Rachel Alexandra has colon surgery

Rachel Alexandra remains in serious but stable condition following surgery related to complications from the birth of her filly.

Doctors at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic said Thursday that it’s ”too early” to determine the prognosis for the 2009 Horse of the Year, adding that they’re monitoring her response to treatment.

Attending surgeon Brett Woodie says that Rachel Alexandra is ”doing about as well as can be expected” at this stage of recovery.

After delivering a 140-pound filly by Bernardini Tuesday morning, she developed problems resulting in surgery Wednesday to repair an area in her small colon that was injured during foaling. A blood loss in the affected section resulted in an infection.

Rachel Alexandra is receiving IVs of antibiotics, nutrition and anti-inflammatory drugs.

”She looks brighter today. It’s a day-to-day, hour-to-hour type of thing,” owner Barbara Banke said of Rachel Alexandra’s condition.

Banke said the healthy filly was running around Stonestreet Farm and being tended by a nurse mare. Woodie wasn’t sure if the horse’s rather large size caused Rachel Alexandra’s problems, noting that some large foals are born without complications while smaller foals can create issues.

Rachel Alexandra gave birth to a colt by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in January 2012, but Woodie didn’t think that foaling had anything to do with Tuesday’s issues.

Stonestreet Farm brood mare farm manager Garry Megibben described Tuesday’s birth as ”tough” and that it was difficult getting the foal through Rachel Alexandra’s birth canal. Megibben, Banke and a veterinarian monitored Rachel Alexandra’s condition and took the horse to the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic after noticing a change in her behavior.

A lengthy surgery followed, but Woodie said that her recovery from the anesthesia was uncomplicated. She was back at the barn and standing on Thursday.

Infection remains a concern for Rachel Alexandra, who is also receiving lavages that flush and drain her abdomen. Another veterinarian at Rood and Riddle, Bonnie Barr, said that doctors are trying to anticipate possible complications for her and treating them.

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