Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cone Head


I need your advice. Actually, my friend, Dale, needs your advice. She has a wonderful Tonkinese cat. He's intelligent, affectionate, sensitive and, for the past few months, has had to wear one of those cones around his neck. Why? Because he's licks himself to the point where the wound becomes infected. Each time Dale removes the cone, he immediately begins licking the area again.

The cone (which is actually called an Elizabethan collar) makes the poor guy look pathetic, and I'm sure he feels humiliated and uncomfortable, but Dale has run out of options. The only thing she hasn't done is put the cat on drugs, but perhaps that would improve his quality of life.

Any thoughts?

Photo from Ilmari Karonen/Gallery

10 comments:

NuclearToast said...

The good news is, with an Elizabethan collar on, a cat's attempt to look disdainful or indifferent becomes humorous.

Lynn Sinclair said...

And how we love to laugh at our cats, NT (or dogs, depending). It's, literally, near-impossible for my friend's cat to hold his head up high.

Fuzzy Logic said...

Yup.. first question, what is she feeding? What has she tried? What has changed in the house? How old is the cat?

Lynn Sinclair said...

Dale has changed the cat's food (vet suggested it). The cat is probably about 6 years old. There have been some changes -- kids moving out, going to university and college, but he was always Dale's cat. I'll pass this on. Perhaps Dale's answers might differ from mine.

Diana said...

I had the same problem with a cat of mine a few years ago. She would lick her stomach area (only there) until it bled. I took her to at least half a dozen different vets. One of them put her on drugs (steroids). It was the worst decision ever. She stopped licking, yeah, but she was like a zombie too, walking around aimlessly and barely being able to hold her head up. I rescued that cat from the street, so I have no way of knowing how long she had had the problem, but if your kitty just started doing it, it may be stress. Have you tried "Bach's Rescue Remedy"? It's a natural product that can be used safely in pets (it's available at health food stores) and that reduces anxiety.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Diana. Great to hear about the steroids. I'll pass on the info about Bach's. Did your cat eventually stop licking?

Raggedy Angst said...

Is it possible to put something on the spot that tastes bad? Like my mom used to put on my brother's fingernails because he bit them so badly? It certainly discouraged him! Maybe some non-toxic dishwashing liquid?

Lynn Sinclair said...

I know Dale put something on it a few months back, but it didn't seem to stop him.

I did see something on the Internet called a Soft collar (I think). It looks less unwieldy than the cone.

Raggedy Angst said...

I found this link on Dr. Weill's website. Might help? http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/forums/thread.html?docid=THR46700&catid=588

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Rags, for the link. I'm going to pass all this advice on to Dale (I'll be seeing her tonight when we fly to Vegas).