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Has your pet ever had to wear an Elizabethan collar? These devices—sometimes called E-collars and often referred to as the “cone of shame”—are used to stop a pet from inflicting trauma on themselves while recovering from a surgical incision, wound, infection, or other bodily harm. Learn more about this fascinating aspect of pet care in this article from your Tipp City, OH veterinarian.
The Elizabethan collar is named after the ruffs worn by wealthy landowners in Elizabethan-era England. Officially patented in the United States in the late 1950s, the E-collar has remained in use in the veterinary field ever since.
Dogs and cats can both wear Elizabethan collars. They’re usually made of clear plastic, but they can also be constructed from fabric or other materials. Today’s E-collars feature tabs or bands around the neck area to help fasten the device to your pet, or the collar might fasten with a string or Velcro straps.
Elizabethan collars come in various sizes. The proper size must be given to your pet, because collars that are too tight could choke them, and ones that are too loose could fall off. If that happens, a pet will be able to chew, bite, lick, or scratch at their wound, causing complications.
The collar’s length is also important. Ideally, the end of the cone should align with the tip of your pet’s nose—this lets your dog or cat go about their business as usual, but stops them from inflicting self-harm with their mouth or paws.
Does your pet have to wear an E-collar while recovering from surgery or while healing from a wound? Keep a close eye on them throughout the entire recovery period. It’s possible for pets to get the collar stuck in small spaces, and particularly mischievous pets might even be able to get the collar into their mouths, possibly chewing away bits of plastic or ripping off the collar altogether.
You might also need to remove the collar when your pet is ready to eat or drink—while E-collars are technically designed to allow your pet to eat and drink while wearing them, pets sometimes refuse to eat or drink while wearing the collar. Re-fasten the collar once your pet is done.
Want to know more about the E-collar? We’re here for you. Contact your Tipp City, OH veterinary clinic today!