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E-collars are cruel?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by jason-ph, Mar 29, 2011.


  1. jason-ph

    jason-ph PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    Our kitten has had an undescended testicle and we've been waiting for four months but it refused to drop. He loves the outdoors so we thought it best to wait as it's a bigger op. After he started roaming and getting into fights we decided it was probably time to accept the bigger op. It was a good job we did as the little fella was so high up it would never have dropped.

    Anyhow the vet issued an (Elizabethan) e-collar. Ok it stops the cat from licking the wound but it also pretty much stops him from functioning as a cat. He can't groom, eat properly, get inside his enclosed cat litter, mark his territory with scent glands in the neck, etc, etc, etc.

    After day 5 and seeing him so depressed and fed up we took it off. Wow what a difference, after a few hours he was so much happier. Yes he did lick the incision site as part of cleaning but no apparent harm done.

    So my question is, in this modern age, with smart materials and advanced chemical science isn't it possible to create a spray on smart dressing that sticks like skin, is tough, supports the wound and lets it breathe and dissolves after 10 days so that animals can be themselves in that time? Come on science our pets need your help for a better quality of life! Indeed it would also help many humans too!

    Anyone any ideas? :)
     
  2. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    They do make different collars for dogs, a sort of rubber ring type thing so that they can move about but not get at the wound. I have no idea if they make them for cats, but I doubt you will find the vet giving them away; you would have to buy one. Why couldn't he have dissolvable stitches? When my dogs were neutered, neither of them were given these collars, one had dissolvable stitches, one did not, but no harm done to either.
     
  3. MoggyBaby

    MoggyBaby PetForums VIP

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    A very good idea you have there. With all the money being poured into pet care these days you'd think someone would have come up with.

    When Merson was a kitten he needed a wee eye op and came home boasting one of these collars. Well after 2 hours of misery for both of us, I sat him down & told him that I would take it off but, if he went anywhere near the stitches in his eye, it would go straight back on again. Well, hand on heart, he must have understood every word because the collar never went on again and the stitches were still intact when he went back to the vet for their removal.

    Don't be fooled by the look of non-comprehension our animals give us. They know exactly what we are saying to them, they're just making their minds up on how it benefits them!!! :(
     
  4. springfieldbean

    springfieldbean PetForums VIP

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    Our cat, Kinvara, was spayed earlier this month and immediately went for her stitches - really trying to bite them out. I WISH there was an alternative to the e-collar for those situations - like your kitten, she was utterly miserable with the collar on, but every time I gave in and took it off she would start biting out the stitches again, so she had to keep it on for the whole ten days, until the vet took the stitches out.

    Luckily, when it did finally come off, she was back to normal straight away, but those ten days were horrible. It is terrible seeing a cat who can't clean herself or move around properly - she just lay there looking completely depressed, no light in her eyes, or worse, walking backwards and swaying her head around as though she had some brain damage.

    I really did wonder that there isn't a more advanced option available today. The vet just said it's the only way - she was sympathetic, but obviously thought I was over-reacting. There was an additional torture with Kinvara - she kept getting the collar off before we'd even collected her, so they tied it on really tightly, which created sores on her neck which had to be treated separately.

    I just desperately hope she never has to wear one again.
     
  5. Gratch

    Gratch PetForums VIP

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    Now I feel bad for wishing my cats/dogs when I was younger would have gotten the collars after an op. I was little though!
     
  6. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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  7. TatiLie

    TatiLie PetForums VIP

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    My kitten was neutered in February and the vet nurse said she would only need one if she was licking the incision/pulling the sutures (for all the reasons you said). The first day we kept an eye on her, telling 'no-no' every time she attempted to. In the second day she forgot about it and licked only around the incision (probably because of the antiseptics used in pre-op). I suppose the adding anything to the incision would only make them wish to lick it more because of its grooming habits.
    Maybe vets could use the 'glue' that is now used in plastic surgery to protect better the incision and improve healing so that the post-op would be much easier on both pets and owners.
     
  8. Paddy Paws

    Paddy Paws PetForums Member

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  9. jason-ph

    jason-ph PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the tip. I have seen this and actually ordered it early this morning to see what they are like. It's had mixed reviews as some cats managed to destroy it pretty quickly!
     
  10. jason-ph

    jason-ph PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the information. We tried a 'homemade' body stocking (even with four leg cuts outs) but he managed to get out of it within a short while. I shouldn't be surprised as we purchased a proper walking webbing/straps for when he was very young to try and introduce him to the outdoors carefully and he got out of that in seconds even when tightened as much as we dare. Indeed he's even managed to dislodge the e-collar three or four times but for the most part it stayed on. A very determined cat - will even try to read the handle and then head butt doors when they won't open for him!

    If any chemical/medical engineer reads this please investigate a smart dressing with programmed disintegration so cats and humans everywhere can enjoy a better life not long after minor surgery. As far as I can see most dressings (cat and human) you can buy or are given are from the dark ages! :D
     
  11. jason-ph

    jason-ph PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for everyone's replies! Much appreciated.

    I've seen quite a lot of debate with some experienced cat breeders/owners calling some vets barbaric for using them! I wouldn't go that far, they are merely covering themselves in case of problems. What is more interesting is that there are some vets who issue e-collars like doctors give out antibiotics and others who don't use them at all except in extreme cases!

    Anyhow, I throw down the gauntlet to any chemical and medical experts reading to come up with something much much better in the dressings department (synthetic skin?) than what we have now for the sake of all animals (humans included)! :D
     
  12. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    It would be really useful if you give us a report on your findings re this collar.Nothing is more beneficial than first hand,paws on, experience :D
     
  13. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    I bought these for my Cats when they were neutered and I found them dangerous! If your Kitten/Cat is small then even the smallest size could be that little bit too big. I found one of my Cats had got her paw caught in it trying to get it off. Luckily I found her quickly or she could have really hurt herself.

    Edited to add that I am talking about the blow up rubber ring style ones. They didn't fit nearly as snugly as the pictures suggest.
     
  14. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Thanks for that info.I assume these are the only alternatives to the buster collar that there is.
     
  15. GreyHare

    GreyHare Guest

    My cat had to wear one after being spayed and she adapted really quickly, but I would much rather her wear one and have a few days/weeks of not being 100% happy than her pulling stitches out and having a burst wound with intestines hanging out :D
     
  16. Katherna

    Katherna PetForums Senior

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    3M make a product that is available in the UK so vets can get hold of it, works like the superglue thing we can have on wounds that need stitches.
    3M it lists surgical incisions in it's additional information.
    My mums neighbours cat has an ecollar on a lot of the time and it seems quite happy with it on when it's out in the garden - my cats on the other hand just run around backwards until you take it off, so far I've been lucky in that non of my cats have removed their stitches
     
  17. XxZoexX

    XxZoexX PetForums VIP

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    Personally yes i think they are cruel.. Cracking a child around the head everytime they do something you dont agree with may work but it doesnt mean its right :)
     
  18. jason-ph

    jason-ph PetForums Newbie

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    As requested:

    UPDATE: We tried a comfy collar after deciding the e-collar was much too cruel to put on any being especially a cat. I have to say that for the limited time we have used it it proved to be excellent (admittedly our cat is 10 months old so is a fair sized fella). He didn't protest when it was put on and he could function at 90% of his normal self. I can't comment on prolonged use but certainly for ops and injuries it will help prevent most of the 'self inflicted' problems of licking and biting whilst being a lot more cat friendly.

    I should add we had fantastic service from the company we ordered it from who got it to us special delivery the very next day.

    Anyway our cat got a thumbs up to go outside today so he is much much happier. Watch out neighbourhood EVIL CAT alert!!!:D

    As an aside his external incision was glued up but the vet still wanted the use of an e-collar to prevent infection. Although he was very sensible when moving in the early days (possibly due to a pulling feeling or some pain not masked by the pain killer) the glue seems very effective and never showed signs of giving way.
     
    buffie likes this.
  19. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Thanks for the update on the comfy collar.I may send for one to keep in the first aid box for possible,future use.
     
  20. koekemakranka

    koekemakranka PetForums VIP

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    One has to weigh up the options. I thinks it depends on the cat: some WILL pick at their stitches and some won't. There is a risk: one of the ferals we trapped and spayed pulled out her stiches after release. I found her dead in the bushes :(
     
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