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How to Make an Elizabethan Collar For Your Dog

Updated on April 16, 2011

E-collars may provide priceless peace of mind

It is a natural response for dogs to lick where they hurt. Indeed, if you find your dog insistently licking a spot chances are high that there is something wrong. There may be a splinter, a small wound, a scratch or an insect bite. In many cases, dogs may have allergies and resort to licking their itchy skin for relief.

A big problem often dog owners are faced with however, are cases of dogs licking their wounds and suture areas after surgery. If your dog has been spayed or neutered you will very likely notice that at one point your dog will start to want to lick the area.

If you are fortunate enough, your veterinarian may have thought this in advance and may have provided you with what owners gently like to refer to as ''lampshade collars'', but that are known in veterinary care as ''Elizabethan Collars''. The origin of this name is because they resemble the fancy ''ruff collars'' found in clothes at the times of queen Elizabeth.

However, if you were not provided with the collar and your dog has started disturbing the wound area in the middle of the night you may find yourself regretting the fact you were not offered to purchase an E- collar and that you did not even bother to ask for one.

What to do then if Rover decides to aggravate his suture area right at midnight when all stores and vet clinics are closed?

Well, there are various options....

1) See the ER

Very likely you have some animal emergency center nearby that will be happy to sell you an E-collar even at the oddest times of the night. However, expect to pay a good price for it. You may also want to bring your dog so they may even fit it well on your dog. An extra charge may apply for fitting it as well...

2) Use a bucket

In some cases, a bucket will do for a night until the vet clinic will open in the morning. Simply get a bucket and make a hole in it enough for the head to fit through. Then, carefully sand off the sharp edges or melt them. Tie the bucket to the collar. For pictures and more instructions, visit this reference link.

3) Ice cream bucket

An ice cream bucket may be an alternative for the bucket if the dog is a small one. Simple cut a hole just as the bucket and watch for sharp edges.

4) Use Cardboard

A large poster board or carton may be an easy way to make a temporary e-collar. You must start by making a hole for the dog's hea. Then holes may be punched in order to attach the e-collar to the dog's collar with shoe strings. For pictures and more directions visit this reference link.

5) Daddy's shorts

If the incision area is near the abdomen or the top of the rear legs, a pair of shorts may do at times. Simply make sure they do not come off by tying them on the collar. Always supervise your pet when wearing them!

6) Daddy's shirt

If the wound or suture area is in the abdominal area or shoulder area the dog may wear a shirt in order to avoid chewing the area. However, this should be just temporary as most wounds benefit from getting aired.

A seen, there are various alternatives to the famous lamp shade collars. While these alternatives should only be temporary because nothing really equals the ones professionally made, they ultimately get the job done. Always supervise your pet when wearing an alternative collar because they may not match the safety features of an e-collar provided by your vet.

Some helpful Devices

The Comfy Cone Pet Recovery Collar by All Four Paws, Extra Large, Black
The Comfy Cone Pet Recovery Collar by All Four Paws, Extra Large, Black

Finally a solution for the age old problem of how to let your pet heal in comfort. Made of patented nylon fabric laminated onto ½ inch foam which is soft and yielding while being very sturdy and protective. Has elastic loops to thread the pets own collar through to keep the Comfy Collar secure in place and keeping it from being pulled off or from falling off. Allows your pet to eat and drink in comfort, or collar can be folded back when eating and drinking or when checking wounds and irritations.


My dog Kaiser with a temporary e-collar made from a ''finding Nemo'' place mat


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    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Yes, they are! my male had to wear a big one when he hurt his paw and he then learned to use it to "attack" my female Rott. It was funny, it was as if transformed into a dog with super powers!

    • DarkSinistar profile image

      DarkSinistar 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Rotties sure know how to turn on the pitiful look when stuck in an Elizabethan collar, don't they? LOL! Great hub.

    • PetCollars profile image

      PetCollars 5 years ago from Saint Augustine, Florida

      So cute! I must try this to my pet. Thanks for sharing it!

    • profile image

      roonfields 7 years ago

      Why are the Elizabethan collars made so HUGE!!!!! in depth?? My dog had surgery for removal of his eye and the collar provided was needed but the depth of it was just too much--any ideas to shorten it??

    • profile image

      jezy 7 years ago

      this really helps me a lot thanks ! ^^

    • profile image

      Steph 8 years ago

      I feel for your dog! They do get used to it, but my Dingo had an aural hematoma (not for pics) and had to have a collar for 6 weeks!!! have never had to wipe up so many tilted water bowls ever!

      I wish you and yor dog the best. :-)

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 years ago from USA

      thanks, they are my two Rotties Petra (top) and Kaiser (bottom)

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      The puppy is adorable!