Oh, the Cone of Shame.†My sweet Boston Terrier, Dolly, managed to get through the first 10 years of her life without having to wear one. And then the cancer on her right back leg returned. This time, I opted for radiation therapy on top of surgical removal of the masses.
The combination offers much better odds for beating the disease than removal alone, but the side effects extend recovery time. Those side effects ó called ďmoist desquamationĒ by Dolly’s oncologist ó involve radiation-site oozing that scabs over and falls off, sometimes daily. Licking and/or rubbing of the area will delay healing by weeks at best and lead to infection and the need for skin grafts at worst.
Iím sticking close to Dolly as she heals, but I do occasionally need to shower or go to the grocery store.†Hence the need for the dreaded Cone of Shame (<- this is the image that comes to mind when that phrase is uttered).
After putting on the standard vet-supplied hard plastic cone, I endured her look of misery for about 10 seconds before taking it off and looking for alternatives. Here are five that I found:
1.†ProCollar Premium Protective Collar (Modeled by Dolly above)
Inflatable collars such as this one do not extend beyond your petís nose as the correct-size cone will, but they do limit neck movement for equally effective results in specific situations.†I purchased this collar for Dolly only after ensuring she could not reach her radiation site while wearing it. If the area that needs to heal had been on a front leg, it would not have done the job.
With its pliable fabric and adjustable drawstring, this cone certainly offers more comfort than those made from hard plastic. It also wonít scuff furniture, floors, and walls like the plastic ones can.†The scrubs-green cone comes in a limited rage of extra-small to small, though, making it an option for only little dogs and cats.
This cone features nylon fabric over half-inch-thick foam, creating a comfy resting place for your petís head. It also folds back easily so you donít have to take it off for meals.
Like the Kong soft cone, it wonít mark up your house and will conform to your petís position. It also has reflective stripes to make nighttime walks safer. It features elastic loops to slip your petís collar through, keeping it securely in place. The cone comes in black and tan and in sizes small to extra-large.
For two more Cone of Shame alternatives, visit Dogster Magazine, where this article originally ran.
About the Author: Pamela Mitchell spent 15-plus years in the newspaper industry before entering the glamorous world of freelance writing. She now writes for a variety of publications, including Dogster.com, from her home office in the desert.