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Zack Beats Cancer, Special Friends at Equine Advocates!

In order for equines to live happy, healthy and satisfying lives, they need to be in the company of others with whom they get along. In some cases, the bonds between these animals are so strong, that they cannot be separated. It is also a challenge when a beloved member of our equine family passes away and their pasture-mates need new buddies. We have observed equines mourning their friends in many different ways. Like people, some grieve more than others and some take the losses harder than others. The challenge for us is finding a new friend who can help to fill the void of a dear departed companion regardless of whether that horse was part of a herd or a pair.

We have two pairs of lovebirds here whose recent introductions and subsequent bonding took place in just a matter of days. Ceci Divine, a Thoroughbred Mare and Zack a Belgian Draft Gelding are inseparable. 

Ceci (left) and Zack (right) bonded within days of being introduced during the summer of 2018. (Photo: Madison Messina/Equine Advocates)

Both arrived at the sanctuary in 2018 – Ceci came in May and Zack in July. Ceci was rescued out of a kill pen, while Zack had been seized during a cruelty raid and then passed from home to home. Both eventually (and happily) landed here and these two are definitely fond of each other. 🐴

Most recently, Zack was diagnosed with eye cancer where he needed to have surgery to remove the third eyelid of this right eye. Ceci is very healthy, but needed stall rest to help heal a minor wound on one of her rear fetlocks that kept reopening and bleeding due to the high-mobility area where the cut was located. Off they both went to Cornell where Zack successfully had his surgery and Ceci began her course of compulsory stall rest. They were each in hospital stalls where they could both see each other at all times and returned to the sanctuary eight days later. After that, they remained in adjacent stalls in our Main Barn which we use as an infirmary and for equines with special needs. At the time of this writing, they have not yet been turned back out in their regular pasture. 

According to our local veterinarian, Ceci is still not ready yet to be turned back out and Zack has

Zack, wrapped in a bandage immediately following successful eye surgery at Cornell back in February 2019 . His bandage has since been removed and he is recovering extremely well. (Photo: Susan Wagner/Equine Advocates)

just begun a course of topical chemotherapy treatments in order to destroy any microscopic cancer cells that could still be present in his eye. The good news is that his vision is fine and all of the biopsies taken in the surrounding areas of his eye came back as clear. The chemo is a preventative measure and very easy to administer at the sanctuary. Like all of us here, these two lovebirds definitely have spring fever! It won’t be long before they are both back outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. 🌷🌷