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My 3 yr old Aussie m ix has been fighting a paw pad infection for 7 weeks now. We are on our third round of antibiotics, tried 2 different soaks and one cream and we finally had to take her to a dermatologist since our local vet and local ER vet could not figure out how to get the paw healed. The derm doc thinks that she traumatized the paw pad (probably on the pea gravel at daycare) and it wasn't healing because she kept licking it no matter how carefully we watched her. So she is in an e collar 24/7 for AT LEAST 7 days! She looks so miserable! She won't eat anything but wet dog food (she usually takes her dry food and puts it on the floor to eat but she can't reach it now)and rarely drinks. She can't play with her toys because she can't grab them (she only plays with chew toys).We've tried to play tug of war with her or throw treats for her to catch - no interest whatsoever. She is breaking my heart!! Any advice as to how we can interact with her to keep her happy while this paw is healing? The vet suggested not walking her until this is healed. All she does is lay on the bed looking out the window. I'm so worried about her not drinking although the vet says when she is thirsty enough she will drink (we have raised her bowl so the cone fits around it). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Most dogs get used to it after a few days. The longest time a dog of mine has had ecollar was three weeks, at that time I think he didn't notice it anymore and played, walked etc. None of my dogs has kept up being totally miserable for longer than a two three days. But they do look unhappy in the beginning!
It will pass.
 

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It takes a few days for some dogs to adjust. I've always felt like I'd rather have a dog who is unhappy with the cone than a dog with a seriously infected paw or whatever I was keeping the dog from licking/chewing.

I know it's not easy to see them miserable but think of it like a child with a broken arm or leg who was freaked and depressed about the cast and limited mobility. You wouldn't let the child decide whether or not the transient misery is worth it.

Dogs can be pretty stoic and will walk on a foot or leg despite an injury and they will lick to ease the pain and discomfort. I'd keep the cone on and restrict activity. Good thoughts for a healed up paw soon.
 

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It sounds like what the dog has sunken into is 'learned helplessness'. You also see this with dogs introduced too quickly to a halti or a muzzle-- they fight it until their will breaks. Unfortunately, e-collars are pretty unavoidable and a lot of the time we don't know when our dog will be waking up in one so we don't get sufficient time to introduce the collar slowly beforehand.

What might go over a little better with her is an alternative like the Kong Cloud. It will enable the dog to eat, drink and play a bit better. Of course, I would keep the receipt in case you find that she can get at her paw in it.
 

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Yep the cone sucks for a lot of dogs :(

I know it's hard, but the vet sounds spot on with the cone to prevent her from licking/chewing/biting, and doing crate rest to reduce walking on it. The e collar seems cruel and reduces her quality of life, but what's worse...Temporary time doing crate rest with an e collar? Or spending months on end suffering from a persistent infection that will not go away because walking and chewing are making it worse?

Hopefully it will pay off in the end for you. And I'm sure after a couple days, she will begin to perk up as she gets used to having it on and gets over it. You could also try alternative cones...They do make soft ones, which are more flexible and comfortable. And there are inflatable donut type collars. You would have to use your best judgement to know whether she could still reach the paw with one of those alternative protective collars.
 

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If the cone is an opaque one, it might help to get her one that's transparent so she can at least see the stuff around her. Hopefully she'll only need it for a week.

When it looks like it's healed up limit her activity on hard surfaces like gravel and concrete for at least another week or two to make really sure that it's healed. Not that long ago we had someone on here who was asking questions about how to help there dog who's paw would seem to be healed up but kept reopening, the paw was never fully healing and each time it would reopen it'd take a little longer to get better.
 

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Cinders just got one after being spayed and hated it. Did not like it, refused to leave it alone and just wanted it off. Today she is playing with her ball with it on and hasn't noticed it! :)
You can take it off while they eat which is what i've been doing and then watching her like a hawk. The moment she goes towards the wound it goes back on. Her water is raised up at the minute and in a larger than normal bowl so the cone fits in too. I've actually just filled a bucket and she drinks out of that easily.
She doesn't like the collar but i prefer she wears it and has a week of being a bit sadder than normal if it means she doesn't tear out her stitches and make the wound worse.
 
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