The Purpose of the Elizabethan Collar for a Surgical Procedure
After a surgical procedure, an Elizabethan Collar made out of plastic is worn around a dog’s neck to keep him/her from licking, pulling, or knawing at the incision site.
The way that dogs heal their wounds is by licking and since the stitches can be itches, pulling and knawing is common. The plastic cone prevents all of that from happening, which can greatly speed up recovery time.
Not to mention, the protective cone also helps with decreasing the risk of infection after neuter surgery. By keeping germs away from the incision site from the mouth and around it, it stays much cleaner than with the protective cone.
When to Take Cone Off Dog After Neuter
Now that you know the purpose of the Elizabethan collar after neuter surgery, it’s time to dive into when to take the cone off the dog after a neuter.
There is no set time to take the cone off your dog after neuter surgery. The healing process varies for dogs. Some will heal in just a couple of days, while others could still be going through the healing process after a few days.
Dog owners should check the surgical site daily to ensure it is healing after the neutering procedure.
What to Look for When Checking the Surgery Site
Dog owners should start to see the redness subside after about a day. The surgical site should be completely skin color after two days.
There may be some darkness around the stitching from dried blood, but there should not be any red or dark red blood around the area or coming out of it.
If bleeding persists after 24 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.
Another sign to contact your vet during the recovery period is if there is any clear or white puss coming out of the incision site. This can be a sign of infection and your vet needs to ensure one hasn’t developed and prescribe antibiotics if there is one.
Redness in the affected area is common during your pet’s recovery period if he/she has been active. It’s a good idea to wait at least a week or 7 days before taking your dog for long walks or allowing your pup to play even though he/she may want to do it.
General Rule for When to Take Cone Off Dog After Neuter Surgery
It’s best to wait 14 days before taking the cone off your dog after neutering. By this point, the dissolvable stitches are gone and there is no risk of infection. Your pet’s incision will be completely healed and no wound should be visible.
Most pet owners notice their dog’s incision area is nearly healed within 8 days. While 8 days is common, it’s best to be safe than sorry especially if there are some stitches still visible. The bare minimum of days for when to take the cone off the dog after neuter is 10 days.
The Issue with Your Dog’s Cone
The traditional plastic cone is not fun for anyone, including pet owners. It knocks into walls, doors, and even wacks people in the face. Fortunately, many dog products similar to the Elizabethan Collar have been manufactured, which are much better alternatives.
Alternatives to the Plastic Cone
The following are some great alternatives to the plastic cone after you spay or neuter your pup.
Belly Bands for Male Dogs
Belly bands for male dogs are much better than a traditional dog’s cone. The comfy male diaper covers the incision area well to protect it from licking, scratching, and gnawing.
A dog can relieve himself inside of the belly band, it’s not a good idea during your pet’s recovery since the urine or poop can cause an infection. It’s best to remove the belly band whenever your pup needs to use the bathroom and put it back on afterward.
Unfortunately, belly bands don’t work for female dogs because they are made to fit a male dog’s anatomy. The good news is there are other alternatives for female dogs and more for male dogs.
Read More: Pros and Cons of Belly Bands for Dogs
The buster collar or inflatable collar is also better than the dog cone people have been using for years. It’s soft and comfortable for your pup and won’t crash into everything around your dog.
The benefit of the buster collar or inflatable collar is that it doesn’t need to be removed when going outside to use the bathroom. Of course, it’s not as comfortable as belly bands, though.
Soft collars are different from the Buster or inflatable collars because they are shaped like a cone. The difference is that again, it doesn’t knock into things and it’s much more comfortable to sleep with than the plastic cone and even the Buster Collar/inflatable collar.
Recovery suits are also available for dogs. They are nice comfy outfits that fit over the dog’s entire body. There’s an opening for both male and female dogs to use the bathroom but still covers where dissolvable stitches would be located.
How Long Does Dog Wear Cone After Neuter: 10-14 Days
Don’t rush to take the dog cone off. Recovery time should take up to 14 days, but for some dogs, 10 days should be okay. Always check with your veterinarian before taking the cone off your dog’s head.
Since the cone can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, consider purchasing the alternatives above, so that the wound is protected for the entire recovery period.