An Alternative to the Dreaded “Cone of Shame”

Inflatable collarA tired, helpless, and desperate look from a sick pet is enough to send me into an “ugly cry.” You know that cry. Uncontrollable tears, contorted face, and wetness coming out of every orifice. It’s the same cry I sink into while watching those Sarah McLaughlin commercials. (Dives for the remote!)

My bulldog, Rosie, recently needed surgery to remove about 7 large stones from her bladder. It knocked her for a loop for a few days. I’m not sure who took it worse, Rosie or me. The worst part was not being able to communicate with my dog to find out where it hurt, or what I could do to make it better.

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We knew Rosie would need to wear a dreaded “cone of shame” for a few weeks to prevent her from licking or biting her surgery wound. Those big, floppy cones just look so awkward and uncomfortable. I also worried it would be easy for Rosie to tear it off while my husband and I were away. For us, a better alternative turned out to be an inflatable protective collar. “21st Century: The Future of Pet Health” was the brand we used but there are plenty of others. It kind of resembles an inner tube fit for a day at the beach. Rosie tolerated it pretty well, although that’s somewhat hard to gauge since she’s an easy-going dog to begin with.

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Our vet gave this inflatable collar a thumbs up, but be sure to consult with your vet before you use one!
Here’s why it worked for us:
(Disclaimer: I was not paid or solicited for this post. I just wanted to share my experience with other loving dog owners. This is not an endorsement)
1. It secured to her neck very well, but not to the point of appearing to be uncomfortable. I think a dog would have to work very hard to get it off.
2. It was effective in preventing her from licking her wound.
3. She was still very mobile.
4. No droopiness of a cone.
5. It’s washable.
6. It claims to be bite resistant.

Some negatives:
1. We had to buy it on our own. No free handout from the vet.
2. The cone flipped around from top to bottom easily. Not a huge deal though as long as it stayed on her neck.
3. At times, Rosie looked a little awkward while sleeping or lying down. Other times, the collar acted as a sort of pillow.

I’m happy to report, Rosie’s wound has healed nicely and our inflatable collar is now tucked away. I hope we never need to haul it out again. Rosie is back to her old self: sleeping, drooling, sleeping, snoring, eating, sleeping… you get the picture! As for me, I hope my days of “ugly crying” are behind me.

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