The heartbreaking saga of this year’s Grade I Haskell Invitational winner Paynter has taken another turn for the worse on Tuesday with owner Ahmed Zayat reporting the bay colt has now developed laminitis in three of his four feet.
Paynter has been at Upstate Equine Medical Center in Schuylerville, New York since August 26 after spiking a fever and was subsequently diagnosed with colitis. In addition to battling colitis, the son of Awesome Again has also developed an infection at the site of the catheter as well as the laminitis.
“Unfortunately we have a very sick horse. who has developed serious complications in the last 24 hours,” Zayat posted as part of string of messages on his Twitter account. “His blood work continues to be good as well as his temp so on a stand alone basis he is fighting bravely and hard the colitis and we he continues to make some progress fighting that disease. On the other hand as I have explained in my tweets yesterday, he is developing a new issue about his veins being swollen. a disease that is called DIC which stands for disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.
“The most concerning news is as of last night he started becoming sore on his left foot and was scared to turn around and walk on it.. unfortunately we only thought it was some swelling and a eczema but it has worsened because today he has been diagnosed with our nightmare scenario of laminitis. It seems it is rapidly progressing after taking additoinal xrays of the foot and discussing with some foot experts. Dr. Laura (Javsicas) have found out that he has developed it in 3 of his 4 legs, which is heartbreaking.”
The onset of laminitis has been a concern for Paynter’s connections and his attending veterinarians. An emotional Zayat posted he is unsure how long his colt can keep fighting the hoof disease as well as his other physical ailments while still maintaining a quality of life.
” I don’t know how long he can fight this out so bravely without having pain and suffering,” Zayat posted. “So far laura is very conscious of that and having his pain under control. But we need to look at all these problems. My deep concern is that he if he is a healthy horse he can fight laminitis since it is the beginning but to be a sick horse and fight all these issues all at once, it is asking for too much. We need to be compassionate and merciful and treat our star with the respect and love that he deserves while giving him the best chance in fighting for his life.
“I am at loss in whats the right thing to do here but I will leave it up to his caring and loving vet to decide what are the right courses of action. Please pray for pain free Paynter.”
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Paynter finished second by a neck to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes in what was just his fifth career start. The colt initially spiked a fever days after his Haskell triumph but appeared to get over that ailment and was slated to ship to California before the latest illness reared up.