweets yesterday ... he is developing a new issue about his veins being swollen, a disease that is called DIC, which stands for disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.”

Zayat said he has been taking veterinary advice from both Dr. Javsicas, whom he called Paynter’s “angel,” as well as Dr. Mark Cheney.
Paynter finished second to Union Rags in the Belmont and won the Haskell on July 29. Two days later, he shipped to New Jersey’s Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center with what his connections then believed to be pneumonia. He developed diarrhea but then improved and returned to light training with Bob Baffert two weeks later. He shipped to the Schuylerville clinic on Aug. 26 after he developed diarrhea and a 103-degree temperature; the equine temperature normally ranges between 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit.