View Full Version : post-surgical misery here - e-collar alternatives that work?

30th March 2011, 02:30 PM
Anyone tried the ProCollar, Kong Cloud, BiteNot, or EJay Bite Free? Or has anyone tried the K9 Top Coat Lyrca Bodysuit or tried making a body sleeve out of a t-shirt?

Just had Lucky neutered yesterday and he is totally miserable with the clear plastic e-collar the vet sent him home in. He's supposed to wear it for 14 days, but it's been less than a day and I'm already looking for an alternative.

He can't get food or water out of his bowl, and he won't let me hand feed him. The vet said I could take his collar off if I watched him eat, but it's pretty hard to get on and off and I'm afraid the plastic tabs will wear out within a few days.

Bottom line, he is miserable! There are a lot of products out there -- inflatable collars and hard neck collars -- and a few of them look pretty good. I was just wondering if anyone had tried any of them with luck.

If there is another thread with info on this, please feel free to point me in the right direction. I did a few searches and didn't come up with anything.


30th March 2011, 02:49 PM
My border collie had a blue inflatable one that he wore a lot to keep him from biting himself (allergies). He'd use it as a pillow to sleep, and really seemed to enjoy it. It never got in his way while eating.
I don't know the brand, but it was from petco.

30th March 2011, 03:34 PM
I don't like the stiff E-collars myself, but it's amazing how a dog can adapt to them in due course. Might take a day or so, but generally speaking they work out how to get themselves about, feed, drink, miss the furniture etc very quickly!

This might be the inflatable collar in question


See also


Have never tried these, and only have bitches, but have usually managed to stop them scratching/biting stitches etc with the use of ordinary baby-gro suits, adapted a little for comfort.

Good luck with little Lucky - do let us know how he gets on.

30th March 2011, 03:52 PM
We recently had Flash neutered and he was miserable trying to pull his stapes out. The vet sent him home with a soft E-Collar. It was made out of some kind of lightweight and flexible material. It was flexible enough Flash quickly learned he could bend it in any way he needed to eat or drink. But the sides were long enough no matter how hard he tried he could not get around it. Our vet told us he needed to wear it for 14 days too and I was very worried because he is very sensitive about things on his neck. After about 3 days post surgery I started removing it whenever I could watch him and he wasn't messing with the staples. By 5 days post surgery he had lost interests in messing with them and I only used it if I left the house. By 7 days I didn't have to use it anymore. But I was home with him a lot to watch him. I wouldn't leave it off unless you are watching and SURE they are not going to mess with them.

This is what the E-Collar looked liked.
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w220/Skyz84/191413_1871508636826_1514439143_2027143_6463891_o. jpg

Sorry I have no idea what the brand is. If I can find the collar I'll let you know what it said. Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

murphy's mum
30th March 2011, 06:01 PM
I may have been lucky but when we had Murphy neutered we never had his collar on. Out vet advised us to use it if he was chewing or puling his stitches, but otherwise just to monitor him.

It was the same when we had our kitten spayed last month :)

30th March 2011, 06:36 PM
When my last dog was neutered, day 1 he wouldn't move, eat, or drink unless I helped him. He was also scared because his collar would hit things like if he did decide to walk, he would get caught on the side of the door sometimes.

After 2 days or so, he was crashing through the house and he figured out how to aim the cone around his head so he could eat and drink. If anything, because he was a 100lb Rottweiler, it helped him learn to be lighter on his feet and watch where he was going!

Give it time. I would say if after a few days he is still miserable, then look for an alternative. Remember not to feel bad for your dog, that will only make him feel like he has something to be scared about!

This was about 3 days after his surgery :p


30th March 2011, 07:03 PM
I have neutered lots and lots of dogs- dozens and dozens at this point– and only one has ever needed to use an e-collar. I would just take it off as long as you are around to supervise him and keep an eye on what he's doing–some mild licking at his stitches is fine, but if he starts pulling At them, then you'll need to try something else.

The Lycra bodysuits won't cover the area needed (to put it delicately) nor will a T-shirt. What will work in many cases is to go get a onesie–the one piece little cotton suits that are used for babies with snaps at the crotch. You will need to measure the length of his neck down to about his tail and the onesie will need to be about that body length.

Often you can find them for almost nothing at thrift shops and just get a bunch of different sizes that are around the measurement you think you need. You want it to fit comfortably and not be tight or pulling at all. You need to put it on to him and figure out the area where his tail is and mark it with a pen, then take the onesie off and cut a hole for his tail to go through, and then you can put it on him and snap it up. When he needs to go out to use the toilet, you can just unsnap it and roll up the onesie like a T-shirt. A harness will fit over it nicely for walks. I have used these with all my own dogs and they work for cats too.

I have never heard of a single case where a dog needed to keep one of those cones on for 14 days though–that seems excessive. Their wound is pretty much healed within the first couple of days and that is the critical period. Most dogs only look at themselves for the first couple of days and then that's it. Over here, they generally remove stitches after 10 days anyway rather than two weeks.

31st March 2011, 09:59 PM
Thank you everyone!

I picked up an inflatable collar yesterday and he's adjusted to it quite well. So far, so good!