Health issues send a descendant of Secretariat to U's vet center

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A descendant of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat is in need of some help after giving birth to twin foals in Minnesota last month.

Babe is the great-great granddaughter of the famous horse. She gave birth to the twins – Grace and King – May 15 on a farm near Peterson, Minnesota.

"I looked a little closer and saw the two front legs, and said oh there's two!" owner Slyvia Passow told FOX 9.

That alone was concerning, because twin births are very uncommon in horses. Grace, King and Babe are all at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, and while the twin foals are doing well, there is concern for Babe.

According to FOX 9, Babe started having health issues about two weeks after giving birth. She was diagnosed with Equine Protozoal Myeloencepathy (EPM). The disease is a severe neurological issue that comes from the feces of wild animals – typically possums.

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WCCO reports Babe has been at the VMC since June 2 and is in a sling that helps her stand and allows her to nurse Grace and King.

She is expected to remain there for at least another month, so the Passows are bracing for a big veterinary bill. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for Babe's bills. The fund had surpassed $5,000 by Friday.

According to the latest update, there is some good news on Babe's progress.

"Sylvia got a more positive update today. 'Babe seems a bit more stable today, according to the Vets. They are going to start rehab for her. A little exercise every day. I really think this is a good thing.'"

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