YOUR furry friend has just been to the vet and is sporting a new fashion accessory - the infamous cone of shame.
You know they're looking a little sad - and new research has confirmed what we've long suspected. That cone designed to protect their stitches actually makes your pet depressed.
A new study by researchers in the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney has found the cone, or the 'Elizabethan collar' as it's known in vet circles, does indeed impact on an animal's quality of life - owners, too.
The study surveyed owners about the collar's impact on their pet's sleep, eating, drinking, exercise, interactions with other animals and overall quality of life.
"Elizabethan collars are used to prevent self-trauma, especially after surgery, so they do play an important role," said study supervisor Anne Fawcett.
"But we also learned that some animals suffer from misadventure, injury or irritation due to the collars themselves. Other casualties included furniture, buildings and the legs of owners when Elizabethan-collar wearing owners ran into them."
"Our study found that Elizabethan collars had the potential to cause distress in animals, which in turn caused distress to owners," Dr Fawcett said.
"Some animals found ingenious ways to remove the collars themselves, for example running under furniture at speed, but damaged or poorly fitted Elizabethan collars could increase the risk of injury to animals."
Thankfully, there are other alternatives such as inflatable collars and neck restraints as well as anti-itching medication.