With many of our patients leaving with "E-collars" this letter from a canine professional was too good not to share. This speaks volumes to the reason we are so adamant about leaving the collar on during the healing process. The E-collar is not a modern day torture device.
Dear Pet Owners:
Just a quick note about "Elizabethan Collars", you know those lamp shade style hoods that pups need to wear after surgery... They really do assist in quicker healing for your pup and lessen the chance of the pet chewing, licking, irritating and causing an infection on an incision site. PETs do SELF-MUTILATE themselves on a regular basis. I know we all hate how sad they look (which makes us sad :-( as they learn to navigate with the lampshade, but they do learn.
I recently had a client with 2 dogs that had routine neuters - one stayed home with her and one stayed with me. The one that stayed home with me needed some help navigating through doorways, etc...the first night. By the next day was running, playing, eating, drinking and navigating without much help, with the lampshade on. He healed up and was out of the lamp shade in 7 days with no problems. His brother - well mom hated how he looked so sad, he whined and cried so of course mom removed the lamp shade. She stayed home with him for a number of days, then had to go out for a few hours one day and upon her return he had licked his incision and made it worse and it appeared to be infected. Another visit to the vet and lamp shade back on. He is now healed and doing fine. To be fair, he was a bigger pup, and had a lot of swelling which probably contributed to everything. But maybe, just maybe he would not have had to have that 2nd vet visit, the additional meds and days recovering if the lamp shade had been left on.
Currently have two other pups that underwent neuters and one underwent dewclaw removal. They are 4 days post op and running around with their lampshades on like nothing, eating, drinking, playing and navigating without much difficulty and no licking of incision, no tearing off of bandages, etc.. If they continue to do well - lampshades will be off next week and it won’t have been a traumatic ordeal for owners, pups or myself.
Please do yourself, your pup and your veterinarian a favor and leave the lampshade on until your vet says it’s safe to remove it. This will cause less trauma for all involved.!
Kristi Smith, CVT, IACP CDT, CDTA, PDTI