Metro Meteor, the famous painting Thoroughbred struck by sudden-onset blindness last month, is well on his way to recovery.
Metro’s owner Ron Krajewski reports that the 13-year-old off-track Thoroughbred has steadily improved since the animal lost vision in both eyes; life is returning to normal for Metro and his human family.
“He’s getting around pretty well now, and if I didn’t know he had eyesight problems, I couldn’t tell there was anything wrong,” Krajewski says, noting that Metro was turned out with his pasture buddies this week.
“I think he’s out of the woods,” Krajewski adds with audible relief in his voice.
In mid December, Metro was diagnosed with equine uveitis in his left eye, which quickly spread to his right. He began receiving antibiotics and eye treatments to fight the infection, which was linked to bacterial disease leptospirosis. The disease, transmittable between species, is commonly found in rodent droppings.
Race name: Metro Meteor
Sire: City Zip
Dam: Here Comes Nikki
Foal date: March 13, 2003
Earnings: $299,420Before a positive blood test revealed Metro had been contaminated, Dr. Kimberly Brokaw, DVM, of Maryland, had begun attacking the problem with antibiotics and eye drops to protect his pupils and to fight the disease.
Veterinarians at the renowned New Bolton Center, where Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was treated, reached out and offered their services as well. But Metro, in his disorientation and fear, was unable to load onto a trailer to make the trip, and so veterinarians at the famous clinic consulted by phone with Brokaw, Krajewski says.
“New Bolton told Metro’s doctor she was on the right path. We wanted to take him there to check for a detached retina, but since his sight is coming back, it’s no longer an issue. And the hospital could have injected meds into his eye to speed the healing, but he’s doing so much better now” that the urgency has passed.
As Metro has battled back from a frightening episode, which caused him to fall on more than one occasion, and to panic, his fans followed his progress via his Facebook page, Painted by Metro.
No stranger to attention, the story of Metro the painting Thoroughbred has appeared in countless publications and on national television news and entertainment programs.
Years ago, Krajewski taught Metro to grip a paintbrush in his teeth and swipe it, and color, across a canvas. In this way, working side-by-side, Metro and Krajewski made and sold paintings that funded Metro’s veterinarian care and contributed to the charity New Vocations Racehorse Adoption.
Since Metro was stricken, his remaining painting sold out. But Krajewski says the equine artist will return to painting very soon.
“We painted for a few minutes when his vision first started to come back,” he says. “And we’re going out today.” Although Metro’s first medical bill is $1,300, Metro accepts no donations, Krajewski says. Support of the horse can be done through the purchase of paintings and other merchandise, or a donation in his name may be made to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption, Krajewski says.
“Metro works and pays his own way,” he says, adding, “I’m so glad his vision is coming back, I was really worried about him.”
*In the video, Metro sees and recognizes his owners, and leaves his herd to greet them.