10/22/2012 11:37AM

Paynter gaining weight, continues to improve

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Barbara D. Livingston
Paynter has gained 17 pounds in the last week and now weighs 938.

Paynter, Ahmed Zayat’s Haskell winner who is recovering from colitis and early-stage laminitis, appears to be improving, according to tweets from his connections.

Justin Zayat, racing and bloodstock manager for his father’s Zayat Stables, tweeted that Paynter could undergo hyperbaric chamber therapy and might be turned out in a small pen within 10 days at the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center, where he has been recuperating since Oct. 15.

Zayat reported that the 3-year-old Awesome Again colt has gained 17 pounds in less than a week, bringing his weight to 938 pounds. Zayat also tweeted a text sent by the rehabilitation center’s founder, Bruce Jackson, saying that the colt’s temperature remains in normal range at around 100.6 to 100.8 degrees and “his attitude is just great.”

The tweet says that Louise Southwood, Paynter’s surgeon at New Bolton Center, is pleased with his recovery.

“He gets feistier & feistier every day,” Zayat tweeted. “Squealing, striking the air, playfully kicking out, just acting like a happy horse. Dr. Southwood came to see him yesterday and was very happy. We all had a long discussion about his progress/plan going forward. We are going to slowly switch his feed over during the next week or so. Plan to continue just hand grazing for another 10 days and then add small pen turn out + start handwalking exercise. We also discussed treating him in the hyperbaric chamber and everyone is on board with our plan.”

Paynter underwent surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center on Oct. 3 to remove a 35-centimeter area of abscessed tissue from his cecum, a pouch in the equine large intestine. Paynter was hospitalized on Aug. 26, when Zayat sent him from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn at Saratoga to the Upstate Equine Medical Clinic in Schuylerville, N.Y. The colt had a fever and diarrhea and veterinarians diagnosed his ailment as colitis. He later showed early signs of laminitis in three legs but recovered from that with aggressive treatment.

That was Paynter’s second stay at a clinic. He first showed signs of illness two days after his July 29 Haskell victory, when he shipped to New Jersey’s Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center with what his connections later said they believed was pneumonia. He developed diarrhea there but that improved, and he returned to Baffert two weeks later, only to enter the Upstate Equine Medical Clinic. His attending veterinarian there, Dr. Laura Javsicas, detected the abscess and referred him him to New Bolton for surgery.

Jennifer Butler-Rickard More than 1 year ago
Why retire a healthy race horse. If Paynter continues to recover and doesn't have any set backs, than he should race. That is what these horses are built for. His guts and will , will serve him as a runner. Most horses do not get the chance to show their true abilities at four. Here is hoping for a recovery.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Fabulous news about Paynter! I'm so happy he's gaining weight, that is absolutely fantastic. Paynter is making wonderful progress toward complete, total good health. And his good nature still abounds. I love hearing the good reports about him. His courage is remarkable. Way to go, Paynter! Keep up the good work, buddy - you're doing great. Keep up the good fight, we're still standing with you! Continue to progress nicely, heal swiftly, gain weight and feel like a happy horse again. May the hyperbaric chamber therapy be very beneficial to you. Power up, Paynter!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
2013 Breeder's Cup Classic Winner? Barring further mishaps...
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Keep up the fight, Paynter! Gotta love that spirit. And I agree, he certainly would be the perfect candidate for the Vox Populi award.
Ann Maree More than 1 year ago
What a tonic for all that has ailed the sport this year! Paynter with his tenacity and toughness in the face of such adversity has given us something to sing about! Several of us have sent emails to information@Secretariat.com to ask the Vox Populi committee to nominate him for the Vox Populi award. He and his owner and all connections have personified the very meaning of "the people's horse" this year. POWER UP, PAYNTER!!
Kimberly Shugars More than 1 year ago
938 pounds is terribly thin. Poor guy. God bless you Paynter, I sure hope you continue to get well. I am wondering if they are using the stall with the vibrating floor to stimulate the blood flow to his hooves.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
Great to hear that Paynter is regaining the weight! Fair Hill is just where he needs to be. He's in good hands. Best news of the day!
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Gotta love this colt. I am starting to hope for a comeback. Maybe with a strict diet to help his digestive track cope he could make it. Still would be worried about a relapse.
denali1 More than 1 year ago
Its really great news and a comeback would be nice but considering what this colt has been through i hope he is retired. I just feel its way to risky and the rewards would only be his connections and fans.
Jon More than 1 year ago
BC Classic 2012 , here comes Paynter. Just kidding, great news.
Wayne Crimi More than 1 year ago
IMO, he was on his way to becoming an elite Grade 1 horse. If he recovers fully and they decide to run him next year, the 2013 Classic is not totally out of the question. Personally, I'd retire him, but he's not my horse.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Love the good news... Paynter is in the best spot he could be.