Not a lot of people know this but my cat recently fell from our 2nd storey apartment and broke his hind foot. We had to go for surgery to insert a metal pin structure to re-align the 3 broken bones, which is all fine really. My cat's a trooper and beared through the pain without much fuss and a day after, he was very much up and awake.
Well honestly, he was supposed to be under strict confinement but this face:
He stared at me, meowed and whimpered, and tried to touch my hand. We let him out instead, and thankfully he does nothing but crawls under our massage chair and sleeps most of the time during this recuperation period.
He had his first check-up today and the vet technicians removed majority of the bandage to reveal the metal structure in his foot, which had me all bug-eyed when I saw it. It seriously looks very painful, and I'm surprised it's not in a splint or a cast, considering that it IS broken. It's just open and bare! And being cats (suppose it applies to dogs as well), he has a tendency to lick and bite at the wound, so I had no choice but to put the e-collar on him. Oh the shame.
He HATES it. It's even worse when the collar is still too big for him and we need to use a string to tighten it, which makes it even more uncomfortable. The collar doesn't work too well because dude, why is this cat so flexible? He was still able to reach his foot and tore the bandage off! I was slightly panicking and brought him to the vet again to change the bandage and have him in an even bigger collar, which honestly was too heavy for him. It's not a very nice feeling to see your pet suffer like this.
The good thing is that when we first brought him home, I was searching online for a soft collar (inflatable or a softer plastic) and found a pet shop that sells some stupid version of it that I had to make do with. Why is it so damn hard to find one? The only problem is that while the soft collar fits him now and it's velcro so you can customize the size, the length of it is too short so I had to do some DIY fast. Seriously, who the heck designed this failure? Isn't the purpose of the product to deter pets from picking at their wounds? How does that work when your pet can still clearly reach their wound? Sheesh. 3 clear files, cable ties and some tape later, I made a very hasty extension to the collar.
It's at least more comfortable for him since the edge is padded with cloth, and all of that monstrosity is still actually lighter than the standard e-collar you get from vets. He was able to walk with his head upright, finally. We didn't want to stress him too much because he's had a tiring day, so he's sleeping in my sister's room instead of the confinement cage.
But ugh seriously, why can't vets here have an option between the hard plastic cone or a soft collar? Import those accessories! Pet owners don't mind paying extra if it provides comfort! Soft collars would definitely save both pet and owner from any traumatizing trouble and grief. And if there can only be hard plastic, at least have a variety of sizes that can comfortably fit smaller animals.