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5 tips for using a medical collar on your cat

WEEMS HUTTO

[From Tufts February 2011 Issue]

John Berg, DVM, a surgical specialist at Cummings School of Veterinary
Medicine at Tufts University, offers some guidance regarding use of
medical collars on your cat:
■■ Although your cat may initially be bothered by the collar, he is likely to
adjust quite quickly. Be patient and reward your cat with treats as soon
as the collar is applied.
■■ Select the proper size for your cat — a collar that is long enough to
prevent him from reaching a wound or surgical site but short enough
to enable him to eat and drink without difficulty.
■■ Remove the collar only when you are able to supervise your
cat’s actions.
■■ Recognize that the idea that licking wounds is good is a myth. Incisions
that your cat licks open will need to be cleaned and possibly re-sutured,
likely at your expense. “There is more chance of an infection when a
second surgery like this is done. So it pays to keep the e-collar on if
instructed to do so by your veterinarian,” says Dr. Berg.
■■ Consult your veterinarian regarding when a medical collar is needed.
“Cats tend to lick leg, foot, tail and anal area incisions, but not abdominal
or chest incisions,” says Dr. Berg. “So, collars are not automatically
recommended for every surgery.”
— By Arden Moore

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