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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

DIY: Substitute for E-Collar for a Cat after Spay

Shiva had her spay surgery a week ago. I never witnessed anything like that, so I didn’t know what to expect.

I probably asked and re-asked doctor and medical staff million of questions, but even then I think I wasn’t prepared to face it: the feeling of hopelessness looking at poor baby recovering from the anesthesia while making an effort to get somewhat comfortable while wearing an e-collar, which was prescribed by vet to prevent her from hurting and licking the incision.

Needless to say she was miserable: scared, not knowing what happened to her and why, and not able to walk straight because of that thing around her neck which restricted her sight and prevented her from eating, drinking, resting, getting to litter box, and even walking straight...

At first, we managed by taking e-collar off for her to eat and such, and then putting it back on, when she tried to lick the incision. But this solution didn’t last even couple of hours, and there was a night in front of us.

So, I managed to “construct” a cat-cloth from a sleeve of my pajamas. I took few pictures to illustrate the “design” of it, just in case somebody decided to reproduce it.

Side view:

Top view:

Few words about measurements:

  • Distance between left and right holes should be comparable to distance between front and back legs of the cat
  • Size of material left for the left hole, should be comparable to a half width of the cat breast
  • Bottom right side should account a possibility for cat to go to litter box without soiling the cloth itself

To put this cloth on cat follow the following steps:

  1. Put cat thru the back opening of the sleeve, so it is between front and back legs
  2. Put the front piece of the sleeve between front legs and put cat’s head thru the front opening (you can also secure top part to the bottom one around cat shoulder blades - just sew them together or so)
  3. Then put each back leg into corresponding hole at the back

In such “dress” Shiva couldn’t reach the incision which prevented her from licking it. And she had a full freedom of movement, of course as much as the incision and pain allowed her.

Again, needless to say, she liked this “dress” much more than the e-collar on her neck, see the prove (sorry for the picture quality, it was taken by my phone):

Of course, while Shiva was wearing the “dress” I had to monitor the incision on regular base, cloth was getting wet in place of incision and was picking up some dirt, which was easily removable by washing and sanitising the cloth.

She didn’t have to wear the “dress” for long, just a day or so, but it kept her comfortable while incision through initial healing without e-collar.

Now she is recovering without wearing anything, she passed one vet check perfectly and we are going to bring her to vet to remove stitches later this week.

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