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Does My Pet Really Need to Wear the Cone?

It must be one of the most common questions we receive from pet parents! The short answer is yes! But why is it so important that your dog or cat sport the ‘cone of shame’ for so long?

An Elizabethan collar is also known as an e-collar, cone or ‘the cone of shame’ and is generally prescribed by a veterinarian after a surgical procedure. It is prescribed to avoid your pet from licking or chewing at their incision as it heals. It is not uncommon for an incision site to become itchy as it heals. Having your pet wear a cone (typically for 7 – 14 days after surgery) means that they are unable to scratch the incision, and thus cannot pull out any of their stitches.

Stitches that have been pulled out as a result of licking or chewing at the incision usually means that more stitches are needed (depending upon where your pet is in the healing process). In order to do this, your pet requires general anesthesia which equates to additional costs for you!

“My pet didn’t have surgery. He’s just licking at a spot. Does he still have to wear a cone?”Absolutely! A veterinarian will generally advise that a pet wear an e-collar if they have an open wound, a hot spot, a lump, a wart, etc. Having your pet wear a cone while we are trying to clear up any kind of infection on the skin is a crucial step in the healing process! The e-collar will stop the cycle of licking, which will allow the hot spot/infected area a chance to dry out and thus heal properly.

If your pet doesn’t like wearing a traditional plastic e-collar, there are other options that may be appropriate to use instead. Some options include – an inflatable cone, a medical pet shirt or even an oversized t-shirt (depending upon the area that we are trying to keep protected). If you are unsure, please ask us!

We know that having your pet wear a cone is not fun for anybody involved! But it really is in your pet’s best interest!

Written by: Adrienne Eve, Office Manager

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