I’m sure you will agree that you’ve seen the “Cone of Shame” and agreed with it’s name. Most dogs that are wearing the very plain plastic E-collar always look sad and depressed.
There’s several reasons we conclude this occurs.
1. The majority of pet parents do not even think about the recovery collar until they go to pick up their dog and see them wearing this collar. Pet parents accept this as part of the recovery and go home.
2. The dog who is under anesthesia wakes up with this foreign plastic encumbrance which feels awkward and adds to their anxiety.
3. Not only is it not comfortable for the dog, their vision is impaired.
4. To make things worse, the funnel shape of the “cone” basically amplifies all sound back to their ears.
In essence we have imposed a non ideal way for your dog to recover.
With a little planning, you can help alleviate your dog’s stress and provide a more humane way for them to recover.
SELECTING TWO COLLARS IN ADVANCE
We offer nine different recovery collars simply because we know that not one size fits all. And we know that each dog is unique in size and recovery needs.
We recommend pet parents have one of each type of collar on hand. A “cone” structure collar when you need maximum protection, and then the “inflatable” style collar for minor recovery needs.
WEARING THEM IN ADVANCE TO DESENSITIZE YOUR DOGS TO THE COLLARS
Anxiety is alleviated with familiarity. We recommend that the collars are on hand at least 3 weeks prior to surgery. This way you can start to have your dog practice wearing them.
Start off with 10 minutes at a time, every day and extend that period of time so that your dog can wear them for a few hours each day. Please do this under your supervision so you can monitor how they fare during these “dress rehearsals”.
Escape artists tend to start to accept the collars when they have practiced wearing them prior to surgery. The “ambition to take the collar off” occurs when your dog is trying to take off the collar they have never worn before.
HOW TO SELECT THE COLLARS
1. Consider your dog’s muzzle length, body shape, location of recovery area and dog’s ambition in escaping the collar. The inflatable collars are for those dogs that need to limit their movement to access shoulders or their backs. Sometimes this is enough of a deterrent to stop dogs from reaching to incision points in their bellies or if they have bandages on their feet.
When you need more protection, we have “cone” shaped collars that radiate out further than your dog’s muzzle which in essence protects any incisions that need recovery time. The only drawback is the cone will limit vision which might add to your dog’s anxiety.
As an alternative the Kong Cushion inflatable collar radiates out far enough for most dog breeds. And because it’s inflatable it allows for full vision for your dog.
WHEN TO USE THE COLLARS
1. Consider the phase of recovery: Your dog will be given anesthesia so that they can be asleep during surgery. After the surgery is done, the vet medical staff will move your dog to a quite room and placed in a crate for observation. Imagine this critical time when your dog first opens their eyes. They will be confused and in a small space. As such, we recommend the Kong Cushion so that their vision is not impaired but yet they have a collar that radiates out far enough to protect any areas in the upper or lower bodies. In addition this collar is made of a hygienic plastic which is ideal post surgery. This is the collar to bring to the vet so that your dog can wake up in comfort post surgery.
2. Once your dog is home: They can continue to wear the inflatable Kong Cushion. However as the anesthesia wears off, they might want to lick their incision wounds. In this case, if the Kong Cushion is not enough protection, you may want to switch out to the cone or the EZ Calmer for the next few days of recovery.
TIPS FOR A SAFE AND COMFORTABLE RECOVERY
- Provide a soft, nice and quiet place for your dog to recover indoors. If you have other dogs or cats, keep them away until your dog feels better.
- The first 24 hours will be a very mellow period. Your dog will sleep a lot and might even whimper while they sleep. Stay close and comfort them to let them know you are present. Keep them hydrated and offer their meal however note that they probably will have a small appetite that first day.
- A two week low activity rest is recommended. Don’t let your dog jump and run until they have fully recovered (typically two weeks).
- No baths until after two weeks.
- Check the incision site twice a day (in the morning and night) to confirm it is healing properly. Call your vet if it is has discharge or is swelling.
- Make sure you clearly understand the recovery plan from your vet and call them if you are concerned at any time during the recovery.