Poor puppy
December 20, 2012 7:26 PM   Subscribe

My first experience with a female puppy.Her awesomeness was spayed today and she is so far tolerating the funnel but there seems like there should be a better way. Does anyone know of an alternative we might use a couple of days down the road after she has healed a bit. Seems like someone would make some kind of anti-chew belt you strap around the dog that would be more tolerable.
posted by Carbolic to Pets & Animals (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
She's super cute!

You might be interested in my question from a couple weeks ago about a newly-spayed kitten who wasn't tolerating her too-big cone. We ended up putting a sock on her. A sock obviously wouldn't work for your puppy, but some kind of onesie or doggy outfit might - some kind of clothing to keep her from licking the wound, which is generally the main problem in my understanding. You will, of course, want to supervise her carefully at first to make sure she's not just licking through the cloth.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:39 PM on December 20, 2012

They do make soft cones she might like a lot better. Any reasonably sized pet store should be able to hook you up.
posted by treblemaker at 7:41 PM on December 20, 2012

Best answer: There are a few options here.
posted by kitty teeth at 7:53 PM on December 20, 2012

Toddler size t-shirts also work for this. The t-shirt needs to be loose, but not so big that she can slip out or lick the surgical area. If the t-shirts are too big, tie them up with a pony-tail holder so she can't slip out of them.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 8:08 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

When the husky was spayed, I gave up on all things cone and collar, nothing seemed to work. I made it my job for a week or so to supervise her and redirect her when she worried the wound.
posted by HuronBob at 8:14 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

When my pup was spayed last spring they did not give her a cone of shame. She didn't bother the incision site at all and it healed surprisingly fast. As I recall, none of our past dogs got cones after spaying either. Did the vet say why your dog needed one? I think it wouldn't hurt to remove the cone and observe her for a while and see how she reacts, if she licks or chews the wound. If she doesn't bother it the cone might not be necessary.
posted by catatethebird at 8:22 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: When the funnel starts bothering her I'll take it off and watch her closely to see if she chews or scratches and that might be the end of it. The knit sweaters probably won't work because she is a super intense intense mega-terrier (welsh) which is something I love about her but she won't tolerate much she is opposed to. If there were some kind of breathable smooth non-knit jacket (nylon/kevlar) her nails/teeth couldn't get purchase on it seems like that would be the ticket. She has been very tolerant of the funnel so far but I don't see that lasting long. She weighs about 15 pounds but thinks she weighs 250. Very head strong. Kind of the wooly version of a Jack Russell
posted by Carbolic at 9:27 PM on December 20, 2012

Toddler size t-shirts also work for this.

We did something like that to Nina the Vallhund after having her surgically inseminated, except we used a onesie/creeper because she's small and long. Here -- Nina and her Garment of Great Indignity.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:34 PM on December 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

I used a baby onesie with a tail hole cut into the butt area and the crotch snapped shut.
posted by dottiechang at 11:14 PM on December 20, 2012

I have a puppy chihuahua that was spayed and I would recommend the soft cone. Seems more humane. Although my puppy was really small and it was like.. heavy for her and she looked so depressed and confused when it was on that I couldn't stand it.

Later I bought her this sweater and it fits perfectly and she enjoys wearing it. My dog is a 4.5 pounds and I went with the xx-small.
posted by phaedon at 12:37 AM on December 21, 2012

It's called an E. Collar or Elizabethan collar.

You can buy inflatable ring e. collars at the pet store, they do the same thing except the dog can have peripheral vision/not bump into stuff/have a built-in pillow.

inflatable e. collar google search
posted by thylacine at 4:35 AM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

A belly band might work. They're usually used for incontinent male dogs, but would probably work ok for this situation.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:45 AM on December 21, 2012

I just researched the hell out of this for our cat a while ago. We ended up with one of these which he liked best for moving around.

the comfy cone was too heavy and he hated it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:01 AM on December 21, 2012

We had our Akita spayed about a month ago. She had the cone-of-shame for a few days. She is a bigger dog and she kept catching the cone and stuff (mostly me and Mrs. VTX) so we took it off. Instead, I sprayed the area near the wound (and used a little towel to cover the wound itself) with some bitter no-chew spray. Then it was just a matter of keeping a close eye on her for a day or so so I could correct her any time she stuck her nose near the area. After a few days of that (with her putting the cone back on any time she was going to be alone) she pretty much left it alone for the rest of the two weeks before the stitches came out.

We had the dew claws removed on her back legs and those were there areas that she tried to lick. She never really worried at her abdominal stitches and I think she had a REALLY hard time reaching them if tried.

The toughest part was keeping her from running and jumping too much for the first week.
posted by VTX at 7:19 AM on December 21, 2012

Best answer: If she's not actively fighting the funnel, I wouldn't screw around -- there are many worse outcomes than just feeling bad for her. After all, it's just a few days, after which she'll be her free and frisky self. Meantime, sympathy means extra head-scratches! She'll survive.
posted by acm at 7:37 AM on December 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Evaluate whether she really needs it or not. We have done breed rescue for several decades and, as such, cared for literally hundreds of animals post-op and rarely ever have needed to use one of these collars. Give her something else to obsess on (a bully stick, peanut butter filled kong, etc.) and she will most likely leave the stitches alone.

Take the cone off at a time you can keep an eye on her for a while to make sure she's not messing with her stitches. If she is leaving them alone then the cone is not needed....if she bites or scratches at them then you (obviously) need to prevent that. Good luck!
posted by labwench at 3:21 PM on December 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If she is okay with wearing the "lampshade" don't worry about it, it's not that traumatic. I would take it off when she goes on walks and eats because it's a little cumbersome. Also take that time to wipe it down, they get grotie. She will be fine for a few days. If she really dislikes it, they do make soft ones that you can get at the pet store.
posted by radioamy at 4:06 PM on December 21, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much. Something like what kitty teeth link to here might work for but I don't think the softer funnel collars would last long or prevent much of anything.

Leaving well enough alone is almost certainly the best advice. I'm a hard ass in a lot of ways but an absolute sucker for dogs and I needed to hear the voice of reason.

She's doing really well despite the collar. Other than the collar, it's as if the operation didn't happen. She isn't big but, she's even tougher than she is cute. Much more a verminator than a lap dog.

I'm pretty sure it's really much more about me being uncomfortable with her looking uncomfortable.
posted by Carbolic at 8:56 PM on December 21, 2012

Best answer: Your dog seems to be doing fine, but I will leave this for anyone else with the same question:

When our dog had a lump on her leg removed, we rolled our own collar by cutting out a cardboard "collar," covering that with soft foam packing material and then a small, soft towel, and then attaching it with gaffers' tape. This allowed us to make it just the right size so that she couldn't reach the stitches, while restricting her movement as little as possible otherwise, and without obscuring her vision, and she was able to lounge comfortably and generally be as close to "normal" as possible. This really worked out great because it was totally a custom fit. (May need to try more than one time to get the collar height perfect; we got it on the second try.)
posted by taz at 2:48 AM on December 22, 2012

I just realized that the above explanation probably needs a visual aid, and unfortunately, we didn't take a photo, but it worked on the same principle as this, sans the strap. And ours was softer. To see how this works, or view other images, you can search "BiteNot collar," which is the type of collar that gave us the idea, but which is not available where we are.
posted by taz at 3:20 AM on December 22, 2012

Response by poster: Just checking back. I hadn't thought of fashioning her own BiteNot from cardboard, gaffer's tape and padding. I have a roll of gaffer's tape and, because of the season, I have more cardboard and various padding on hand than could be wished for. If I (I mean she) become uncomfortable enough I might give that a try.
posted by Carbolic at 8:48 AM on December 24, 2012

Response by poster: FOLLOW UP: The answer is to be a good parent and what is that?? Sack up Nancy boy!!!!!

Leaving her in the collar was absolutely the best way to go. A bit hard that week while its happening but down the road with hind sight you will be proud of yourself

(cats drool)
posted by Carbolic at 12:19 AM on February 2, 2013

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