Can my dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone?

It’s aching to see your dog struggle after undergoing surgery. Aside from the pain from the wound, the animal also has to contend with the confusion of having to wear a dog cone. Veterinarians officially refer to it as the “Elizabethan collar,” but most pet owners call it as the “cone of shame,” owing to its dreaded design. Nonetheless, the dog cone is quite useful, albeit inconvenient in preventing your dog from licking its surgery wound or tearing out the stitches. So the question is, can my dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone?

Aside from being inconvenient, a dog cone substantially restricts the animal’s movement, vision, and hearing. It’s not a surprise that some dogs that are forced to wear it end up not eating, drinking, or moving. Fortunately, there are more practical alternatives to a dog cone, including a shirt, inflatable collar, and a dog onesie to stop licking.

Why Your Dog Licks Wounds After A Surgery

There was a time when veterinarians and pet owners alike believed that dog saliva helped in the faster healing of post-surgery wounds. The basis was a study that claimed that saliva has antibacterial properties. It wasn’t long for everyone to realize that licking the wound could do more harm than good. But that’s not the point – regardless of the effect of licking a wound, dogs do it without knowing that it could harm them. It is an automatic response to the itchiness and pain.

When dogs lick their wounds after surgery, don’t think that it is an isolated case. It is comparable to that of you hitting your head on a hard surface, and you end up rubbing it. It feels like stroking the part that took the hit gives out a relief. The nerves are responsible for that sensation, and dogs have it, too.

An integral part of post-op care for your dog is to prevent or restrict its access to the wound. Doing so avoids the possibility of infection or sores. It also prevents the likelihood of the dog removing the stitches.

Post-Op Care for Dogs – What to Consider

After the success of the operation, the veterinarian will walk you through the proper administration of the pain relief medication. Your dog needs it to minimize the pain. You must follow the vet’s instructions because giving your dog the wrong dose could harm it. You want nothing less than a quick and full recovery without the side effects.

Aside from the medication, it is also your responsibility to care for the dog’s wounds. You should do whatever it takes to keep Fido from chewing, licking, or scratching the wound, stitches, or bandage. I know it’s a challenge, but you have no choice. The vet will most probably recommend the use of the Elizabethan collar, but you don’t have to follow that strictly. If your dog is okay with the “cone of shame” on, then that’s good news. But I seldom see a dog who likes it.

It takes at least ten days before the stitches are removed. Some vets choose not to use external skin sutures, which means that the stitches are inside the wound. You only have to wait for about two weeks for the stitches to dissolve. While waiting, you should prevent the dog from licking the area as it will slow the process down and might even cause an infection.

Other things to consider in post-op care for dogs include keeping the bandages dry all the time, covering the dressing with a plastic bag when you take the dog outside and near water, and avoiding unnecessary contact with other dogs.

Dog Cone Alternative

Dog owners by nature are afraid of surgeries because they are well-aware of the possibility of their pets hurting themselves in the road to recovery. The vet insists on letting the dog wear the Elizabethan collar because it prevents the animal from licking the wound. But the problem with the “cone of shame” is that it does not promote comfort and convenience. In other words, there is no way that the dog will like wearing it. This is the reason why I always make a point to recommend a dog onesie instead of a cone.

Cones vs comfort 2

So can my dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone? If you’re not sure about how a dog onesie works, then you can learn about it here.

A dog onesie is a comfortable and stylish alternative to a cone, and it works wonders, too. The soft material does not merely prevent the dog from licking and scratching its wounds; it also is convenient to wear. It is the perfect alternative to a dog cone since it keeps the animal calm and relaxed.

Be sure to purchase an onesie for your dog after surgery that fits your dog perfectly. It can’t be tight-fitting or overly loose since it could become useless. A tight onesie may irritate the wound area, while a loose one means your dog might get off of it.

To find more information about what the best choice between onesies and cones click here >>

Frequently Asked Questions About Surgical Onesies vs Cones for Dogs

Can I put a shirt on my dog instead of a cone?

It is most likely that your vet will tell you to have your dog wear a cone after surgery, but no pet owner wants that. It is indeed effective in preventing a dog from licking or scratching the wound, but the level of discomfort and inconvenience is almost intolerable.

If your dog doesn’t like wearing the cone from the get-go, you can find an alternative in the form of a dog recovery shirt. You don’t have to purchase anything because you can convert an old shirt to cover the wounds. An old shirt is an alternative to a cone, but your dog needs something more fitted to its body. I recommend that you invest in a surgical recovery suit for dogs sooner than later.

What can I use instead of a dog cone?

Just because the vet instructs you to force the dog to wear a cone for post-op care doesn’t mean you go with it without complaints. While the “cone of shame” is quite effective in restricting access to the wound and stitches, it is not a sensible option when it comes to comfort. Your dog will eventually heal its wounds, but it could end up getting depressed in the process. when faced with the question “can your dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone?”  The dog medical onesie is clearly a practical alternative.

Dog onesies come in different forms, styles, and sizes. The location of the wound and stitches determines the type of onesie that you need to buy for your dog. A full onesie is an excellent choice because it conveniently snaps at the bottom. Don’t expect a pre-made onesie that you buy in stores to fit perfectly. So, be prepared to do some minor modifications using a pair of scissors to ensure that you get a snug fit for your furry buddy.

How do you keep a dog from licking a wound without a cone?

Aside from a dog onesie, there are other practical products to protect the wound. You don’t need to settle for the inconvenience of an Elizabethan collar. The list of prospects includes t-shirt instead of e collar, bandages to cover the wound, boots that work to put over the top of the wound dressing, anti-licking sprays to dissuade the dog from licking the wound, and the ever-practical dog onesie.

How long does a dog have to wear a cone after ear surgery?

Dogs are the most prone to ear problems in pets, and some breeds are more vulnerable than others. If your dog has a severe ear problem, traditional medication in the form of ear drops and tablets may no longer work. The last resort is ear surgery.

Aftercare is crucial following ear surgery, regardless of the type. A dog cone is necessary because it is specifically designed to restrict access. The dog will look for a way to get to the wound, and you should prevent that from happening. With the combination of antibiotics and pain medication as prescribed by the vet, the dog will only wear the cone for a maximum of two weeks, giving enough time for the wound to heal.

Final Thoughts

The dreaded reputation of the Elizabethan collar undermines its usefulness in preventing a dog from licking and biting its post-surgery wound. Fortunately, the availability of practical alternatives like the dog onesie gives relief to pet owners like you and me who can’t stand seeing our pup in anguish while wearing a dog cone. If you still need to ask “can my dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone?” The answer is absolutely!

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