03/07/2013 7:56PM

Rachel Alexandra undergoes procedure to drain abscess

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Courtesy of Stonestreet Farm
Rachel Alexandra, in her stall at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., underwent a surgical procedure to drain an abscess on Thursday.

Rachel Alexandra was described as "bright and alert" on Thursday evening after undergoing a surgical procedure to drain an abscess earlier that day.

Veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., where the 2009 Horse of the Year underwent abdominal surgery following foaling complications on Feb. 13, discovered an abscess adjacent to the mare's reproductive tract and rectum on Thursday morning.

The abscess was successfully drained via a standing surgical procedure, with Rachel Alexandra's vital signs remaining normal throughout.

According to a release issued by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm on Thursday, the 7-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare was “bright and alert with a good appetite following this procedure and was even able to graze this afternoon.”

Stonestreet added that this type of setback "is not unexpected" and that the mare will remain at Rood and Riddle for continuous observation as she continues to recover.

"This is an important reminder that challenges remain," the release stated.

Rachel Alexandra began showing signs of distress on the afternoon of Feb. 13 after delivering a Bernardini filly, her second foal, early on Feb. 12 at Stonestreet in Lexington. She was rushed to Rood and Riddle, where exploratory abdominal surgery revealed a damaged area in the mare's small colon, injured during foaling, which led to a bacterial infection. Surgeons removed the damaged section of the small colon and successfully reattached the two remaining ends. In the ensuing weeks, veterinarians have stated that they are happy with the mare's progress.