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Rethinking E-Collars: The Need for Enhanced Post-Op Solutions for Pets

Nov 17, 2023

I don’t think anyone would be shocked to hear someone say - e-collars are the worst! Yet we send them home with our patients every day. (If I’m being honest, I can’t even reliably keep e-collars on my own dogs. Oops!) So when one of my dogs needed surgery this summer (an adrenalectomy), I decided to try a surgical recovery body suit instead. It worked great! It fit well, didn’t stretch out, she could still go to the bathroom, and she left her incision alone. Bonus - it cost less than the e-collars we sell at our practice.

The recovery suit I chose was called BellyGuard. I appreciated that it’s made by a family-owned company - because it feels good to support other small businesses like our own! I ordered mine off Amazon (Thank goodness for same day delivery - I forgot to order it until I picked her up from surgery.) If you’re not a habitual procrastinator like me, veterinary practices can also order BellyGuards wholesale. And I’m glad to have something else to recommend to clients now, other than a cone of shame.

If you were curious exactly how much our clients hate e-collars, it’s actually been studied. In 2020, The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Medicine conducted a survey of more than 400 families. 77.4% of dog owners surveyed believed their pet’s quality of life was diminished when wearing a traditional Elizabethan collar postoperatively.

They cited a variety of reasons, the most common of which were:

  • Difficulty eating and drinking
  • Emotional and psychological distress
  • Physical challenges, including injuries to pets, humans, and property
  • Skin irritation and rashes

So there you have it! Scientific evidence that e-collars are terrible. I understand that there may still be situations when they’re unavoidable, but when you CAN avoid them, I’ve had a very good experience with BellyGuard!

If you’re interested in trying one, they offer free samples for vets and vet practices at their website.

And when you are ready to purchase- you can get 10% off of your purchase with my affiliate code jenni10 .

Your fellow IntroVet,

Jenni Rizzo, DVM

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