Western Hanover has undergone a second surgery at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Virginia, and his prognosis is now \"guarded,\" according to Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, farm manager and head veterinarian at Hanover Shoe Farms, where the horse stands at stud.
Western Hanover was discovered in distress on Thursday night, Aug. 9, and taken to the Virginia equine medical clinic where he underwent emergency surgery to address a hernia. Then on Sunday, Aug. 19, the horse was again uncomfortable and his attending veterinarian discovered that a section of his small intestine had died.
“He had a blood clot in a vessel that supplied blood to the small intestine, and that part of his intestine died,” explained Dr. Jablonsky. “They took out 20 feet of his small intestine. The rule of thumb is you can take out up to 50 percent of the small intestine with good results, and they took out less than that.”
Dr. Jablonsky said she has been told that Western Hanover appears to be recovering from the second surgery better than the first. As of Wednesday morning he had tolerated water and had passed manure, but had not yet been given feed.
“His prognosis is still guarded. Hopefully, he’s going to pull through this, but he’s still an 18-year-old horse,” Dr. Jablonsky added. “He’s getting the best of care possible, and he’s a tough horse so he’s got a chance.”
Western Hanover has ranked first or second among the sport’s top money-winning pacing sires in every year but once since 1999. He has stood at stud at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania since his retirement from racing in 1992.