Italian Greyhound Care

4 alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”

4 alternatives to the cone of shame

As Italian Greyhounds have such long necks and legs, a standard “cone of shame”/”lamp shade” (formally known as an “Elizabethan Collar” or “Recovery Collar”) rarely works effectively. They also look uncomfortable on tiny, fragile, delicate necks. Luckily, there are some great alternatives to consider, however, great care must be taken to ensure what you use is effective at protecting the surgery/injury wound from interference from the Iggy!

An example of a plastic Cone of Shame

How does a “Cone of Shame” work?

A “Cone of Shame” is a plastic hood or cone that helps to protect injuries or operation sites from damage from the patent licking or nibbling at the wound and from scratching or pawing at its head. They are usually the standard issue at the vets but it is perfectly OK to find a more comfortable solution, providing it works effectively.

1. A soft fabric, velcro fastening cone

Luna, owned by Caity Mayfield

The simplest solution is a fabric cone, which is much softer on Iggies fine coat and delicate skin, but potentially not as much of a deterrent as the stiff plastic cone. A clever Iggy could potentially fold a soft fabric cone against a crate side and get to their wound.

Another issue with fabric cones is that they aren’t as widely available as standard cones, so finding a suitable size can be difficult. Many are just too short for pointy noses! However, teamed with no.2, an inflatable collar, they could be a perfect solution…

Mozzarella, owned by Leeanne Pallazola

2. An Inflatable Vet Collar

An inflatable collar is exactly as the name suggests; a collar that inflates to a donut shape. It is much more comfortable than a plastic cone of shame, although, with the Italian Greyhound’s long, agile neck, it might not be as effective as a cone, and care must be taken to ensure that the patient cannot reach a wound around it.

Rigatoni and Mozzarella, owned by Leeanne Pallazola

A combination of an inflatable collar beneath a cone (plastic or fabric) helps to prevent insistent interferers; the inflatable collar keeps the cone up around their face while stopping it rubbing the base of their neck.

3. A Recovery Suit

For some injuries/surgeries, a Recovery Suit negates the need for a Cone of Shame altogether. There are a variety of Recovery Suits available, not every type will suit the body shape of an Iggy, but many work very well. Depending on the surgery/injury, the suit needs to be snug fitting.

For neutering surgery, a looser fitting suit is fine, and they cover the surgery site on both male and female surgeries.

Quinn, owned by Celia Anne Auen

4. Leg sleeves

Leg sleeves are particularly useful after surgery for a broken leg. The slip over the injured leg, completely protecting a surgery site or open fracture site from licking and nibbling. They fasten around the dog’s body, so they are quite secure.

They are actually quite easy to make, out of a sock.

Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption shared a great idea on Pinterest, which I know many Italian Greyhound owners have successfully used. Take an appropriately sized sock and cut it to create a head hole, and the “leg” of the sock slides over the injured leg. You can read the article here.

Home-made solutions for Iggies

Celia Anne Auen and her Iggy Maui have made this super tutorial on making a leg sleeve out of a sock, which they have kindly shared with us!

The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the information and equipment they are working to is correct and appropriate for their specific circumstances.

© Kelly Wallace Horne, Italian Greyhound Active Health Project 2023.  Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kelly Wallace Horne, The Italian Greyhound Club, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Kelly Wallace Horne

Kelly has two Italian Greyhounds, Chico and Pasha, and is the Breed Education Coordinator for The Italian Greyhound Club.

Kelly enjoys training her own Italian Greyhounds in obedience, participating in agility, hoopers, and dabbling in scent work, and breed showing.

Kelly is a qualified Pro Dog Trainer and a member of the National Institution of Canine Ethics. She loves to study and learn, and has gained a variety of diplomas and advanced diplomas in canine behaviour, nutrition, physiology, canine holistic care, pet bereavement counselling, wolf behaviour and the correlation with 'canis familiaris', and canine law.