Keeneland Magazine

WINTER 2014

Keeneland, Investing in Racing's Future since 1936.

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44 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM compassionate care T he gray flly's birth could not have gone much worse. She arrived two weeks early after the placenta separated from her dam's uter- us. She entered the world with a case of fetal diarrhea. And when she emerged at 3:30 a.m. on April 8, 2010, she wasn't breathing. Dr. Stuart Brown, who bred the flly with his wife, Christine, performed CPR on the still, small form and managed to resuscitate her. And then, the Browns did what many other Kentucky breeders do every foaling season when faced with such a crisis: They rushed their foal directly to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The flly had a challenging prognosis, and only because such a facility was available did she have any chance of surviving, as Brown knew better than most: He also is an equine reproductive veterinarian at Hagyard and is the hospital's director of external relationships. Named Patinka, the Browns' flly slipped into a coma not long after arriving at Hagyard. She woke up three days later. Under the watchful eye of Dr. Kim Sprayberry — a board-certifed internist and critical-care specialist — and her dedicated staff, Patinka began a road to recov- ery that involved learning to stand, nurse, and be a normal foal. "Patinka was truly one of those foals who never should have survived," Brown recalled. "What's so great about this area is that we have almost immediate intervention available to us. Our veterinarians are networked so well across our practice; the care is comprehensive; and there's little time wasted. We have people within minutes of most of the foaling farms, so we're able to be horse-side, support the patient, and get them to a facility like this for intensive care." Hagyard's neonatal intensive care unit — known as NICU — cared for 248 foals in 2014. That's a small fraction of Kentucky's 11,000-foal crop for the year, but each foal also repre- Hagyard's neonatal unit allows sick foals to stay with their mothers whenever possible. sented a signifcant investment by its owner, whether in money paid for a stud fee or in love for a companion animal. For foals, Hag- yard's NICU on Iron Works Pike in Lexington often makes the difference between death or disability and a healthy, athletic life, and it does this through a combination of state- of-the-art veterinary technology and good hands-on care. "I like to say the facility is built on the Mayo Clinic model," Brown said of the Hag- yard clinic. "Our service is multi-dimension- al, so we're able to customize the care and treatment, depending on what the presen- tation of the patient is." Hagyard has been providing veterinary care in the Bluegrass since 1876, and its promotion of equine health, research, and good management practices has helped the Kentucky horse business become the com- monwealth's signature industry. The NICU is just one example of Hagyard's tradition of innovation and its close involvement with the horse community that surrounds it. "Hagyard has always had an extremely collaborative culture that goes back to its inception," Brown said. "Hagyard has always been woven into the equine community here. It's been a gathering place for the inter- jection of new ideas and concepts that have advanced equine veterinary medicine here in Central Kentucky and also around the world." At the NICU, those practices help save and improve the lives of the youngest Thor- oughbreds with a high level of success: More than 85 percent of the NICU's patients will recover and return home, says Dr. Nathan Slovis, director of Hagyard's McGee Medicine Center. "They leave and have a good progno- sis," he said. Technician coordinator Lynne Hewlett, the 17-year Hagyard veteran who oversees the NICU patients' daily care, receives pre-

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