Monday, June 25, 2018
Pets

Some seek alternatives to pets' post-surgery 'cone of shame'

LOS ANGELES — Call it the cone of shame. Radar dish. Elizabethan collar.

Whatever its name, pets seem to hate the stiff, lampshade-like piece of plastic that vets often put around their necks to keep them from biting or chewing wounds, stitches or other problem areas.

"She was not a happy camper. She couldn't eat in it, she couldn't play in it, she couldn't move around in it," Brooke Yoder of Millersburg, Ohio, said about her Maltese-Shih Tzu dog, Marley, who got a cone to protect her stitches after she was spayed.

The first cones were handmade by pharmaceutical salesman Edward J. Schilling in the early 1960s, and they remain the best-selling wound or suture protection on the market for pets, said Ken Bowman, president of the Chino, California-based KVP International, a cone manufacturer.

Yet his company and others are trying to come up with something better.

KVP makes recovery collars in 14 styles, including two inflatables and two soft collars. They have cones to fit pets from mice to mastiffs.

The company is running studies on whether the cone acts like an amplifier, potentially hurting an animal's ears, and whether the loss of vision it causes can create stress.

One alternative has come from Stephanie Syberg of St. Peters, Mo., founder and president of Cover Me by Tui, which makes a one-piece, post-surgical garment for dogs.

"I was in veterinary medicine myself for 16 years. I was constantly being asked, 'What can we use instead of the plastic cone?' " Syberg said.

Her onesie, made of Peruvian cotton, was tested on 200 dogs. "Vets are seeing the calming effect," she said. "The fabric is breathable so it promotes healing."

She sells pullover and step-in versions at TulanesCloset.com.

Dr. Charlie Sink, who runs the Grand Paws Animal Clinic in Surprise, Arizona, bought 3,000 of them on his first order.

"They are the softest cloth and the dogs just love them. You can wash them. It's an amazing product," said Sink, who has been a vet for 47 years.

But there are times, he said, when only the hard cone will work: if the dog's injury is on a body part not covered by the onesie, for instance.

Gayle Swetow of Henderson, Nevada, has become a regular customer of Syberg's. She was told to put a cone on her 2-year-old pit-bull mix to protect a 6-inch incision after he had surgery on his hip.

"I slept with him every night downstairs because I couldn't bear to put a cone on him," she said. "That didn't work so I started frantically looking up dog onesies or dog pajamas."

"I think I've bought 10 of them already because the dog has an allergy too. I keep him in this every day," Swetow said.

The cones are awful, she continued. "The dogs can't see where they are going. They can't jump up. Eating, moving or walking is nearly impossible with a cone. But they can do anything and everything if they have a onesie on."

The cone's unpopularity has also led to some creative alternatives by designers and artists at the website More Than a Cone (morethanacone.com).

In addition to making the cone more attractive, Bowman said, efforts are under way to make it more comfortable and effective too.

Comments
Find A Friend: Tum Tum and Colt, the kittens

Find A Friend: Tum Tum and Colt, the kittens

Why is June named National Adopt-a- Cat Month? Because thousands of orphaned kittens across the country are ready for adoption in the warm spring and summer months. Tum Tum and Colt were part of a litter left on a doorstop. They went from cardboard b...
Published: 06/19/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 22

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 22

Hernando County Animal ServicesDusty is a 3-year-old black and brown tabby. She was found wandering in a yard off Spring Hill Drive and brought to the shelter. Dusty is sweet, friendly and looking for a forever home. Inquiries about adopting Dusty or...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Find A Friend: Sky the hound

Find A Friend: Sky the hound

Itís time to salute fathers, and Second Chance Friends has exactly what dear old Dad wants: a perky, young, blonde. Sky is a 2 and a half-year old fawn hound that came into rescue at the brink of starvation. Now a healthy 41 pounds, Sky deeply loves ...
Published: 06/15/18
Find A Friend: Charlie the Maine Coon Cat

Find A Friend: Charlie the Maine Coon Cat

Thereís so much to celebrate, like Adopt-a-Cat Month and Fatherís Day. In a proper salute to dads everywhere, Second Chance Friends proudly presents a very cool cat: Charlie, the man-sized Maine Coon. Heís large, rugged, golden-eyed, and so-o-o-o goo...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Find A Friend: Molly the Tortie Cat

Find A Friend: Molly the Tortie Cat

June is national Adopt-A-Cat month, and Mollyís ready. Sheís all over this calendar celebration. Molly was rescued around Easter, just in time to give birth and TLC to five little ones. Now, itís Mollyís turn to be a pampered inside kitty. The pretty...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 15

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 15

Hernando County Animal ServicesNadaysha is a beautiful 2-1/2-year-old red female terrier mix. She is a sweet and shy dog. Nadaysha is being treated for flea allergies, and has been spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and has a 1-year county animal licen...
Published: 06/06/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Find A Friend: Delilah the puppy

Find A Friend: Delilah the puppy

Dedicated volunteers for New Life Dog Rescue often have their hands full turning around the communityís neediest pets. But they also save and foster perfectly healthy pups, too, like Delilah. This 9-week-old, 10-pounder is the princess of spunk. She ...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for June 8

Hernando Pet of the Week for June 8

Humane Society of the Nature CoastBonnet is a 2-year-old pit bull terrier. Heís a show stopper and is looking for a family to love. Inquiries about adopting Bonnet or other dogs and cats can be made at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast shelter a...
Updated one month ago
Animal house? Colleges saying yes to pets

Animal house? Colleges saying yes to pets

Most dorm residents at Southeast Missouri State University will show up this fall with bedding, a laptop, a backpack and other typical accessories. A few dozen others will tote something furrier ó and breathing: Their pets.The school in Cape Girardea...
Updated one month ago
Find A Friend: Jewel the Cat

Find A Friend: Jewel the Cat

June is National Adopt-a-Cat-Month, and this oneís a diamond in the rough. She once lived as a stray where neighborhood kids had created a homemade collar out of fishing line, adorned with a shiny little bead. That led the community to give her a pro...
Updated one month ago