It goes by many different names- the cone of shame, e-collar, Elizabethan collar, and lamp shade to name a few. A cone is a conically shaped device that fits over your pet’s head to prevent them from licking and chewing at their surgical site. As ridiculous and cumbersome as they may seem, cones are one of the most important tools for guaranteeing a successful recovery post-operation. Excessive licking and chewing can lead to inflammation and infection of the surgical site. If left too long, evisceration may even occur. This can easily be prevented with…you guessed it, a cone!
No matter how well behaved your pet is, THEY ARE GOING TO LICK. It’s what they do. With their e-collar on, your pet may look uncomfortable at first, but they will figure out how to get around within a day or two.
Countless times clients have frantically called us saying their pet’s incision site looks inflamed and oozing. When asked if they were wearing a cone, the answer is usually “no”. Cones are a cheap financial investment to prevent much more costly consequences. Cones cost $7-$10. The cost of sedation, resuturing an incision site, and antibiotics is $100+. You do the math.
There are alternatives to cones. Pool noodles can be wrapped and tied around your pet’s neck to prevent neck movement. Cervical collars are a more pricey alternative. Like the pool noodles, cervical collars also prevent neck movement. If you care about your pet and your wallet then consider keeping that funnel shaped, floppy piece of plastic on your pet’s head; doctor's orders.