How to make an elizabethan collar (e-collar)

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When your pet is discharged from hospital you may be asked to make an Elizabethan collar for your pet to wear.

Reasons for this may be:

  1. to stop your pet licking or chewing at a wound, stitches or bandage.
  2. to stop your pet rubbing or scratching ears and eyes.

Depending on the size of your pet the collar can be made out of an ordinary bucket, large or small flower pots or some similar object such as a margarine or ice cream tub.

For larger dogs ranging in size from cattle dogs to German Shepherds a light plastic bucket is probably best. For smaller dogs and cats a smaller receptacle such as a flower pot are better.

The length of the bucket or pot should not be shorter than the length from the usual neck collar to the tip of your pet's nose.

tying the e-collar to a normal collar

Cut out the entire round bottom of the bucket or pot to make a cylinder. Punch or cut out holes around the bottom, just in from the cut edge. (With care, a small screw driver or similar object may be used, to make the holes)

Thread lengths of stout twine through each hole (they will need to be about 5 or 6 inches long as they will tie the bucket to your pets collar). Then slip the bucket over your pet's head, punched holes and twine end first. Then tie the twine ends snugly around the collar. Make sure the collar to which you tie the bucket is fitted very snugly around your pet's neck or the whole lot will slip over his ears and off.

Things to watch for-

  1. Your pet may not be able to eat or drink with the Elizabethan collar on so you may have to remove it for him/her to do so. Having a narrow sturdy bowl permits some animals to eat and drink more easily.
  2. Make sure your pet cannot reach the undesirable area or object with the Elizabethan collar on. If this is possible, either tighten the collar or use a larger bucket or pot.
  3. Your pet may be initially distressed or disoriented with the Elizabethan collar on and will need some time to get used to it. You should supervise your pet until he/she is managing to get about ok.