09/07/2012 11:53AM

Paynter showing more improvement

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Nikki Sherman
Paynter was fitted with casts to support his feet.

Paynter, the Haskell winner who has been in a Schuylerville, N.Y., medical facility with colitis since Aug. 26, continues to show gradual improvement despite having developed laminitis earlier this week, according to his owner.

The owner, Ahmed Zayat, tweeted Friday morning that Paynter, a 3-year-old Awesome Again colt, “is passing manure and eating. He remains comfortable in his casts and walks freely around his stall. His fever is under control. His protein levels have stabilized.”

A low-grade fever and low protein levels were among his connections’ concerns earlier this week as Paynter battled colitis, an inflammation of the colon that can be brought on by causes as various as bacterial infection, a change in feed, and heavy antibiotic use. Friday’s report from Zayat suggested that the colt’s condition was stabilizing after a roller-coaster week. On Monday, Zayat revealed that Paynter had developed an infection at his catheter site, followed by disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, a blood-clotting problem. He began to show signs of laminitis in three legs, prompting Dr. Bryan Fraley to fit him with casts to support his feet.

Paynter is at the Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville. This is his second round of hospital treatment in the last two months. On July 31, two days after winning the Haskell, Paynter was sent to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey for what his connections said they believed to be pneumonia. He returned to light training with Bob Baffert two weeks later but was sent to the Upstate Equine Medical Center in New York on Aug. 26 with diarrhea and a fever.