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Becky's horse "Big John" - 03-02-01 and Update




Big John AKA Jean-Claude van Draft had his surgery on Tuesday. When the surgeon initially examined his eyes he said that he would have to remove one of John's eyes because the cancer had attached to the cornea. That was pretty devastating news since John is only five, but I know that horses do very well with only one eye. The problem would be if the cancer recurred in his other eye. A 2,000 pound horse who hasn't lost his sight gradually wouldn't do well blind.


As it turned out, the surgeon was able to remove all the tumors without taking John's eye! We brought him home on Wednesday and he's doing very well. I have to give him 35 ccs (!) of antibiotic every day for 7days. The needle looks like a drinking straw! My husband and I are coming up with really creative ways of diverting John's attention while I give him the shot.

I told you that he was afraid of his mask, right? Well, I attached it to the fence by his hay rack and he decided it was a toy, pulled it off the fence and carried it down to the creek. We found it very muddy but no worse for the wear. He's gotten used to it and lets me put it on him now with no problem but he rolls EVERY day and cakes mud onto the eyes. I just take it home every night, rinse it off and we're good to go for the next day.


It's a terrific product you make and I've been recommending it to everyone I know, especially the rescue I volunteer for. Once the ground dries up here and I can get the Big Guy looking presentable, I'll be sure to email you some pictures. I wish now that I'd taken pictures of his eyes before the surgery so others could see what squamous cell carcinomas look like. Well, too soon old, too late smart, right?

Take care, Sid.
Becky and Big John


Update: February 13, 2002


Hi, Sid,

I purchased a mask from you for Big John, a Belgian Draft horse who had squamous cell carcinoma.  I bought the mask about a year and a half ago and just wanted you to know how well the mask is holding up.  Big John is very hard on it and it's taken the abuse amazingly well.  The only damage he's managed to do is to compress the plastic stiffener in the eye cups, but if I heat a sauce pan so that it is almost too hot to touch, then place the cups over the bottom of it until it cools, they are almost as good as new. 


About once a week, I throw the mask in the washing machine, using hot water.  It comes very clean and is no worse for the wear.  Later this spring, I'm going to break down and buy new UV blocking eye cups because he's managed to finally rub some of the fabric off the sides of the cups.  As for the mask itself, I doubt I'll have to replace it any time soon.  It's an amazing product you've got, Sid.

I've attached a picture of Big John.  It's a few years old, but it's the only digital photo I have of him at the moment.  I'll send a close-up of his mask as soon as I can.

Best regards,
Becky Gill


Great to know the Mask is holding up well for Big John, thank you Becky for sending us the image and update!


Guardian Mask

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