Keeping Your Pet from Chewing (Elizabethan Collars)

24elizabethan-collar2-200x300Sometimes pets will just not let wounds heal.  Self-trauma is a very common hindrance to clearing up skin infections, healing incisions, bandaging wounds, and casting fractures.  Elizabethan collars are a good solution to keep pets from chewing and licking.  They may also be used to keep the pet from scratching around the head and ears.  An Elizabethan collar is the lamp-shade shaped cone that goes around the neck.

Elizabethan Collars, or E-collars for short, should be properly sized.  The pet should be able to eat, drink, and sleep comfortably with the E-collar on.  It should be tight enough around the neck so that it cannot slip off, but it should not choke the pet.  Ideally, the end of the cone should reach the tip of the nose when it is pushed back as far as it will go towards the shoulder blades.  The E-collar should be fastened with an adjustable collar or a double-thick length of gauze.

An E-collar will keep the pet from being able to scratch an itch, but the itch still needs relief.  Be sure that the pet is receiving proper treatment to alleviate symptoms.

Occasionally, a pet will not tolerate the E-collar.  Tranquilizers can be given if necessary to calm the animal while using the collar.  It is not a good idea to leave pets unattended while wearing an Elizabethan collar.