3 Types Of Cone Of Shame Best For Your Pets

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A 9 year old Golden Retriever wearing a plastic “Cone of Shame”, aka E-Collar, looking at the camera as she is lying down on a white examination table of a veterinary hospital. The Elizabethan collar, more commonly know as an E-collar or the “Cone of shame” is used to prevent dogs and cats as well as other animals from licking a wound or surgical incision, giving it time to heal.
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A cone of shame is something that is getting used more and more these days, and the reason behind that is the behavior of pet animals like cats and dogs. Cone of shame is used to keep the pets in check or, if you want to be more specific, to keep their habit of licking themselves in check. 

It is not easy rather not possible to totally control the habits of our dear pets. Therefore, a means to put a temporary stop to this habit of these pets is necessary, and it is provided by the cone of shame. This temporary discomfort is going to result in a faster recovery of your pet. 

Today, in this article, we are going to discuss the questions like why this cone of shame is necessary, what kind of such cones are available, and many more. Let us begin with understanding the term “cone of shame”.  

What Is Cone Of Shame?

If you own a pet, either a cat or a dog then there are chances you must have heard about the cone of shame. Even more, if you have to take your dog to a veterinary doctor frequently then you must be familiar with this thing called ‘cone of shame’. But what is it actually? 

A cone of shame is not a medical term but it is most commonly used in the medical field and in general too. Its scientific term is ‘Elizabethan collar’. However, it is also known as E-collar, buster collar, or pet cone, and a lot more names like that. Well, there are quite a lot of names but whatever they call it, the purpose remains the same. Let’s see what it means. 

cone of shame
Photo by allymime on Pixabay

A cone of shame is a medical device that is commonly used by veterinary doctors and also suggested to pet owners by a vet during ongoing treatment. It is in the shape of a truncated cone often made up of plastic but can also be found in a number of varieties. 

The cone of shame is usually used during the treatment of dogs and cats, but it is not necessarily limited to just these two animals. It can be used on various animals as long it is serving its purpose. 

To summarise, a cone of shame i.e. an Elizabethan collar is a protective medical device in the shape of a cone that is placed on the neck of a pet. We will come to its significance and uses later on in this article. First, let us talk a little bit more about this strange name.  

Why Is It Termed As Cone Of Shame?

A cone of shame, sounds pretty weird right? As I have said that it is not a scientific term, it is more like a made-up name for an Elizabethan collar. This name is most widely used as it describes its use at its best. But there is a story behind the origin of this name.

There is an animated movie in Hollywood named “UP”. There is a character of a dog who wore an Elizabethan collar and it was referred to as ‘Cone of shame’ in that movie. This movie from Pixar animated studios was released in 2009 and since then the term ‘cone of shame’ has become popular.

That is all about the story of the ‘cone of shame’ but what is it about ‘Elizabethan collar’? From where did that come from? I know you have these questions too. Well, let’s dig a little deeper and find about that too.

Origin Of Elizabethan Collar

The E-collar is a short form of Elizabethan collar that has a long history. During the Elizabethan era, people in England, especially the wealthy landowners used to wear ruffs. Today, the cones which are being worn by dogs and cats are similar to those ruffs which were in use during the Elizabethan era.

Thus, people call these collars as Elizabethan collars. But do you know there are a lot more names to it? Apart from those I have already mentioned, a cone of shame is also called a pet lamp-shade, a  pet radar dish, and a dog-saver. Though these names are not really used still they exist as humorous terms.  

Purpose Of Cone Of Shame

No matter if you have a young puppy or an adult dog or even a cat, if they have any wound or infection on their skin, they will keep licking or chewing that region again and again in order to get rid of the discomfort. 

The licking or chewing might give them instant satisfaction but in the long term, it is gonna hurt them a lot. Consider a dog’s example, if your dog licks its own wound, it may invite a lot of bacteria and germs to further increase the infection causing more irritation. 

If you take your dog to your vet for treatment, your vet might apply some lotion or might stitch the open wound. In that case, if your dog keeps on licking the wound, it will damage the stitches or will lick off all the lotion applied. 

We cannot warn our pets not to do so. Even if we do, they are not gonna listen, are they? Thus, we need a tool or device which will create a barrier between their wound and licking habit. That is where a cone of shame or E-collar comes into the picture. 

The purpose of a cone of shame is to prevent your pet from scratching or licking the wound or infection by creating a wall in between the wound and the mouth of your pet. Your pet may hate wearing a cone of shame but it is necessary till your pet recovers. 

Types Of Cone

There are plenty of varieties available when it comes to E-collars. The purpose of each collar remains the same, that is to prevent your dogs or cats from licking themselves when they are under treatment. Licking or biting themselves at such times can disturb their healing process.

To achieve this purpose, we have an E-collar but these collars can be really disturbing for your pets even though it is there to help them speed up the recovery process. Therefore in order to reduce their discomfort at some level, a number of cones were discovered. 

The cones are categorized according to the material used to fabricate them. Primarily, there are three types of cones and they are as follows. 

  1. Semi-flexible cone of shame
  2. Flexible cones of shame
  3. Inflatable cone of shame

These are three types of E-collars available from which you can choose one for your pet. Although the names of these types are pretty much self explanatory, I will take you through each of the types and the sub-types of these cones in detail. 

1. Semi-flexible Cone Of Shame

Cone Of Shame
Amazon

These types of E-collars are generally made from plastic. But the plastic used here is semi-flexible plastic. It usually stays in its cone shape but can deform if too much pressure is applied. 

To be more accurate these collars are made from low-density polycarbonate material. The material is on the firm side and remains stiff. It is placed at the neck of your pet therefore for ease and comfort, cotton padding is present at the base of the cone.  

The semi-flexible cones are the first type of cone of shame that was discovered. They are in use for a long time and this is the most used type of cones. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages related to this particular type of cone. 

Advantages: 

  • Most effective in preventing your pet from licking or chewing the infected region of their body.
  • The semi-flexible collar sits on the neck and extends in front which covers a larger area making it almost impossible to lick any part of their body. 

Disadvantages: 

  • The plastic used is almost rigid and it is extremely uncomfortable for your pet.
  • The semi-flexible cone of shame blocks a wide peripheral vision of your pet and it can disturb them and make them go restless. 
  • Due to the larger size of the cone, it gets difficult for your pet to roam around in the house and also makes it uneasy while resting its head.

There are two variants that are available in semi-flexible type E-collars. These two collars are both on a stiffer side but provide some benefits. 

Lampshade E-collar

A lampshade type E-collar is built with a high-density polycarbonate body. As the name says, its shape and looks resemble the top cover of a lamp. This is an old design and it was the most used type of cone in earlier days. 

The lampshade type cone of shame is opaque and thus interferes with the vision of a pet. Thus, it can disturb your pet and can mentally make them restless. It is recommended not to use this kind of cone for a longer period. 

However, this E-collar is among the ones which are most effective at preventing your pet from licking open wounds or stitches. But due to its negatives, it is better to avoid such kind of cone of shame. 

Transparent Cone type E-collar

A transparent cone-type E-collar was made to eliminate the flaw of blocking vision that was present in the lampshade E-collar. It utilizes a semi-flexible but transparent plastic instead of an opaque one. It enhances the peripheral vision to some extent but due to its larger cone size, they are still uncomfortable for your pets. 

2. Flexible Cone Of Shame

Cone Of Shame
Amazon

Flexible cone type E-collars are a lot better in terms of comfortness compared to the semi-flexible E-collar. The material used for fabrication is not plastic instead other flexible materials are used. 

To improve comfort, this type of cone of shame is padded with some soft material. It offers great ease and softness to your pet. The material used is thin which makes it flexible. However, on one side it is an advantage but on the other side, it can be counted as a disadvantage. Let’s take a look.

Advantages: 

  • They are comfortable for your pet. 
  • The cone is not much longer to obstruct the activities of your pet. 
  • It is comparatively easy for pets to tolerate this type of cone of shame.

Disadvantages: 

  • As they are flexible, pets can still somehow manage to lick themselves or at least scratch themselves.
  •  Slightly affects the vision of pets. 

As you can see there are just a few disadvantages to the flexible cone of shame. That is because it’s a good balance of comfort and effectiveness. You can get a variety of flexible type E-collars in stores made from various soft fabrics. 

3. Inflatable Cone Of Shame  

Is that a neck pillow? Most of you will think of a neck pillow after looking at this picture just like me. But imagine if a neck pillow can provide such good comfort to you then how will that feel to your pet! 

Your neck pillow might not be inflatable but this type of cone of shame is an inflatable type. It has a tube which can be filled with air whenever you want. It is made up of extremely light material. 

The reason it looks like a neck pillow is because of the outer covering of this collar. The outer covering is made up of some soft material for good comfort. Even the tube used is made from a material that won’t irritate the skin of your pet.  

Advantages:

  • This type offers maximum comfort from all three types. 
  • It blocks the backward neck movement but allows sidewise movement of your pet’s neck. 
  • It does not interfere with your pet’s vision at all. 
  • It is extremely lightweight and comfortable. 

Disadvantages:

  • Your pet can still reach out to certain body parts like front legs. 

These were all three types of the cone of shame. The most effective as well as expensive ones are the inflatable ones. They provide a good amount of comfort without much compromising with the objective of collars. 

Is Cone Of Shame Safe For Use? 

While discussing the types of collars, I have mentioned that every collar will cause discomfort to your pet in some way or the other. Also, you might have heard some pet owners, especially dog owners complaining about the cone of shame. So the question that arises is, Is it safe to put a cone of shame on your pet?

The answer to this is simply “No”. You can tell that your pet absolutely hates wearing such a cone just by observing them for a while. It makes them a lot uncomfortable and makes them uneasy. It can cause injuries as well as irritations to your pet. 

Conclusion | Cone Of Shame

To conclude everything that has been stated so far, there is no doubt that a cone of shame is a great tool to have during the treatment of pets. It really helps vets to do their job peacefully. But it’s only all good until it is under use for a short period or temporary basis. 

Your pet will hate wearing this cone of shame all the time and eventually you will hate it too. Therefore for the health of your pet, it is advised to avoid the use of cones of shame as much as you and your vet can. 

Also, there are times when there is no other option than using such an E-collar. In that case, using the most comfortable types of collars will be a clever idea. Always use alternatives to the cone of shame whenever possible. 

I hope you found all your answers regarding the cone of shame in this article. If you have any queries or suggestions related to this topic, let us know in the comment section given below. Also, I would be glad to receive your feedback.  

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