We’re not veterinarians, but as doggy day care operators, we’ve seen our fair share of health related issues. Health Brief is a quick overview of some of the common health problems we’ve encountered at Fitdog.
Whether you just call it a cone or know it as an Elizabethan collar or even the ‘cone of shame,’ it can be the best treatment for your pup’s hot spots.
If your dog has a wound they can reach, they will probably try to lick it. Most dog owners will probably have to help their pup through the awkward challenges of wearing a cone at least at some point. While the device might frustrate your pup as he tries to maneuver, it’s for his own good and is the best (and most common) treatment for hot spots.
Mats in their hair, allergies or flea bites can cause skin irritation, and things can get really gnarly if a dog is left to lick and scratch at the area. At the first sight of a hot spot forming, putting a cone on your dog can help in the following ways:
- Whatever medication or ointment your vet prescribed is allowed to do its job before it’s licked off.
- The cone will stop your pup from scratching the area, which will allow sores to heal and prevent new ones from forming. If your dog continues to re-traumatize the area, the hot spot will only get bigger.
- With a cone, the risk of infection is reduced. While dogs’ mouths are supposedly cleaner than humans, they are still filled with bacteria that can infect an open sore.
Wearing a cone isn’t just for dealing with hot spots. A cone can also help if your dog has stitches. They only need a couple of minutes to lick and bite them out, so don’t risk it. With a cone, the stitches will stay in and it’ll save you an extra trip to the vet for replacements. Also, if your pup had surgery, your vet should give you instructions for properly caring for the wound. Proper wound care after surgery will help your dog heal faster and have less complications. A cone will let you cleanse the area without your pup’s little wet nose getting in the way.
If your pup isn’t crazy about the stiff recovery collars, there are now soft cone collars that are more comfortable alternatives. Because they’re flexible, your dog can do many of his normal activities without you having to remove the collar.
To prevent any more issues, it’s always important to maintain proper grooming, stay on flea medications, and be aware of your dog’s allergies to prevent itching or skin irritation.