October 23, 2015

Why Your Dog Shouldn't Wear a Collar

I'll start by saying that all parties involved are okay, though not unharmed.  And I never thought about dog collars as being dangerous; leashes are dangerous, right? But now that I know how dangerous collars actually are, I need to tell everyone else because I had NO IDEA.  Like, it had never even crossed my mind and this could've been so much worse.

He's not "0 months". They didn't really ask.
 I just said "2 years". He's really almost 2 1/2 (in case you were interested).

The other night, Scout and Jett were laying on the floor batting at each other and rolling around.  It was so quiet that I didn't even notice really.  They've been known to really go at it gladiator-style, so if pillows aren't flying onto the floor, I rarely notice.  That's what puppies do. Scott and I were sitting on the couch two feet away.

Suddenly, Jett started yelping uncontrollably and it was because he had the bottom part of his jaw, including his pointy teeth, wrapped around Scout's collar and kept pulling, which was strangling Scout.  I don't want to go into detail because I'm really just trying to forget it, but here's the text I sent my friend.

We were in the middle of texting back and forth and then I disappeared for an hour or so and this was my explanation.

As soon as Scott had managed to cut the collar loose, Jett ran off in one direction and Scout ran under the guest bed, leaving a blood trail.  Scott had to flip the bed up, knocking over other furniture in the process, in order to get him out.

We drove to the emergency vet 45 minutes away.  This seems like the longest time ever when you have an injured pet, but we're better off here than we were in Missouri. That ER vet was NINETY minutes away and it was the closest one.  That should be illegal.

We were at the vet for about an hour and were assuming he'd need stitches.  They ended up pumping him with meds/sedatives and gave him anesthesia ($$$) to do a surgical procedure.  Since they had other more critical patients, we left Scout there and went home.  Scott was leaving in the morning for training (it's always effing training, isn't it?) and needed to finish packing.  I figured I'd need to be watching him the next day so I started texting my teammate at school, trying to get last-minute sub plans together. The vet told us they'd call when they were done with him and so we drove home with just Jett.  I mopped up the blood and got about 2 hours of sleep (after I wrote my sub plans).

The vet called at midnight-ish and said we could come get him.  Scott drove in because he wasn't sleeping anyway.  They ended up putting in a drain, along with the sutures, because it was a little deeper of a cut than they'd originally thought.  Plus pain meds and antibiotics.  And his eye is pretty swollen from the whole strangling thing, which is just heartbreaking.  I hope it goes back down soon. He can't wear a cone because the cut is on the back of his neck. The damage was $800 at the emergency vet. Though I prefer the emergency vet to the actual vet, which probably isn't a good thing. It's so clean and pleasant there and the people are so nice. I didn't feel like they were robbing us blind.  I always feel that way at the regular vet. (Maybe it's time to switch vets...)

You can see a shorn paw, where his IV was. They also shaved the back of his neck and it looks so sad (it's gross, so you don't want to see it).

Anyway, no more collars.  Scout currently can't wear one and doesn't have one anyway because it's chopped in half. I'm keeping Jett's by the door and he wears it when he's outside but I don't think I can let them go out together in collars because they like to wrestle outside too.  It's a issue I think I'll be very stressed out over for awhile.  I've told the story to a few people (like my neighbor and a couple of coworkers because I've missed a lot of work this week...and Scout is coming to work with me today since it's a half-day) and no one had ever considered it before.  My friend told me her dog got her collar caught on a kennel once and, ever since, she's gone collar-less.  But that dog is 10 years old and listens.  Our dogs...I worry about them running off.  Microchips only do so much and I think it's easier to look down and see a phone number.  

This is one safety issue I never considered so I'm sharing it in case it's something you've never thought about.   Hopefully our dear Scout is back to normal soon.  And don't feel too bad for him: he more or less destroyed the house yesterday because he was left alone with the run of the place. This hasn't affected his ability to do whatever the heck he wants.


  1. I've read before that collars can be dangerous for outdoor cats because it's so easy for them to get caught on a branch or hooked on a fence while they're outside. I've never considered dogs not wearing a collar, I actually think it might be mandatory here for dogs to wear a collar with proper tags. Glad to hear Scout is recovering!

  2. I've definitely heard of this happening before and the story I heard ended up much worse. So I'm glad that he's going to be okay! Literally reading this gives me goosebumps. I got yelled at for taking my collar off my dog at the dog park before because she won't have her tags on her and my county police will monitor that, but there's always that worry in the back of my mind.

    1. Bring a second collar that is tagless. Put that on while playing and keep your tagged one in your pocket in case someone gets upset and makes and official complaint.

  3. Oh my goodness! I definitely wouldn't have thought of that either. Everyone I've ever known that has a dog (at least that I can remember) has a collar on their dog. My cats don't wear them, but they're indoor cats and it's not like I take them for walks..... lol

  4. oh wow... that is the scariest thing. I always worry about them getting snagged on things. I had one of our dogs that her toenail got stuck in hers when she went to scratch behind her ear... she was rolling on the floor like an alligator yelping - scared me to death.

  5. Oh my goodness, I am so glad that he is okay though. Sending hugs your way!

  6. As I'm reading this post, I'm working and trying to get Kirby a vet appointment. We attempted to switch foods and that has been disastrous for him and us. He must not feel good since he's barking and pooping all over the place (close to the litter box but still missing it.) on the collar thing, our kitties wear no collar for that very reason. It can get caught on anything. Kirby goes to the vet tomorrow. Hopefully he'll be normal soon too.

  7. How scary! Mine went collarless for a while. They currently wear them, but that definitely gives me something to think about. Mine do wrestle, however, they aren't as young as yours and give up pretty quickly.

    I am glad Scout is okay. I can't imagine how scary that would be.

  8. How frightening! I would have never thought that collars could be harmful either but it is something to think about. We keep one on my cocker spaniel but she luckily doesn't have any other dogs to wrestle (she's just fiesty herself!).

    Hope Scout heals quickly!

  9. Aww, how scary for you guys! Glad he's on the mend now. Who would have thought a collar could be at the root of such an accident...but it kind of makes sense, same reason why you can never put necklaces or lanyards or anything on toddlers. Hope he gets better quickly!

  10. oh my goodness, this is absolutely terrifying. i hope scout is back to normal soon, but haha sounds like destroying the house means maybe? i honestly had no idea and would never think. good to know.

  11. I would never have thought of it too! I wonder what a good solution is... because I agree, it's easier if someone finds my dog to just look at the number on the tag.

  12. Eeeek, that's terrifying. I'd never even considered this. I'm so glad they're both ok and I hope your trauma begins to subside soon...

  13. Well holy crap I'd about die. I'm so glad everyone is okay.

    This is a good PSA. My dogs don't wear collars because of the way their necks are, but I'd guess most people never think about this.

  14. If wolves regularly played in their down time the risk would be too high that they would get regular (and severe) challenges to pack rank status. The play challenges would be so serious there would be high potential for injury that would wreck the hunt.dog walkers

  15. Two state parks, Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore, both welcome dogs between October 1 and May 1. Amid the mid year season dogs can likewise impart the shoreline to their proprietors on select stretches of sand in Delaware state parks. flea and tick treatment


Comments make my day!