Why vets, pets and pet parents aren’t fans of the E-collars: a furry a tale

By Cherice Roth, MS, DVM, KeraVet Bio Lead Medical Advisor

The infamous E-collar – otherwise known as the “cone of shame.” This peculiar-looking device has become almost an initiation rite for our four-legged friends. If you’ve ever had to deal with a pet that’s undergone surgery or has a persistent habit of scratching or biting a wound, you’re probably all too familiar with it. But despite its everyday use, the E-collar is not universally loved. Let’s explore why vets, pets, and pet parents often have a love-hate relationship with this contraption.

  1. The Pet Perspective: “Why am I wearing a lampshade?”

From a pet’s point of view, an E-collar can be nothing short of traumatic. Imagine being in even mild discomfort from a wound or surgery and then having a large, cumbersome cone placed around your neck. Not only does it affect their peripheral vision, but it also makes simple tasks like eating, drinking, playing, or just lying down more complicated.

Furthermore, pets are incredibly sensory-driven. An E-collar can interfere with their ability to interact with their surroundings, which may cause frustration or confusion. Some pets might run into walls, while others may have trouble gauging distances, and many will try to remove the contraption to elevate the barrier.

  1. The Vet’s Dilemma: “It’s for their own good.”

Veterinarians prescribe E-collars because they prioritize the animal’s well-being. Their main goal is to prevent pets from aggravating wounds, removing stitches, or worsening skin conditions. In essence, E-collars are a necessary evil from a medical standpoint.

Yet, vets are not blind to the distress it might cause. The good news? Many vets today are open to alternative solutions. This is where KeraVet Gel comes in. Not only is it designed to keep the pet from agitating the area, but unlike an E-collar, it promotes a healthy bound bed and provides a natural barrier to the environment, both leading to a better, faster outcome for the pet.

  1. The Pet Parent’s Struggle: “Seeing them this way breaks my heart.”

Watching your fur baby struggle with an E-collar can be heart-wrenching. Not only are you dealing with the underlying reason for the collar (a wound, surgery, etc.), but you also have to watch as your pet grapples with this new, uncomfortable addition to their life. Some pets become despondent, others get agitated, and many pet parents feel guilty for being the “bad guy” who enforces its use, leading to lower compliance and potential worsening of the ailment.

On top of the emotional toll, there’s also the inconvenience. E-collars are bulky, making it harder for pets to move around the house without knocking things over or getting stuck. And midnight trips to the bathroom? As one can imagine, navigating a half-asleep dog in a cone through a dark house has its challenges.

The Silver Lining: Progress and Alternatives

The pet industry is ever-evolving, driven by our love and empathy for our animal companions. There are now numerous alternatives and advancements to the traditional E-collar as well as new innovative solutions.

As pet parents, it’s crucial to remember that any protective device’s primary goal, E-collar or otherwise, is to ensure our pets heal properly and stay safe. Dialogue with your veterinarian, consider alternative solutions, and always keep your pet’s best interests at heart.

Learn more about KeraVet Bio Lead Medical Advisor, , Dr. Cherice Roth, MS, DVM, by visiting her on LinkedIn.