My dog recently got a bug bite on his leg.
Unfortunately, he licked that spot repeatedly until the area became raw and hairless — much like a hot spot.
Fortunately, I caught it before it had become oozy and infected. But it was clear that I had to do something to keep him from licking it, or it would become worse.
I had an old-fashioned e-collar for dogs stashed away in the closet from his post-surgery days several years ago. It still fit, but it was so big and clunky that it was awkward for him to eat, drink, lie down, and go outside with ease.
So I decided to see what other types of e-collars existed these days.
I found one that worked perfectly for us!
I found this inflatable dog collar, and I think it’s the perfect replacement for those hard plastic Elizabethan collars for dogs.
It’s shaped like a U (or a horseshoe) — much like a traditional travel pillow that many of us use on airplane rides.
It is only after those first couple days that I started using the inflatable e-collar.
Since it’s important that the wound be exposed to the air in order dry out and heal, I didn’t want it to remain wrapped up behind a bandage for too long each day. At the same time, I didn’t want to make my dog wear an ecollar longer than he had to.
Here’s the daily routine we used with the inflatable dog collar:
My dog did great with this routine. He always kept the bandage on through the night — which meant there was no licking! Eventually, I stopped wrapping the wound at night — so even more air was getting to it round the clock.
But if it looks like your dog has been licking the bandage during the night, then I’d keep the inflatable collar all day & night for a few days in a row — any time your eyes aren’t glued on your dog in order to stop the licking.
Just take it off for short periods to play with your dog, then put it back on — like it’s your dog’s new uniform.
After the first couple of days, you don’t really need to use the bandage wrap while the e-collar is on. Allowing the wound to be exposed to the air for long periods of time will actually help it heal faster. The bandage is really only helpful during those first few days as a way to “treat” the sore. After that, it’s only necessary to keep your dog from constantly licking the wound whenever he’s not wearing an e-collar.
He got used to it really quickly and always seemed very comfortable with it on.
As I said, it’s not as big and bulky as a traditional plastic cone-shaped e-collar for dogs. The inflatable dog collar is much softer, and it even serves as a comfy pillow whenever the dog is lying down! (My dog seemed to like it for that purpose anyway.)
The cover is soft and durable. I just took a damp cloth to it occasionally to remove the doggie drool that had accumulated on it.
In most cases, inflatable dog collars will serve their purpose better than traditional elizabethan collars, but there are 2 things to keep in mind:
I was lucky — the spot on my dog’s leg was high enough that the inflatable dog collar worked. It prevented him from reaching the spot, so he couldn’t lick it. But if the hot spot was closer to his paws, then the inflatable collar would not have worked.
For the record, I think it would have worked well after my dog’s neuter surgery. I’m not 100% sure whether it would have worked after my dog’s knee surgery or not. I wish I had tried it at the time. At the very least, it would have been a more comfortable option toward the end of the recovery period when it became less and less critical to protect that area of his leg.
Another plus… inflatable dog collars are very easy to put on and take off:
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