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Bella has had to have a minor op yesterday to remove a couple of sebaceous cysts (one on tail and a tiny one on her back) and it did not all go as smoothly as it could.  Apparantly she came out of the anaesthetic very quickly and got a fright and had a "freak out" (as they called it) at the vets so they gave her some Valium.  Last night was awful and I now have a pooch who is petrified and won't leave either my husband or I alone, but that is a whole other issue to address rather than the reason for this post.

 

We have been given a Size 3 Elizabethan Collar and a Size 3 Comfy Collar to prevent her getting at her stiches however neither seem to be doing the job as she is well able to reach the tail one and with a bit more of an effort can reach the one on her back.  She has the Comfy Collar on as she really reacted to the Elizabethan one, and it gives us that vital second to stop her successfully reaching her stitches but clearly means one of us must be with her at all times.

 

So my question is - does anyone have any recommendations for a product that may fit/work better on a Setter (these are both the right size for her neck but don't seem to come out far enough to  prevent access)?   Come Monday my husband will need to be at work and there will be occasions where I can't keep my eyes on her for every second and I am already dreading it.

 

Many thanks

 

Liz

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My niece had a problem with her greyhounds tail and resorted to fitting a length of hard plastic tubing over the tail and taping it, for the most part it stopped the greyhound chewing the stitches out. I don't think that Setters tend to be quite as obsessive and can be distracted from chewing.
As you say you can't watch them every minute but it should give you some leeway.
Also as she is still very upset I would try the plug in dog pheromones to relax her.
Hope all goes well.
Hi Elizabeth.

My prior setter wore an E-collar a lot as she was constantly battling hot spots in the humid summer time. The poor girl hated the thing, that's for sure. The one Trudy wore had three sets or rows of snaps and to be most secure, you were to put the collar on with all those snaps snapped. However, the collar we used was one we had purchased for a male golden retriever, so it was a bit too big. In order to not slip off Trudy's neck, we had to squinch it in and were only able to snap one row of snaps. We then used binder clips to keep it strongly secured ... otherwise, a good bit of head shaking and the thing was off! The cons of this situation are obvious, however the pro of a slightly too large collar was that it extended out a bit farther thus better preventing her access to her back and tail region. Just something to consider.

My other suggestion is possibly having the vet put her on a very mild sedative for the next few days just to keep her more quiet and comfortable ... so that she won't try so hard to "fight the collar" and get at the stitches.

Best wishes ... and hope that collar is helping you pick up more radio and television stations!! :)
My wife and I have always found these collars useless with our setters.Other dogs seem to take to wearing them with ease.We had one dog who had entropia and after his eye operation had a collar.He soon discovered that he could get the arm of a wooden chair between his head and the collar and rub his eye that way!
One thing that might help is putting lavendar oil on the wound.It will help healing and ,with our dogs,they won't touch it at all when the lavendar is on there.
Just wanted to say thank you for your advice, we have been going for a combined approach of both collars and Lavender Oil which has allowed the wounds to heal really nicely. We tried putting a tube over the tail one but sadly this seemed to provide her with a target and didn't last long.

I will post a few photos when I get a minute to give you a laugh as we have tried a variety of collar combinations as none fit perfectly on their own so we have been cobbling them together to make the ultimate "Cone of Shame". After trial and error the best result has come from a Size 3 Elizabethan attached to the inside of a Size 4 which then gives the right neck size and head length...... it's a bit heavier mind you so it only goes on at bedtime (combined with the fact she refuses to eat, drink or go to the toilet with it on!); the Lavender Oil and our Eyes On Bella approach has sufficed during the day.

Bella is distinctly unimpressed by the whole process and slumps in a depressed heap when it goes on in the evening, could be a new training tool for keeping her quiet I'm thinking.......
Its a real problem . Last year I had a couple of warts removed from one of my dogs, Archie . To stop him chewing the stitches he was given a "bonnet", which he promptly ripped apart and then started on his stitches. What had started as a small wart on his leg was soon a gaping wound. This was debrided and restitched and a new collar provided. The same thing happened again,this time he had an even bigger and deeper gaping hole in his leg. After restitching for the third time, his leg was heavily bandaged from shoulder to foot, securely taped, then a long sock taped on top of the bandage, and the vet provided a different type of collar with a thing like a rigid splint which fits under the chin and stops the dog lowering his head (something like the old "puzzle peg" . It looks very uncomfortable for the dog. it didnt work very well either, Archie could still get it to move further around his neck
In the end the only way was to keep his leg bandaged and taped. But it took weeks for the leg to heel
If the dog wants to get at the stitches and chew them,it may be because they are itchy, and there is a steroid spray which you can use on the area to stop any irritation, this worked well on a bitch who had a wound in her shoulder stitched
My Vet is similarly minded to leave them alone, however the one on her tail had grown reasonably large and the concern was that if it got any bigger we wouldn't have much margin for stitching her together again as the tails are so skinny. As it was there was quite a bit of tension on the wound which is why I think the stitches on that one were bothering her and the one on her back not a jot. I only got the back one done as she was in for the tail. After the tra-la of the last week I can assure you any future ones will be left unless they are in a really bothersome place!! Thankfully she is well on the mend now and back to being a pesky.

I have attached two pics of our hybrid collars - the one with the inflatable Comfy Collar did not work well but got us through the first night until we could get to the pet shop, the second is a Size 3 attached to a Size 4 which as you can see did work just enough but she hates it (sofa rule seems to have slipped during the period of recuperation - blame it on my sleep deprivation



"Cone of Shame"!!!! Excellent title for such odd contraptions. Glad she's finally on the mend and getting some rest (on the couch, no less!)
Sadly I cannot take the glory for the "Cone of Shame" or I would be at risk of being sued by Pixar, it is actually from the animated movie Up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R58kSuIhURI
When i have a dog that wants to bite or lick on stiches i put on some anti bite lotion. This is stuff that come s out of the horse world. It is used on fillys that are taken away from their mums . Often they start biting eachother on the manes. This stuff is disinfecting as well so you ca put it on the wound. The dog will only lick on it once because it is tasting so bad!!!!
It works really well.

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