Alternatives to the Dreaded Cone of Shame

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.

2.†Kong EZ Soft Collar

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.

3.†All Four Paws Comfy Cone

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, from her home office in the desert.

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Alvin King
Alvin King2 years ago


Patricia Garcia Ces
Patricia Ces4 years ago

Very useful post!! thanks a lot!!!

Lynn D.
Lynn D.4 years ago

Interesting article,thanks for sharing!

devon leonard
Devon Leonard4 years ago

thank you for the info

Darla G.
Darla G.4 years ago

I've tried the Comfy Cone and an inflatable one.....neither of which worked on my Lab.

G A R, I love your description of "Satellite Dish of Love."

G A R.
G A R.4 years ago

why do all you people call it the "Cone Of Shame"? what is shameful about it? all the people I know and myself call it, the "Satellite Dish of Love".

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Not every "treatment" works for every "patient", either. I had a huge GSD (138 lbs) that self-mutilated his own hind leg, which was a result of congenital bad hips and an injury that didn't heal correctly. My vet tried the "Elizabethan" collars 3/X and he'd chew through them or past them and still get to his own hind leg, reopening the sore constantly. My vet finally took a 5-gallon white plastic pail and drilled holes in the bottom about every 6" and threaded Max's collar through them and then put THAT on his head. He could do everything but eat with it on, and we called him "BUCKET HEAD" and he'd bark at us when we did.

Mike and Janis B.
Janis B.4 years ago

Case of being cruel to be kind, you do what is best for the animal however uncomfortable you feel about it.

Melinda K.
Past Member 4 years ago

Dolly looks so cute, a well loved little baby, I hope she fully recovers!

David V.
David V.4 years ago

Glad to hear there are alternatives.