Courtesy of: Brea
It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone!
“What on earth is that?”
“Why is your dog wearing a lamp shade?”
“Hey look, here comes cone head!”
Actually, the technical name for this contraption is “Elizabethan Collar” (e-collar for short). While they do look bizarre, they serve a VERY important purpose. E-collars are used to prevent your pet from biting, licking or scratching at their healing wounds. Most commonly, they are sent home with a patient after they have been spayed or neutered. This was the case with my lovely little fur child, Cooper.
Cooper, (aka “Coopy” and often called “Loopy”) is my crazy 11 month old German Shorthaired Pointer. For those of you who are not familiar with the breed, they are very versatile all-purpose hunting dogs. They are extremely energetic dogs who love to run and never seem to get tired. The very thought of trying to keep this dog quiet for 2 weeks after his neuter seemed impossible! But of course, it had to be done.
On January 9th, Cooper was neutered. The operation went smoothly, and soon enough he was ready to roll again. He didn’t seem too concerned about his little incision, so we didn’t bother with an e-collar at first. If he started to pick at it, I would simply tell him “No” and he would stop. What a good boy! As the days went on, I began to notice the incision site looked irritated and wasn’t healing as fast as I had hoped. I started to spy on him and realized he was licking when I wasn’t watching! One of our vets looked at him the next day and believed he was reacting to the suture material. She prescribed some antibiotics and the dreaded cone.
For most dogs, e-collars work great. They are simply unable to reach the area and the wound is able to heal properly without infection. However, that was not the case with Cooper. I would catch him bending the cone so he was able to lick himself! We even used the largest size cone available here with the same result. This dog is smart and flexible, and has a long nose which makes things very difficult. Since the cone wasn’t working for him, we tried bitter spray on the incision. The horrible taste should deter him from licking, right? Again, for most dogs, it works well. Clearly Cooper didn’t think it tasted all that bad, because he continued to lick!
I felt like I was running out of options. It has now been almost a month and no improvement. Not only that, but keeping a dog who is used to running off leash everyday calm and quiet is not an easy task.
I also tried:
-Underwear -T shirts -Long sleeved shirts -Children’s pants
These are all great ideas, but not ONE worked for this dog!
Now this is where I start to brag about how awesome my co-workers at Truro Vet really are. Since NOTHING else was working, they developed Cooper a custom made cone.
As you can see, it’s a giant ice-cream container with an e-collar attached to the top, complete with padding around the bottom, and loop holes to string his collar through. The fact that he tolerated this contraption so well made it a lot easier. I guess he had to get used to it, since it was on him 24/7 for a few weeks. Yes, even when he crawled into our bed at night…under the covers! This amazing contraption is the reason why Cooper is now 100% healed!
Every pet is different. They all react to situations in different ways. Some ideas will work great for one pet and not at all for another. If nothing seems to work…don’t worry. Give us a call at 893-2341. We will be happy to put our heads together to help you find something that works for your pet!