The Importance of E-Collars

E-collars are a vital part of post-operative care for your pet.  They prevent your pet from biting, licking, pawing, rubbing and scratching at incisions or from trying to eat off a bandage.  During the healing process, pets can become bored and the incision can become itchy.  Even the calmest, quietest, and most well-behaved pet may be enticed to nibble at the incision or bandage as soon as you turn around!

The e-collar should be worn at all times that your pet is unattended until the incision is completely healed (which may take 1-2+ weeks).

Please notify the hospital if you are concerned that your pet can get around the collar as adjustments may need to be made.

Risks of removing e-collar at home post-operatively:

  • Chewed out stitches (that may require additional surgery)
  • Infections that require antibiotics
  • Bandage trauma, which can lead to bandage sores, infection and more frequent bandage changes
  • Additional costs due to any of the above complications

Signs of possible infection:

  • Excessive redness around the surgery site
  • Glossy/shiny appearance on/around the surgery site
  • Incision is warm/hot to the touch
  • Fever (temperature at/above 103 degrees F)
  • Pus (thick, whitish-yellow fluid) or discharge from the incision
  • Bleeding (bright red)

“My pet can’t eat, sleep or drink water with this thing on!” Here are some tips!

  • Use bowls that are smaller in diameter than the cone
  • Move bowls away from walls to give more space and easier access
  • Create a make shift elevated stand for food and water bowls. Try using a footstool or taller stable base. Sometimes the opposite may work better, try placing bowls directly on the floor (if it is normally on a stand)
  • Try a shallow bowl or plate
  • Hand feeding will work in worst-case scenarios
  • If you must remove the e-collar for eating and drinking, monitor your pet during the whole process and then replace the e-collar once he/she is done eating
  • Your furry friend may take a night or two to adjust to sleeping with the cone on, but they will find the right position and rest well, even with it on
  • Try NOT to remove the collar very often. The more consistently they wear it, the faster they will adjust

Aren’t there different types of e-collars? Yes, but they are not all equal!

  • The veterinary surgeon will determine what works best for your individual pet, however, mostly hard plastic e-collars are recommended
  • There are soft-sided fabric collars. Sometimes they work but can be more easily bent and maneuvered around. Large dogs and small-long bodied dogs can reach around them and, depending on the location of the incision, may not offer adequate protection
  • Donut inflatable e-collars and bite-not collars can sometimes be appropriate for the patient based on the incision location (but not always)
  • There are specific times when a t-shirt/ body suit or bandage may work best. We will instruct you if an alternative to a cone is appropriate.

Contact Us

Phone: 802-888-7776

Text: 802-888-7776

Email: [email protected]

Fax: 802-888-4325


147 Stancliff rd

Morrisville, VT 05661

Hours of Operations
Monday8:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm

Closed Sundays and major holidays, at which times we are still available for emergencies.


We are available for emergencies 24/7 for existing clients. If your pet is having an emergency please call 802-888-7776. You will be prompted on how to reach a doctor.