Rood & Riddle: Rachel Alexandra in very serious condition

Dr. Brett Woodie of Rood & Riddle

Dr. Brett Woodie of Rood & Riddle

2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was said to be doing “the best that can be expected,” at the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, following surgery related to foaling complications.

In a press release from Rood & Riddle, Dr. Brett Woodie, attending surgeon on the case, reported that her condition is “very serious” and it is too early to give an accurate prognosis.

Rachel Alexandra was rushed to Rood & Riddle in Kentucky on Wednesday afternoon when a change in her demeanor was observed following the Tuesday birth of her second foal, a 140-pound filly sired by 2006 champion three-year-old Bernardini.

Exploratory abdominal surgery detected an excess of fluid in her abdominal cavity, denoting an infection, Dr. Woodie stated in a press release.

“Surgery identified that the cause of the infection was a section of the small colon that had lost its blood supply due to an injury during foaling, causing bacteria to be released into the abdomen,” the press release stated.

“The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal lavage was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria.”

Following a surgery that was “long and technically demanding,” Rachel Alexandra was put on a regimen of IV antibiotics, fluids and inflammatory agents, as well as nutrients and medications to counteract the effects of bacterial agents, the press release stated.

Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. And, a standing abdominal lavage, utilizing abdominal drains, which was placed at surgery, is also being performed several times a day, the press release stated.

13 responses to “Rood & Riddle: Rachel Alexandra in very serious condition”

  1. TBDancer

    What everyone above said and prayers from me, too. Rachel Alexandra is a VERY special racehorse–iconic, indeed. And she’s a fighter! Go, Rachel!!

  2. genie

    Dr. Woodie is the best!!!! She’s in GREAT hands!

  3. ann fox

    Ever heard of the goose that layed the golden egg?

  4. marian


  5. Sue

    I had a very special dairy goat develop Peritonitis and fluid retention in the abdomen due to infection shortly after kidding and, after nearly a month of treatment, she was able to pull through. Ella is in heaven now but I know she is rooting for you Rachel, along with all of us.

  6. Elizabeth

    Someone she knows well should be there with her. I am speaking from my own past experience. It really does make a difference. Best not to let her know that she is so very ill. My thoughts and prayers go out to Rachel and all those concerned with her welfare. How is her filly adjusting to a new mama? Anybody know??

  7. Barbara

    Abdominal drains and flushing (lavage, very serious that the bad stuff got into her abdominal cavity. Definitely as dire as Paynter’s illness. God bless you Rachel. You have done everything asked of you with grace, courage and heart. Our hearts are with you now and we pray ernestly for your complete recovery.

  8. ann fox

    Foal was too big….hope she survives & that she will get the respect & retirement she deserves…but …one can only hope she will be loved & appreciated for just HERSELF!

  9. Bonnie Smith

    God bless this mare for seeing to her foal! May she have a speedy recovery!

  10. Nikki Smith

    God please look after this amazing mare and help her pull through.

  11. Linda Moss

    Susan, thanks so much for keeping on top of this and letting us all know! Hoofs crossed for everyone, Linda

  12. sue

    I hope she can pull through. She is in good hands and I know she is a fighter, poor girl…. Makes me sad. The Equine God’s can’t take her yet…

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