Cone of Shame
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Nature Animals

How To Avoid Your Dog Needing A Cone Of Shame

Protect your pups! The 'Cone of Shame' has taught me many things about my pup's health that you may want to know for your dog too.

How To Avoid Your Dog Needing A Cone Of Shame
Maddy McKeever

A couple weeks ago I woke up to my adorable little 28lb dog covered in blood. Let me tell you, I called in sick to work that day. There was blood all over his neck and his back paws. But don't worry, he is fine now. Obviously, upon seeing the blood, I took him to the vet, and it t turns out he has fleas even though I flea treated him, and also seasonal allergies. He had scratched himself raw.

I had to pay $288.00 for his meds as a struggling college student.

With that being said, let me teach you everything the vet taught me so in case this happens to you and your dog you can avoid having to eat only rice until next payday like me:

Change in Diet

Eerie mad at the food being hard to get off the ground in a cone

Maddy McKeever

Dogs are not like humans. They can't eat a different food every day.

Most dogs will get diarrhea if you change their food without transitioning it by mixing the old food with the new food for a few meals. Not only that, but if they get into anything bad in the trash or yard, it can create problems externally as well as internally.

Fur and Mats

Eerie in the car after the vet shaved his mats

Maddy McKeever

Mats refer to matting or tangled clumps of fur. This happens often in pets with thick or curly fur, like my curly blonde terrier. To avoid them, brush your dog regularly.

If not, they can turn into large, painful masses that will have to be physically cut out because they cannot be untangled.

My pup gets them a lot around junctures, so where his tail connects, around his neck and ears, in mis paw pads, and in all four of his armpits. These are all common places to find mats.

It can also mat from your dog chewing at the location trying to get tangles out, matting it worse because of the saliva. Their fur can also get matted into wounds with blood, which hurts when it gets stuck in the scabs, so the vet shaved around my dogs wounds.

Hot Spots

Eerie napping with his toys after his medicine

Maddy McKeever

"Acute moist dermatitis" is the technical name for hot spots. These occur when a dogs skin gets irritated, and they start to lick at the area. This can develop into obsessive licking, scratching, and biting. They can grow at alarming rates and they hurt a lot.

Some causes of hotspots are:

Allergic reactions

Insect, mite, or flea bites

Poor grooming, dirt, and mats


Stress and boredom

Treatment of them can include shaving the hair around the area, keeping it clean, diet supplements, antibiotics, and even (you guessed it) an E-collar aka cone of shame to keep them from continuing to irritate it further.

Fleas and Ticks

Eerie at the vet and his first encounter with 'The Cone'

Maddy McKeever

As I flea treated my pet this summer, he had fleas when I took him to the vet. So here's what I learned: You have to flea treat your pet every month.

I had never flea treated my pet myself, my parents had always done it. So I didn't realize that after treating him in June he could get fleas in August from the shared dog park in my apartment complex.

To prevent fleas, you can use 'spot on' treatments that you put on your pets fur by their neck. Then don't touch them for a few hours. Either that, or you can get a pill that lasts them for three months. It also helps to keep a clean environment that fleas will not want to live in, similar to when humans get lice. Therefore, keep your pet and your house tidy and vacuumed (vacuum the carpet, not the dog).

Keep in mind you need to flea treats your pets during the warm months only, but that doesn't necessarily mean summer, because this year unlike most in the past in Washington has been blazing hot even as we move into September.


Eerie sleeping and healing on the couch

Maddy McKeever

Did you know dogs can have seasonal allergies just like humans?

Yes, just like you or me, a dog can be a mess of allergies. Similar symptoms apply, such as itchy and runny nose and eyes, sneezing, skin rashes. It just happens that they itch with their paws and lick to ease the discomfort.

These allergies can be to certain foods or plants, but they can also be seasonal. Not only that, but different plants bloom at different times even within seasons. Keep an eye out if your pups skin starts to look more grey near the tail end of summer, and figure out what plants are coming newly into bloom then.

Eerie cuddling with me post-coneMaddy McKeever

Eerie is now happily out of his cone, and back to being able to eat easily out of his food bowl. However, I still haven't caught back up on my savings after pulling out nearly $300. So a word to the wise: take care of your pet and pay attention if they start acting odd.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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