You hurry to pick up your pooch after their surgery, only to have them come running to you wearing a cone. For a first-time owner, this can raise a lot of questions and concerns. Does a dog need to wear a cone after neutering? Will they adjust to it? What do you do if they don’t like the cone?
Understanding why your pup needs to wear a cone can ease a lot of your worries. A cone stops your dog from biting, chewing, and licking at their surgical site. This site needs plenty of time to heal and your dog must leave it alone.
What is Neutering
Neutering is a surgical procedure that stops your dog from being able to have puppies. In male dogs, neutering involves removing the testicles. In female dogs, the ovaries and the uterus are removed as standard, but some variations may occur. Depending on your dog’s needs, a vet may only remove the ovaries, which is known as an ovariectomy, or remove the uterus, cervix, and one ovary, known as an ovary-sparing spay. For female dogs, this means that your dog will no longer be able to become pregnant or have seasons. In all neutering procedures, the surgery involves using a general anesthetic to remove the reproductive organs.
What is a Cone
Your vet may call your dog’s cone an “Elizabethan collar” or “Buster collar”. But what exactly does it do? A cone’s purpose is to stop your dog from biting and licking at their surgical site and scratching at their face whilst their wound heals. Most pet cones are plastic. However, other types of cone are available, such as soft fabric, inflatable, or cervical. In any case, your dog’s cone is probably attached to their collar with strings or tabs in the sides of the material. The collar should be short enough to allow your pooch to eat and drink as normal.
Importance of Wearing a Cone After Castration
Your dog’s cone stops them from biting and licking their surgical site. This is extremely important because, for your dog to fully heal, their wound must be left alone for anywhere from 7 to 14 days. Your vet will evaluate your dog’s progress when they call your pooch in for a check-up. So, do not remove your dog’s cone until your vet gives the all-clear! A week of healing may be undone by overdoing exercise or removing the cone too early!
Wearing a Cone After Neutering: FAQ
So, does a dog need to wear a cone after neutering? If you have any more questions about this topic, feel free to consult our Frequently Asked Questions section for more details. If in doubt about your dog’s health, always contact your vet for advice.
Your dog can sleep whilst wearing a cone! Your dog should be able to eat, drink, and sleep as normal with a cone on. However, whilst your dog heals, you must be sure to keep them calm and to exercise them gently. Vigorous exercise and strenuous movements can cause soreness, pain, and re-open wounds.
Always ask your vet before removing your pet’s cone and trying alternatives. Your vet may be able to provide your pooch with a more suitable cone for their needs. It’s important that your vet stays up-to-date with your pet’s progress so that your furry friend can heal as well as possible. As well as this, not all alternatives that you can buy will be suitable for your dog. Some will not offer protection to the face, lower body, or legs due to their more forgiving design. Similarly, some are only made for larger dogs, meaning that there may be fewer options for small breeds. Always supervise your pet closely when they start to wear a new type of cone and replace it with their original cone if they start to aggravate the surgical site.
Most dogs manage well with a cone and will withstand the extra bother for a few days, generally getting used to it within the first 24 hours. However, other dogs may become depressed and seem to detest wearing the cone, taking every opportunity to try to take it off. If your dog seems depressed or distressed by their cone, first make sure that it is not too tight around their neck. A common cause for a dog’s distress when wearing a cone is accidental choking. You should be able to fit two fingers between the edge of your dog’s collar and their body.
If your dog’s cone is not too tight, consider speaking to your vet about alternatives. Some sensitive and anxious pups struggle to adjust to the cone. This can lead to more struggling that puts your pup at risk of further injury. You must also consider if your dog’s issue is specifically with their cone, or with their surgical site. If they try to take off their cone to reach the surgical site and appear unusually depressed or anxious, it’s likely that they are in pain. Contact your vet right away for advice – they may be able to provide your dog with better painkillers.
You may able to walk your dog with a cone, depending on your vet’s advice. Generally speaking, however, it’s advisable to keep your dog well-rested for 24 to 48 hours post-surgery with gentle, easy exercise in the garden or indoors. After this, short walks may be safe for your pooch. Be sure to monitor your dog closely for signs of stress or pain during their walks.
If your dog’s cone seems uncomfortable, first check that it is not too tight. You should be able to insert two fingers between your dog’s collar and their neck. If you can’t, loosen your dog’s cone slightly and try again. Accidental choking is a common cause of distress for dogs wearing cones. Second, make sure that you resist taking your pup’s cone off for the first few hours. If you take your dog’s cone off whilst they are adjusting, you may teach them that their struggles will lead to freedom from it. If your dog appears to be in pain, always ask your vet for advice. Their distress may not be due to the cone itself, but rather, their inability to reach the wound to soothe it.
Your dog needs to wear a cone after neutering to protect its wound as it heals. Most dogs adjust well to wearing a cone, while others may benefit from loosening the cone or switching to an alternative type of cone. Always talk to your vet before trying any alternatives by yourself, as not all are suitable for your pooch.