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The Cone Collar and Available Alternatives
The cone collar, e-collar or Elizabethan collar is a dastardly device that the veterinarians use when your dog or cat needs to be kept from licking areas on their bodies after surgery, skin conditions or wounds that need to heal. The collar the vets use is made of stiff plastic and forms a cone over your pets head with the smaller end around the neck and the larger end extending beyond their nose. Your pet cannot lick or chew anywhere on their body because of the barrier that the collar forms. It works and is a great asset in speedy healing. However if you have ever had any experience with these things you will know that the stiffness of the cone causes things to get knocked off tables, pushed over, the animal is always banging into things like doors. If it is summer you will have shorts on, they will bang into the back of your legs with the fairly sharp edges of the collar and man, and does it hurt.
Like I said the Elizabethan collar works, and is essential but it has many negatives that make it a pain, literally, if you have to keep it on for longer periods. Recently we had our female Labrador spayed and she had to wear one for ten days. Being only six months old she is wide open and plenty energetic. The thought of ten days of banging around in one of this sent me to do research on any alternatives. I found several, researched them and read reviews for a day before ordering.
The first one I saw was an inflatable, doughnut style pillow that fit around the neck. This designed seemed ok from a comfort perspective but reviews from users showed that it might not keep the animal from getting to the areas at their backend.
Next there was a device called the BiteNot collar. This was a wide collar that has stiffness to it and holds the neck fairly stationary. The collar is made of stiff plastic similar to the kind used in the regular cone collar with a padded inner lining and Velcro strapping around it to secure. In addition there is a strap that goes under chest area right behind the front legs adding addition restriction. By all accounts this works and is a viable alternative to the e-collar. The only complaint I saw came from someone that had bought it for a dog with an injury to the tail. The dog could get to that area with this on.
Then there is the Comfy Collar which is the version that we wound up purchasing. The collar is made in the traditional cone shape. It is made from triangle sections of stiff foam covered in a water resistant nylon. The collar is pulled through some elastic loops on the small end and the collar is put on the dog just like the traditional type. This worked and the softness of the design gave way whenever she bumped into any tables or doors. Our dog did not mind wearing this where she fought like crazy when the traditional one was placed on her. She actually got to where she would put her head through the opening on her own when I held it in front of her. Again as with the other collars there are reviews stating animals are able to reach areas around the backside with the Comfy collar on. We had no problems what so ever. The company was very customer oriented as we ordered the wrong size first, called them and got the right side shipped out.
You will likely, at some time, be subjected to the cone collar. If you have the available funds one of these alternatives is mighty good tool to have on hand. Purchasing when you do not need it will save that expensive overnight shipping if you need it now. Make sure you get the correct fitting for your dog as the devices will not be as effective if you fit it wrong.