A onesie could re­place Cone of Shame

Whangarei Report - - Pets -

CALL IT the cone of shame. Radar dish. El­iz­a­bethan col­lar. What­ever the 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 Cal­i­for­nia-based KVP In­ter­na­tional 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 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, Mis­souri, founder and pres­i­dent of Cover Me by Tui, which makes a one-piece, post­sur­gi­cal 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?”’ .

Her onesie, made of Peru­vian cot­ton, was tested on 200 dogs.

“Vets are see­ing the calm­ing ef­fect. 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 3000 of them on his first or­der.

“They are the soft­est cloth and the dogs just love them. It’s an amaz­ing prod­uct,” said Sink. 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, was told to put a cone on her two-yearold pit­bull mix to pro­tect a six­inch in­ci­sion af­ter surgery on his hip.

“I slept with him ev­ery night down­stairs be­cause I couldn’t bear to put a cone on him. That didn’t work so I looked up dog one­sies or dog pa­ja­mas,” Swe­tow said.

‘‘I think I’ve bought 10 of them al­ready be­cause the dog has an al­lergy too. I keep him in this ev­ery day,” she said.

PHOTO/AP

HIGH FASH­ION: Gayle Swe­tow’s dog Mike wears a Cover Me by Tui one­piece post­sur­gi­cal gar­ment, in­stead of a plas­tic cone, to pro­tect his al­ler­gies.

PEEVED: Cones are a has­sle.

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