Update on Rachel Alexandra

Rachel Alexandra
Rachel Alexandra and her filly.

At a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Brett Woodie, a veterinary surgeon at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital reported that Rachel Alexandra is doing “as best as we could expect at this state of her recovery.” Rachel Alexandra was brought to Rood & Riddle after a “change of demeanor” following her foaling of a filly on Tuesday.

According to a article on the Bloodhorse.com, Rachel Alexandra Condition Very Serious,

Woodie said surgery identified the infection cause as a section of small colon that had lost its blood supply because of an injury during foaling. The colon issue allowed bacteria to be released into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine was removed and extensive abdominal flushing was performed to remove inflammatory cells and bacteria.

“This loss of blood supply had compromised the integrity of the intestinal wall, which allowed bacteria access to her abdominal cavity,” Woodie said. “We were able to remove this compromised section of the small colon.”

Because of the nature and extent of the problem, the surgery was long and technically demanding, but Woodie said recovery from anesthesia was uncomplicated.  Barr said Rachel Alexandra is receiving intravenous antibiotics, fluids, anti-inflammatory agents, and nutrition to counteract the effects of bacterial toxins. Medications are also being administered to aid in the prevention of scar tissue in the abdominal cavity. A standing abdominal flushing using abdominal drains placed at surgery is also being performed several times a day.

Rachel Alexandra is reported to be looking “brighter” by owner Barbara Banke. Let’s hope she continues to improve.

Here’s the fighting spirit that made her 2009 horse of the year!


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