Eye Saver, Eyesaver
Help for Equine Eye Injuries

quarter horse wearing standard size Eyesaver mask

quarter horse wearing standard size Eyesaver mask

Let's settle nomenclature for the Eye Saver Mask. This product is known by several different names. The manufacturer, Jorgensen Laboratories, Inc., lists this product as the eye saver patch in its online catalog, but on my invoice the product was listed simply as EYESAVER. Whatever you want to call it, it lives up to its name and deserves to be in every equine first aid kit in case of a horse eye injury.

My horse's eye injury occurred just as the veterinarian was making her regular visit to the stables. He scratched his cornea while rubbing his face on a tree. The vet administered an anesthetic and some antibiotic, and prescribed antibiotic ointment to be administered in the eye five times a day. After the anesthetic wore off my gelding kept trying to rub away hiseye problem and even though I had padded a fly mask to protect the eye, as instructed by my vet, it couldn't entirely stop the pressure he applied in trying to rub it. I worried that he would continue to do damage to his eye and increase the likelihood of scarring. I called Jorgensen Laboratories of Loveland, Colorado and ordered their Eye Saver mask. They kindly to shipped it overnight, and I received it the next day. This is a very well designed piece of equipment that really does protect the horse's eye.

Construction

The masks are made of woven cotton fabric secured with velcro closures. The straps which run under the cheek and jowl are made of elastic and assure a snug, comfortable fit. There are velcro tabs near the ear holes which can be secured to a halter. I don't leave halters on my horses when they are in their corrals so I didn't use one, and even though he tried to rub his eye from time to time the mask stayed in place.

The eyesaver has a hard plastic cup which fits over the affected eye. The plastic is quite thick and sturdy. Small holes allow for some air flow. The cup is sewn into the mask so you must purchase the mask for the right (right eye affected) or left (left eye affected) eye.

A terry cloth ring fitted with snaps attaches over the edge of the eye cup ( inside the mask ) which allows you to snap a gauze square inside the cup. This prevents smaller insects, dirt and some lightfrom entering through the ventilation holes. The Eye Saver mask I bought came with gauze to use inside the eye cup. Any 4" by 4" folded gauze squares can be used. Unfold the gauze and place over the inside of the eye cup.

Important: Push the gauze down into the cup so that it lays against the plastic and follows the contour of the cup; otherwise you will put pressure on the eye. Here is a picture of the gauze pad attached.

A rectangular piece of terry cloth , which also comes with the mask, can be velcroed beneath the eye cup to absorb particularly profuse drainage. I didn't use this. I found that the terry cloth ring around the eye cup was sufficiently absorbent to handle the drainage.

Sizing

The eye saver patch comes in four sizes, foal, standard, X large and XX large. My gelding is 15 hand 2 inches and weighs roughly 1000 pounds. He is an average-sized quarter horse. I bought the standard size for him and it fits him snugly. The key measurements for this mask are the width between the ears and eyes. The straps which fasten under the cheek could be adjusted by sewing, but the ear and eye holes are set in stone, so to speak.

On the standard mask I purchased the measurement of the shortest distance between the ear holes was 3 3/8" (7.6cm). My horse measures 5 1/2" (14cm) between his ears. The diameter of the ear holes in the mask (not perfect circles) was about 3 1/4"(8.25cm).
The measurement of the shortest distance between the eye holes is 4 1/4" (10.5cm). My horse measures 7 1/2" (19cm) between his eyes. The diameter of the eye holes (again not perfect circles/I'm measuring the fabric for both eyes) is about 3 1/4" (8.25cm)

The measurement of the bottom edge of the mask, including the strap, but not stretching the strap is 32 1/2" (82.5cm). My horse measures 25" (63.5cm) around the face, just in front of the cheek bone where the bottom strap fastens.

Cleaning

When the mask got dirty I put it and the terry cloth rings in a lingerie bag and threw the bag in the washing machine. I did not put it in the dryer, but rather let it air dry.

Other Thoughts

Although my horses have never had equine recurrent uveitis I've known others who have treated horses for this. I think the Eye Saver mask would be a very useful tool for protecting the affected eye from light.

If I could change anything about this product I'd make it a lighter color. My horse injured his eye in the summer and the black color really absorbed the heat. When I took the Eye Saver mask off he had sweated so much his face was thoroughly wet where the mask had been. Water condensed inside the eye cup and soaked the gauze.

The JorVet website is one of the most difficult to navigate of any I've encountered. If you use their search function for the product name it doesn't come up. Use the link below to find the product on their site.

Where to Buy

I bought mine from
Jorgensen Laboratories, Inc.
1540 N. Van Buren Ave.
Loveland, CO 80538
phone 970-669-2500 or800-525-5614
fax 970-663-5042
Follow this link for Jorgensen Laboratories, Inc. home page.
Follow this link for find the Eyesaver patch

Another supplier is Jupiter Veterinary Products
6351 SW 95th Ave.
Cedar Key, FL 32625
phone: 352-543-5167 or 866-838-7763
fax 352-543-9694

There are a number of companies selling this product. I have listed the least expensive, but if time is of the essence you might find another supplier that could get the product to you faster.

Horse Eye Injury Aftermath

horse eye after using eyesaver

This is Jet's eye after he scratched the cornea right in the middle of the eye twice. After following my vet's instructions and using the Eyesaver mask there is no scarring at all.

Have some fund with Horse-Report's horse names page.

Follow this link to leave Eye Saver and return to the Horse Health page.