Making the best of The Cone of Shame

ImageOn Monday, Casper endured minor surgery that involved the lopping off of lumps near his ear, on his snout, and his low back. The surgery went well, and he’s been tolerated his post-surg meds really nicely. The worst part about it is the mammoth cone he has to wear for two weeks while he heals up.

It’s been torturous to watch him with this massive cone. He bumps into doors and walls and furniture; he has trouble climbing stairs; and eating and drinking is a particular challenge. I can help with his food by holding his bowl up to him, but getting him to drink water has been particularly stressful. I want to make sure he can drink even when I’m not with him, but when I have to go to work, I come back to find his water bowl spilled over the floor. Even the non-spill ones slide all over the floor, eventually landing a wall, which again makes the water inaccessible.

Until today. Because I finally found a solution. Here are a couple tips if you ever wind up the same situation:

– Look for water/feed bowl with a fairly small circumference so it can easily fit inside the span of The Cone. Chances are your dog’s normal water bowl is much bigger — even if the normal bowl still fits inside the cone straight on, it may still not work well with the cone because of the angles the dog needs to drink. So the smaller, the better.

– Something with a broad base so that it’s “non-tippable” is highly recommended. But be aware that it still may tip over, because the cone is big and bossy and awkward and an, unfortunately, a much-needed enemy to all things beautiful and free.

– TAPE THIS BOWL SECURELY TO THE FLOOR, so that it doesn’t slide around when your dog tries to drink. This is perhaps the most important tip I can give you. I used postal tape, and it seems to be working well.

– If possible, find a base with a removable bowl. I found such a thing at Ace Hardware store. This allows me to tape the base down, and still lift the bowl out for cleaning. (Bowl pictured above. Brand name: HiLo, “Fiesta” series – your dog may even appreciate the irony).

– If your dog is still reluctant to drink, put a drop or two of milk or chicken broth in the water. If your dog likes yogurt (which mine does), even better, so he/she can get their probiotics to counter the bad effects of the antibiotics they may be receiving after surgery.

It took me a couple days to figure all this out, so I hope this saves someone out there some time and trouble. Casper seems to be finally well-hydrated and drinking independently, which I know is an important part of the healing process. ImageGood luck!