LIVING WITH THE ELIZABETHAN COLLAR (E-COLLAR)
The purpose of the E-collar is to aid in healing by protecting the eyes. During the healing process, some eyes become very itchy and irritated. Even the best-behaved pet may want to rub at the eyes. Unfortunately, this type of rubbing can traumatize the eyes. In the case of surgery patients, it can destroy delicate surgical sites. For recovering intraocular surgery patients, it is important to note your pet's eye is very fragile for the first 2-3 weeks. Extreme caution must be exercised to help your pet through this healing period. Do not remove the E-collar until the doctor has determined that your pet has healed. When in doubt, call first.
The goal we all share is to help your pet heal. One moment of rubbing can set back the healing period from days to weeks. In some cases, vision can be threatened by self-trauma.
This time period can sometimes be emotionally difficult and challenging for pets and their owners. It is important to remember that this is a necessary, but not permanent, step for your pet. With this in mind, we have put together some helpful suggestions from veterinary staff and pet owners. We hope you find these ideas helpful and reassuring. If, after review, you encounter additional problems or concerns, always feel free to call our office. We are here to help you!
MY PET CAN'T EAT OR DRINK
It may be helpful to elevate your pet's food and water dish. A phone book or the bottom of a large mug or bowl work well. For pets that aren't on restricted diets, offering canned food can encourage eating. As a last resort, please remove the E-collar with strict supervision. Allow your pet access to food and water then immediately replace the collar. We recommend two people for this: one to hold the pet and one to place the collar.
MY PET WON'T ELIMINATE (BOWEL MOVEMENT OR URINATION)
Please be aware that your pet may not have a bowel movement for 24 hours after general anesthesia. For cats: do not use a covered litter box. Cats need to be able to get in/out and turn around easily.
THE COLLAR IS TOO BIG
Your pet's E-collar has been custom fit for your pet. Do not cut the collar!