An Elizabethan collar, commonly referred to as an E-collar or the cone of shame, is a hood or cone made of plastic or fabric that is worn around the head to stop animals from licking a wound, dressing, or surgical site.
When my dog was discharged from the hospital he was wearing an E-collar. Is this really necessary?
Although it’s instinctive for dogs to lick their wounds, doing so can substantially impede recovery and increase the risk of infection or damage. When the dog is left alone and could accidentally hurt himself, it is crucial to use a safety collar.
My dog appears very upset when he is wearing the collar and bangs into objects. This frightens him. Can I do anything?
After a few hours, most dogs will become accustomed to the collar. By keeping your dog in a limited area without any small moving objects—such as stools, chairs, and tables—that would move if knocked, you can make the transition easier.
When dogs must walk in constrained or narrow locations, the collar first presents a challenge since it limits their eyesight to the sides and from behind. It’s critical to offer them all the help you can.
Can I allow my dog outside by himself with the E-collar on?
Due to the greater risk of harm to your dog, this is not advised. Your dog is more likely to suffer harm and suffering if they become tangled up in bushes or vegetation. When given controlled activity on a leash, the majority of dogs will accept their collars pretty well.
Will eating and drinking be a problem for my dog?
Normal eating and drinking should be possible with a collar that has been suitably fitted and sized. If your dog typically consumes food or liquids from a deep bowl but won’t eat while wearing a collar, try serving the food on a shallow plate or dish. If you decide to do so, make sure your dog is watched while eating, and put the protective collar back on as soon as the meal is over. While wearing the safety collar, some dogs will benefit from having their food or water elevated.
What else is important for me to know?
It’s crucial to keep the collar clean on both sides. If you find it challenging to do this while your dog is wearing the collar, you can remove it and wipe it with a moist towel. Just make sure your dog is closely watched to prevent any accidents.
Only a small percentage of dogs will reject these collars. Please do not hesitate to call your veterinarian if you are having issues. Place two fingers between the collar’s edge and your dog’s coat to check that the collar is not too tight. It may be necessary to alter the e-collar or use one of a different size if it is creating discomfort around the neck.
When ought a dog to employ a cone?
Our goal is to use our instructional materials to assist save the lives of cats and dogs. This page may contain affiliate links to support our work. For eligible purchases, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Many memes show dogs recovering after surgery while donning the dreaded “cone of shame.” While watching our dogs struggle to maneuver while wearing a lampshade on their heads may be rather entertaining for us humans, it may be very distressing for them.
When wearing an e-collar*, simple tasks like drinking water or eating food become more difficult, and their eyesight and hearing change.
Some dogs don’t mind their dogs wearing cones. Others may find it extremely stressful due to the increased difficulty in moving, changes in hearing and vision, as well as feeling a little “odd” when taking medication. When you remove their cone for mealtimes, you might notice that they flee when you grab it, or that they spend a lot of time wriggling out of it or pawing it off.
Your furniture and trinkets won’t get knocked around the house if you take the effort to educate your dog body awareness and how to maneuver while wearing an e-collar.
The less stress your dog has after surgery or trauma, the easier it will be for their bodies to recover1! A dog must typically wear a cone for 10 to 14 days following a spay or neuter procedure, but it must be worn for much longer (6 to 12 weeks) following orthopedic surgery. You will find it much simpler to put the cone on and take it off your dog throughout their rehabilitation with a little easy conditioning. This could be post-op, following spaying or neutering, or following an injury. Or you might put a cone on your dog to stop itching that causes them to lick or chew, or to cover a hot region that is healing.
It’s simple to make your dog more at ease when wearing a cone. Ask your veterinarian for a cone to utilize for training a few weeks ahead of time if you are aware that your pet will shortly have surgery (such as a spay or neuter).
*In this context, the term “E-collar” refers to an Elizabethan collar, not an electric or static shock collar (often also referred to as an e-collar). Because it resembled the ruffled neckwear popular during the Tudor era, the cone earned its name.
Do dogs that wear cones at night?
Dogs wearing cones can indeed sleep, eat, drink, urinate, and defecate. In fact, your dog will become accustomed to the cone—officially known as an Elizabethan collar or E-collar for short—more quickly the harsher you are with it. Additionally, one of the greatest ways to guarantee they heal as rapidly as possible is to keep the cone on at all times.
Despite the prevalent notion that animal saliva promotes faster healing, licking an incision will definitely stop the healing process in its tracks. When a dog licks or chews on someone’s skin, they may unintentionally take out their stitches, which could reopen the wound or incision and introduce bacteria that could lead to a secondary illness.
Depending on how severe the damage is, the incision may need to be completely restitched, the open area rinsed, and damaged tissue removed. The risk of further hurting your dog and ultimately extending their suffering is not worth the potential harm that can be done in a few minutes of “liberation from the cone of shame” (not to mention the money that extra trip to the veterinarian is going to cost you).
You can absolutely guarantee that this won’t happen by leaving the cone on while they’re sleeping (and, consequently, when you’re asleep and can’t see them).
Having said that, there are certain E-collar alternatives (as well as tips and tactics) that can make your dog more comfortable while still serving the same goal if they dog can’t stand the cone.
Fortunately, the E-collar (or an alternative) often only has to be worn by your dog for 7–10 days following surgery, giving the primary healing process time to complete. Stay strong and keep in mind that putting the cone of shame on at all times is actually the best and most loving thing you can do for them, even though your dog seems to dread wearing it. They won’t hold it against you in the long run, we swear.
At TopDog Health, we’re more than just a trusted guide. We’re your partner.
- Teach: To assist in the recovery, maintenance, and maintenance of your dog’s health, we offer educational tools. We are your companion on their journey, helping them age pleasantly into their golden years and recover safely and successfully after surgery.
- We create cutting-edge joint supplements that give your dog’s joints the nutrients they need for optimum health. For post-surgery and arthritic dogs, take a look at TopDog’s Joint Supplement.
- Support: To find the ideal natural supplement combination for enhancing your dog’s health, use our Product Finder Quiz. A dynamic community of dog owners just like you can be found in our Facebook Support Group. We frequently update our comprehensive educational database. Our very own Dr. James St.Clair created our supplements. Simply simply, we’re here for you and your beloved dog during every stage of their life.
Why do veterinarians offer dog cones?
Dog cones are made to prevent your dog from licking or rubbing against a sore from surgery or any other irritant.
It’s a natural instinct for dogs to lick wounds, and many of them will do so continuously, which can lead to more complications and even infections because the wound will continue to be moist, which is the ideal environment for germs to grow.
In order to prevent your dog from excessively licking the wound and impeding the healing process, it is frequently essential to construct a protective barrier that prevents your dog from accessing the wound. This is where a plastic cone comes into play. These canine cones, which extend just past their noses, provide crucial security as the wound mends. Therefore, it is crucial that the cone be worn continuously until the wound has completely healed.
Should I let my dog wear the cone at night?
Scroll down the page. I’ve included some suggestions for improving dog cone comfort. A plastic cone, however, can only provide so much comfort at night. Here are some excellent sleeping aids you might employ in its place.
My first recommendation is the Kong Cloud since other dog owners I spoke with said it was the best chew toy they had ever used.
Kong Cloud Soft Inflatable E-Collar
The Kong company produces a variety of fantastic chew toys, so you may already be familiar with them. They are also in charge of the top-selling cone substitute that enables your dog to sleep soundly at night.
It is made of a plush, soft material that is washable, scratch-resistant, and available in a variety of sizes. It is inflatable (you inflate it with your lips) and will prevent your dog from disturbing your partner’s sleep while they are recovering from injuries.
Look over the Amazon reviews and prices to see what other owners have to say. You might be able to get it shipped and delivered within a day if you have Amazon Prime.
BiteNot E-Collar Alternative
The BiteNot collar is another well-liked substitute. This one is constructed of foam and flexible plastic rather than being inflated. Use this one solely for wounds on your dog’s body; it is not intended to protect your dog’s eyes or hearing.
It will permit your dog to eat, drink, play, and sleep while also providing a barrier to their scratching and licking at body sores.
In my opinion, the Kong Cloud product appears to be more comfy for sleep than this one. Nevertheless, it has received excellent feedback from owners whose dogs had trouble falling asleep when wearing a cone. Check out the prices on Amazon to make up your own mind.
GoodBoy Comfortable E-Collar (budget choice)
Consider looking for the GoodBoy inflatable E-collar if you want a recommendation on a tight budget that yet has excellent reviews and feedback. Although it appears more like the airline sleeping pillows, it functions similarly to the Kong.
You blow it up with your lips, just like the Kong. I would advise against using this during the day, though. The cone your veterinarian gave you should be worn and left on until your dog is fully recovered, unless it is dozing.
Visit Amazon to learn more about the GoodBoy inflatable E-collar. There are several sizes to choose from, however there is only the pink and grey color option.
Handy Tip: Only use these options if the surgery is performed far enough away from your dog’s body to prevent them from scratching their eyes and ears while they are asleep.
You might be interested in these other queries I looked into regarding dogs sleeping with their cones on while you’re here. To ensure that you receive a professional response rather than supposition for the answers below, I called my veterinarian friend.
Should I take my dog’s cone off at night?
At night, you shouldn’t remove a dog’s cone. If you do remove the cone while your dog is resting, it can wake up and aggravate the area, which could result in infection and require more surgery.
Another thing to think about is that your dog can perceive the cone as a punishment if you remove it at night and then put it back on in the morning. Because of this, dogs are more inclined to attempt to damage the cone.
If your dog cannot sleep at night with a cone on, check at some of the cozier options above.
Is it ok to leave a dog in a crate with a cone?
It’s acceptable to lock a dog in a crate while wearing a cone. However, you should reevaluate where your dog is sleeping if their box is too small for them to turn around comfortably.
It is far preferable to do that than remove the cone, even if it necessitates purchasing a larger crate or allowing your dog to sleep alongside you.
Can my dog sleep with an inflatable collar on?
Inflatable collars are typically far more pleasant for pets than the standard cones of shame. The products on this list have thousands of favorable reviews from dog owners who had trouble getting their dog to lay down while using a traditional cone. They have been developed for comfort.
The regulation, however, will occasionally be broken. I include a few more suggestions in my conclusion below that you can take into account if sleeping with an inflated collar becomes an issue.
How should I hydrate my dog while wearing a cone?
Your dog is undoubtedly accustomed to casually approaching his water bowl and filling up. He will play bump the bowl with his odd-looking cone if he attempts that with an E-collar. Holding your hands over his dish or even in the water will help you get him to drink. When he lunges for it, slide your bowl all the way beneath your cone, enclosing it. He’ll learn to approach the bowl in a much more calculated manner after you do this a few times. Even while it can appear more convenient for your dog to drink from a bowl that is on the ground, it all depends on what your dog is accustomed to and feels comfortable doing. If he always drank from an elevated stand, he would give you an odd look if you set his bowl down on the floor.
Instead of a cone, what else can I put on my dog?
Alternatives to Dog Cones from Stores:
- supple collars
- E-Collars made of flexible fabric.
- floppy E-Collars.
- Clothing or one-pieces.