Why Should You Use A Soft Cone During Your Dog’s Surgical Recovery?

dog wearing recovery cone after knee surgery

After most surgeries of any kind, your dog will be required to wear a cone around their neck so as to prevent licking of the sutures at the incision point. This helps to keep the wound in a position to heal quickly and effectively, even though your dog is unlikely to enjoy wearing the cone. 

Have you ever considered which style of cone is the most effective and comfortable for your dog? If your dog has a torn ACL and you have chosen surgery for your dog then wearing a cone will be a necessary portion of the recovery process. 

While it is generally true that the adaptive behavior of licking wounds is helpful for dogs, it is not so after surgery when the sutures need to be held in place for deeper healing to occur. 

What is a dog cone? These ‘cones’ are called e-collars. They are a lamp shade type of shape that you see some dogs wearing around their collar. It looks a little silly and is certainly uncomfortable for most dogs, but nevertheless a necessary key for their recovery.

What Type Of Dog Cones Are Available Today? Rigid Versus Soft Cones

  • Semi-Rigid Plastic
  • Soft & Flexible
  • Inflatable

Interestingly the ‘E’ in e-collar, comes from the word Elizabethan from an era in time when Queen Elizabeth would stylistically wear a tall white collar around her neck that ventured up most of her side face and around the back. So, while it is true that the namesake of the dog collar cone was based in an era of fashion, the cone your dog will be wearing after surgery will not be for fashion!

The traditional collar cones of the past were made of semi-rigid plastic. While these types of collars were effective in preventing dogs from irritating wounded areas they were also very uncomfortable and sometimes cut into the flesh around the neck skin. 

Furthermore, the rigid collar limits peripheral vision and makes resting the head almost impossible for your dog. This can increase stress levels in your dog and be an active disadvantage to their recovery. 

So, when you are looking for a cone collar for your dog try to steer clear of the rigid cones that will leave your dog uncomfortable with even less mobility, and may even puncture the flesh around your dog’s neck. 

There are two other types of dog cone collars: Soft & Flexible or Inflatable. 

The better of these last two choices for comfort and effectiveness are the soft and flexible types of cone collars. The inflatable collars are comfortable but often do not do the trick in preventing further damage to wounded areas on your dog from licking.

So, what is a soft and flexible cone? 

The Soft and Flexible Dog Collar Cone

dog wearing recovery cone

The soft collar cone is similar to the semi-rigid plastic cone in shape but is much more comfortable for your dog. These cones are generally made of pliable plastic or cardboard but are also covered with a soft fabric. 

So, while the shape remains similar to the Elizabethan collar, the fabric that surrounds the portion of the collar is soft to the touch and is significantly less likely to irritate your dog. 

Particularly after a trauma such as an ACL tear, and the often painful recovery from surgery the best option for your dog is a soft cone collar for your dog.

Surgery Is An Intense Process For Both Owner And Dog: Recovery Can Be A Little Easier With The Correct E-Collar

There is enough trauma for both owner and dog when an ACL tear or surgery of any kind occurs, so at the very least under these conditions, some ease can be brought to the situation by choosing a soft and flexible e-collar. 

No dog would naturally choose to wear a cone collar, but if they must one with soft surrounding fabric that is still effective in preventing excessive licking of the area where the sutures have been made is one way to make the recovery process a little easier. 

Be sure to steer away from rigid plastic cones, and choose the soft flexible cone for your dog’s surgical recovery. 

Sources Cited:

  1. https://www.k9ofmine.com/best-dog-cones-and-ecollars/
  2. https://retrievist.akc.org/reviews/best-dog-cones/

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