VCA Animal Hospitals

Elizabethan Collars in Dogs

When my dog was discharged from the hospital she was wearing a large plastic collar. Is this really necessary?

elizabethan_collars-1_2009Elizabethan collars or E-collars are plastic "hoods" or cones placed around the head to prevent an animal from licking at a surgery site, wound or dressing. It is natural for dogs to lick their wounds but this can seriously delay healing and result in infection or injury. It is important that a protective collar is used, especially when the dog is unattended and could inadvertently injure itself.

My dog appears very upset when she is wearing the collar and bangs into objects. This frightens her. Can I do anything?

Most dogs will get used to the collar after a few hours. You can ease the transition by keeping your pet in a confined space where there are no small moveable objects such as stools, chairs and tables which would move if knocked.

"Ensure that any valuable objects are placed in a safe place to prevent accidental damage."

The collar restricts vision from the sides and behind and initially causes difficulty for many pets when they must walk in tight or narrow spaces. It is important to assist them as much as possible. Ensure that any valuable objects are placed in a safe place to prevent accidental damage.

Can I allow my dog outside by itself with the E-collar on?

This is not recommended due to the increased risk of injury to your pet. Your dog is at greater risk of becoming entangled in plants or bushes that could result in injury and distress. Most dogs will tolerate a collar quite well if given controlled exercise on a lead.

Will eating and drinking be a problem for my dog?

A correctly sized and adjusted collar should allow for normal feeding and drinking. If your dog normally eats or drinks from a deep bowl but refuses to eat with the collar on, try offering food in a shallow dish or plate. If you feel you must remove the protective collar, make sure your pet is supervised while eating, and replace it as soon as the meal is finished. Some dogs will benefit from elevating the food or water while wearing the protective collar.

Is there any special care that the collar requires?

It is important that both sides of the collar are kept clean. If it is difficult to do this while your pet is wearing the collar, you may remove and clean the collar, but make sure your pet is fully supervised so that it does not injure itself.

A small minority of dogs will not tolerate these collars. If you have problems, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Related Tags

elizabethan, collar

Looking to learn more?

We also offer free, instant access to over 1,500 related articles on your pet's health including preventive medicine, common and not so common diseases, and even informative case studies. We encourage you to read any of these popular articles below or search our extensive pet health library.

Most Popular Articles

About our approach to exceptional pet health care

At VCA Animal Hospitals, our veterinarians take you and your pet's health seriously. With over 600 hospitals and 1,800 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, we strive to give your pet the very best in medical care. We understand your pet is an extension of you, and appreciate the opportunity to share in providing exceptional pet care and quality of life.

* Free initial health exam for new clients only. Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good toward boarding, grooming, prescription and non-prescription medication, and retail items. Not good toward emergency and/or specialty veterinary services. Coupon good for up to two pets (dogs or cats only) per household. Redeemable only at a general practice VCA Animal Hospital. For pet owners who are aged 18 and older.

If you are a new client, you can get a free first exam* on your first visit.

Free First Exam

Get to know us by visiting one of our neighborhood hospitals.

Locate a Hospital
CLOSE CLOSE

General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

See all VCA Animal Hospitals >

CLOSE CLOSE

Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

See all VCA Animal Hospitals >

CLOSE CLOSE

Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

CLOSE CLOSE