A woman holds a cat in a cone of shame.

Most pet owners are familiar with the Elizabethan collar, or e-collar for short. Often referred to as the “cone of shame”, this collar has a much-maligned reputation, despite it serving an essential role in post-surgery recovery for dogs and cats. 

Designed to protect pets from licking or chewing at surgical wounds, bandages, sores or itchy spots, the e-collar has been a ‘go-to’ helper for many years and there are several versions that have become available over time.  

Useful Device with a Downside

While they serve an important purpose, hard plastic e-collars do have their down side. Depending on the type of collar, they can make walking or navigating stairs awkward, they can be hard on furniture and walls as pets bump into them or struggle to get the e-collar off, and they have been shown to cause distress in some pets. E-collars can also cause skin irritations from rubbing on the body, make eating and drinking difficult to impossible, and be uncomfortable to play or sleep in.

In recent years, several alternative options to the e-collar have become available, including, the soft fabric collars we have available for purchase in our lobby retail store.  

However, if your pet won’t tolerate any e-collar and since we know pet owners are also affected when their pet can’t deal with this device, the staff at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center would like you to know about other options that may just do the trick!  

Time for New Ways

If you’ve already given up completely on the e-collar and the homemade alternatives, such as the t-shirt or your infant’s ‘onesie’, you know the frustration that goes along with “what now?”

The good news is that, today, it’s much easier to find ready-made alternatives designed specifically for pets that overcome many of the obstacles associated with traditional e-collars or home-made substitutes.

Recovery Gear to the Rescue!

Thanks to the ever-evolving pet product industry and pet-loving professionals, there are loads of innovations that ease the burden of finding e-collar alternatives.

Often referred to as “stress-free recovery garments” or “recovery gear”, these items have the safety and comfort of pets in mind and accommodate a wide variety of needs: Inflatable collars, visors, neck restraints, head & ear wraps, body wraps, leg wraps and slings, socks, booties, muzzles and more all answer the call to duty. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, they are also designed to accommodate the specific anatomy of male and female pets. Plus, with adjustable velcro closures or fabric ties, they’re easy to put on and remove when needed. 

Overall, recovery garments deliver numerous benefits and make them well worth the investment, including:

  • Proper fit for a pet’s body 
  • Male and female specific
  • Designed to cover the area of the body needed
  • Prevent pets from reaching a wound by covering it completely
  • Provide sensations of warmth, security and comfort
  • Enable full vision and mobility during the healing process
  • Help both pets and owners better deal with the healing process
  • Can be found at online retailers or pet supply stores

Not only is modern recovery gear easier to use, because it fits snugly, it reduces the risk of injury during the recovery period. Your pet might even enjoy wearing it and have a quicker recovery because of this.

Form and Function

Let’s face it, recovery gear isn’t high fashion. It’s really more important that the gear covers a specific area and helps prevent accidental injury or serious irritation at the same time. With this in mind, these new alternatives really do provide solutions beyond the cone of shame.

If you have additional questions about what products would benefit your pet’s recovery from surgery or help a part of its body heal, our team is here to help.