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Readers Respond: Methods or tools you have used to prevent pets from licking and scratching

Responses: 19

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Most people are familiar with the traditional "cone" or e-collar used to prevent dogs and cats from licking or scratching at incisions or wounds. Traditionally purchased from your veterinarian post-surgery or after cleaning up a wound, e-collars may now be purchased at many pet supply stores. These collars are a great way to prevent self-trauma, especially for recurring situations such as hot spots, paw or tail injuries, or lick granulomas.

Have you used an "e-collar alternative" for your pet such as inflatable collars or fabric cones described here? Please share what worked or ... what didn't work.

sock and dish towels

Thanks to Peg. Your idea saved us! Didn't have cotton so I rolled up dish towels and stuffed them in a sock instead. Worked in a pinch!
—Guest Liz

Pro Collar has it's issues

I recently bought this for my cat who has a gash just below his ear. He keeps scratching at it with his back leg, so when it begins to scab, he opens it all up again and it can never get to a point of healing. I've had the Pro Collar on him for nearly a month. Why so long? The first one he punched a hole in. Yes, hard as it may seem to believe, he got through the canvass and punctured it. I bought a second one, and he did the same thing. I finally just took the inside out of it and stuffed the actual collar with cotton and plastic bags. It's worked to keep it full, but now, twice already, he's managed to finagle himself out of it! I'm at my wits end. I wind up having to tighten it, which I don't like because I feel like it's hard for him to breath. At this point, it's a fight between him and I. This is like it's never ending.
—Guest WickedCats

Alternative Elizabethan Collar

I've tried many of the soft e-collar alternatives, and have had the most success with the Cuddle Cone (www.designerecollars.com). The foam used is stiffer than the Comfy Cone, and there is fleece lining which seems to make my dog more comfortable. I've used the Cuddle Cone for eye surgery on a pomeranian up to allergy itching on a labradoodle and the sizes were equally effective.
—Guest Nichole

alternative to an e-collar

Fill an old sock with cotton and secure with safety pins. It's soft, allows the cat to eat and works better than those expensive e-collars your vet gives you to prevent your pet from licking. Necessity is truly the mother of invention.
—Guest Peg

Neck hugs: more than a medical solution

I work with a Bichon Rescue group and we had a "furkid" that was small enough to squeeze through the vertical posts in the fence of her new forever home. Since she already had a neck hug from when she was spayed, her owner put it on whenever she was in the yard (until she could have her fence fixed). Seems like the neck hug is not just for medical. Thanks Wagtail Farms for your support of our rescue!
—orangegarp

Neck Hugs--the best!

I love the Neck Hug by Wag Tail Farms. They're big soft rings that not only prevent your dog or cat from reaching the wound, but they seem to calm animals and relieve anxiety and gives your pet a place to rest its head. Check out the neck hug. Your pet will be calmer and happier right away.
—Guest Hilary

Soft E-Collar called the "Neck Hug"

Wag Tail Farms has developed a unique soft E-Collar called the "Neck Hug". We have received rave reviews from our customers on how comfortable it is and yet it does the job of restricting the pet from getting at a new boo boo or continuing to have paw chewing problems. There are lots of photos to see on our website: www.wagtailfarms.com We can also be reached at wagtailfarms@yahoo.com. We participate in community adoption events and support several rescue organizations, spay/neuter clinics and we are presently in the process of adding a halo attachment to the "Neck Hug" to aid blind pets navigate through their environment which will be released in March 2012. Bark at us if you have feedback☺
—WagTailFarms

Soft Elizabethan Collar

Our dog had to wear an e-collar after surgery, and we felt so bad for her clanging around in the plastic cone from the vet. We ended up with the "Cuddle Cone" from www.designerecollars.com. It is similar to some of the others, but is unique because of the fabric and inner fleece lining. It made a huge difference in her recovery comfort!
—Guest Tracy

Surgi Snuggly, an E Collar alternative

The Surgi Snuggly is an excellent, modern, comfortable alternative to the E Collar. You put it on once and the pet can eat, sleep, snuggle and potty while protecting their wound and stitches at the same time! www.surgisnuggly.com
—Guest Tonua

Creative Cardboard for Kitty

The vet wanted to charge us $11.50 for a cone collar. I opted out, and instead made a makeshift collar out of the bottom of a large container of goldfish crackers. It is safe for kitty (6months old), and free.
—Guest sciencebuggin

Optivizor and Novaguard

Both of these products are an excellent alternative to the e-collar "cone of shame". They are available in the united states from Big Dee's. I hate the elizabethan collar. www.provizorinternational.com has some product pictures, worth checking if you had the lampshade.
—Guest John

An alternative to the E-Collar

Hi, I was reading this post and thought Id give you a little tip that worked for my westie. Nurtured Pets makes a pet bandage called the "anti-lickStrip, which stops obsessive licking, biting and chewing. Also for pets that chew on furniture, they make a product called anti-chewStrip home protection, which keeps them from chewing! They are both great products that i use frequently. ps. the anti-lickStrip is a great alternative to the E-Collar!
—Guest Stephanie

Bathing Suit =)

My German Shepherd is quite large and wouldn't leave his stitches alone after surgery. The e-collar made him mad and run into things so I put an old one-piece bathing suit on him. He looks ridiculous, but now he can't get the stitches out. I also have to take it off him to go out since there really is no way to alter it that he won't get it messy.
—Guest GSD MOM

Comfy collar for my cat works great

Hi there. My cat had to wear the E collar for 1 week and ended up wearing it for 11 days. She panicked and all she did was lie down. I had to wash and feed her. When I learned she had to wear it for a long time, I decided to look for alternatives. I bought her the comfy collar and I am so glad I did. She can do everything, except lick the wound (on her back above her tail) and she is even can go outside again. Beware, She is able to lick her belly with a lot of trouble. EDITOR'S NOTE: I do not recommend allowing pets to go outside unattended wearing an e-collar (or similar).
—MarleneNL

E collar alternatives

my dogs have used the Genuine Trimline Veterinary Recovery collar, supplied by my vet. It is a soft collar/cone that works VERY well and my dogs really preferred it's flexibility. Here is just one of the sites where you can see it. www.trimlineinc.com. My dog got in a horrific fight and ended up needing to wear this collar for almost 2 weeks. Because of it's flexibility he never even bothered with it. It never got in the way of drinking, eating or schmoozing his mom! I'd recommend it for any size dog or cat (mine was 75lbs and very "active".
—Guest Turtle
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