The cone of shame, as those cartoons called it. We’ve all probably had a few good laughs while watching dogs wear cones or when we used to see those cartoons where a few wiggly characters would be wearing those cones and still somehow find themselves in a situation that only worsens their condition.
All this seems fun and exciting to watch, but the dog cones are not worn as a funny prank (which I used to think for a long time), but to help the dogs with their injuries or surgeries that they might have undergone so that they do not tear the stitches open or cause further harm to themselves.
There is a proper procedure as to how you can adjust the cone on your dog’s neck so that they remain easy and are able to heal immediately. Keep reading the article to find out more about how to help your dogs wear dog cones.
WHAT IS A DOG CONE?
Dog cones go by a famous name, the Elizabethan collar or the E-collar. It’s essentially a protective medical device that VETS give to dogs after they have completed their surgery, or they give dogs cones or E-collars when the dog is at risk for further causing harm to their selves.
To be precise, imagine if your dog has a rash on his body; if he keeps on scratching himself, then the inflammation will only worsen. In such situations, VETS prescribe an E collar so that dogs don’t further worsen their own condition.
Some people also refer to the Dog cone as the ‘lamp-shade,’ ‘radar dish,’ or ‘cone of shame’ besides referring to it as the Elizabethan collar.
HOW DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
The shape of the Elizabethan collar is like a cone. A cone is worn around the neck of the dog when the dog has a medical condition that needs time to heal.
The exact shape is similar to a truncated cone, and essentially the shape or the silhouette of the cone is identical to that of a lamp.
Imagine your dog wearing the lamp head around his neck (paints a funny picture, right?). That lamp head is known as the Elizabethan Collar or the dog cone.
Many people assume that this cone comes in specific sizes, but that is far from the truth since now, with modern advancements.
There are cone sizes appropriate for all types of dogs. Starting from a miniature poodle to a sizeable Irish wolfhound even. Since there are quite a lot of size variations, every dog’s need is being fulfilled.
In fact, now E collars are coming in different shapes as well and different colors so that dogs can become a little more comfortable during their difficult time of healing themselves.
These collars are readily available at any local veterinary office and can also be found at local pet stores as well because of the vast demand for this product. Many dogs suffer from previous injuries or even require surgery, which is where this product comes in handy.
THE TRUE PURPOSE OF A DOG CONE
This product comes in handy if you’re someone who cannot always keep monitoring their dog’s behavior while they are in the process of healing themselves, so veterinarians will always administer the use of dog cones so that you can remain easy while ensuring the following main things:
- Dogs don’t lick themselves in the infected area
- Dogs don’t open up their stitches after undergoing surgery
- Dogs aren’t able to scratch themselves if they are experiencing a specific skin condition.
Talking about the first condition, it is said that dog and cat saliva has many properties that can help them clean their coat. Even if the dog has any injury, the compounds existing in the dog saliva aid in the removal of the bacteria wall that is created over the wound and can help heal the process, but this is not the case all the time.
Dog saliva may contain healing properties, but at the same time, your dog might go overboard with the infected area and end up slowing down the healing process. Suppose the wound is not healed within time.
In that case, it goes to become a greater risk because wounds that constantly remain moist can end up growing fungal infections, which means that your dog will then need to be given antibiotics or an IV in order to fix their problem.
This is costly and can drain your dog’s energy, which is why Dogs wear Elizabethan collars to ensure that this long-term issue does not arise.
Remember, moisture attracts more bacteria, so if your dog is suffering from hot burns or rashes, then excessive moisture will only worsen it, leading to a higher risk of depleting health.
Additionally, some dogs chew out their stitches after undergoing surgery. Remember, though, that dogs don’t do this because they are feeling naughty or want to cause trouble for you. Chances are that they were just uncomfortable.
If you’ve ever gone through surgery, then a healing stitch causes irritation and itching, which is in that situation; all that we want to do is to remove the stitches, but if we do that, it will only cause additional bleeding and worsening of the scar.
Humans can control themselves and their desire to remove stitches because they want to understand what will be the cost of doing so, but dogs don’t understand that.
Instead, they will want to remove the issue so that they can become relaxed immediately; hence the use of a dog cone is administered by the VETS to certain that this does not happen.
Another deeper insight into the reason behind wearing an Elizabethan collar is that dogs cannot just remove stitches or bandages, but they can also end up licking any topical medicine.
If your dogs have ticks or fleas, then your VET will most likely prescribe topical medications. Those medications are not to be swallowed by anyone because they are poisonous so imagine if your dog were not wearing a dog and ended up licking a part of his body where the topical medicine was smeared on, then this would only worsen his health.
It is not just about problems on the body because sometimes cones can come in handy for dogs who have eye infections or injuries near their face as well because wearing a cone means that dogs cannot use their paws for scratching their faces; hence they can heal more quickly.
SELECTING THE PROPER FIT
Suppose your dog has undergone surgery or has a medical condition, then most likely, your VET will also have put on an E collar on your dog. In fact, almost all VET clinics are highly professional and will always give you a demo on how to wear and remove the cone without any hassle.
However, if the circumstances are such that you have to buy a dog cone yourself, then you will need to measure the circumference of your dog’s neck and measure the length of the head from the neck to the tip of the nose to buy the exact fit.
Keep in mind, though, that while you are measuring the neck of your dog to buy a perfect fit for an E collar, make sure that there is space of about two fingers so that your dogs don’t feel suffocated while wearing an E collar.
Additionally, if you don’t have a measuring tape around, chances are that you will have a dog collar that is a perfect fit; you can take that dog collar and check for a similar size to an E collar. This would be an excellent hack for finding the right E collars for your dog.
Make sure of three things while purchasing an E collar.
- The E collar needs to be a perfect fit around the neck; otherwise, your dogs won’t be able to eat or drink if the E collar is too tight around the neck. In worst-case scenarios, an E collar can even cause issues with the trachea of the dog if it is too tight.
- The other thing is that an E collar needs to be short enough for the dog to eat and drink. Since pet parents mainly place the bowl of water or food on the ground, then with an extremely long neck cone, dogs might not be able to drink water properly and end up causing a tremendous mess. In this situation, we recommend that the E collar should be short enough for the dogs to eat
- However, make sure that it is not too short because if the E collar is too short, then the dog might end up licking the infected area or scratching it. An excellent way to ensure would be that typically a good E collar would extend about 3 inches past the nose so that they don’t lick their wound and also be able to consume food at the same time.
HOW TO PUT IT ON?
Chances are that you’ve gone ahead and purchased an E collar, or your VET gave you an extra. We have listed down a detailed guide on how to put the E collar on without having to experience any difficulties.
- First things first, the dog cone or the collar that you have gotten with have proper labels on the two ends. One will say top, and the other will say bottom
- What this means is that you will have to make a cone by bringing the two sides together, but make sure that the side that says bottom must go below the second side
- Once you have brought the two sides together, you will see a thread attached to the top part that will allow you to close the cone properly.
- You will see “start” written on the first opening point on the cone, which is basically the first point from where you will have to pass through the thread.
- The threat will go straight in, and then it comes back out where it says “out.”
- You repeat the same step for the second opening as well, where it says “in” and then repeatedly says “out.”
- After the thread has passed through the two openings, you will then need to tuck the threat into the last spot just to ensure that the cone looks neater.
- You will find two to three more threats on the collar and similar opening points that will say “in,” so tuck all those threads in.
- Once you have done this, you will find that those threads have now become a ribbon-like structure through which you can pass through your original dog collar (the collar that includes the name tag or the collar to which a leash is attached)
- Pass your dog’s personal collar through the threads of the dog cone (E collar) and then place the cone on your pet
- Make sure that the ears pass through the collar and also ensure that the E collar is loose enough for your precious furry friend to eat and drink without pressure on their throats.
ADJUST THE CONE TO YOUR DOG
The available sizes of the E collar or the dog cone range from extra small to extra large, which means that whether your dog is a small pug or a large Akita, you will find a dog cone that will fit your precious pup.
Now that we have understood how to put the dog cone on, we need to realize that wearing a cone is not easy and especially for dogs who love to run and play around. Wearing a cone is considered “shame” for dogs because it restricts everything that they love; hence the name ‘cone of shame’ was introduced.
Make sure to create an environment where your dog feels comfortable wearing a cone; for example, if the cone is opaque, then there is a high chance that your dog will constantly be bumping into the furniture or will end up breaking a few lamps.
If you’re someone who has to go to work every morning, then make sure to make space for your dog. To be precise, you could remove the breakable items from another room and create space for your dog to move around quickly without having to break or bump into anything.
If you want your dog to eat food, then maybe try placing it on a higher level so that they can easily eat the food and drink water without making a mess all over your apartment or house.
You might be wondering why dogs end up breaking so many items if they can see easily. Think of it like this, imagine I’ve put two walls beside your face, so the only thing you can see is what is directly in front of you.
But you won’t be able to see the things that are on your side. You won’t even know it if someone hits you from the size because you won’t see it coming (literally).
The same goes for dogs. I personally recommend going with a transparent cone because, at least that way, your dog won’t be bumping into different things all the time, and it will be much safer.
WRAPPING UP! | HOW TO PUT ON A DOG CONE?
Remember to ensure that the cone is short enough to eat and long enough to ensure that your dogs don’t end up licking the infected area.
Also, make sure to keep your dog comfortable by creating more space for them to roam around and understand that healing a wound or an injury takes time, so be patient and just love your dog!