Saturday, February 7, 2015

Collar related injuries in companion animals

Collars with bling are all the rage. Just be sure it fits properly.

Here at SAT we think collars are excellent for companion animals – apart from being legally required to identify dogs under the NSW companion animals act, they’re also very handy in indicating that a pet is owned.


But we see some complications of collars, mostly when they’re not fitted properly.

If a collar is too loose an animal may slip out of it and run away. You maybe left standing with an empty collar suspended from a limp lead.

If a cat’s collar is loose enough, the cat may slip a foreleg through the collar – becoming stuck. If you have a furry cat you might not notice. Over a period of time this collar then saws through the skin, resulting in a major wound. These wounds can take months to heal.

collar wound
Example of a collar-inflicted wound. This was actually several weeks into healing. The original wound was much bigger.
Similarly, we’ve seen dogs and cats with their lower jaw entrapped in the collar. Identification tags are recommended (and legally required in dogs), but these should be kept short as dangly tags can get caught in crevices such as drains, entrapping animals. Avoid unnecessarily ornate or heavy collars, or “bling” which may cause problems for your pet. If you do want your pet to wear something like this, save it for special occasions and ensure your pet is supervised.

Collar Tips
  • As a rule, ensure that the collar sits comfortably on your pet’s skin and you can comfortably slide two fingers under the collar.
  • If a collar is too tight it can cut off the circulation. This is important to look out for in growing animals. Check the fit of collars on puppies and kittens every week.
  • When selecting a collar, keep it simple but invest in good quality. Avoid heavy, ornate collars or those with sharp edges that can poke into the skin.