AVP Vol 52 Issue 1 March 2022 - Flipbook - Page 32
Management of a skin wound associated
with use of an electronic anti-barking
collar in a dog
Walmsley DW,* Day SK, Nash KJ
UQ Vets Small Animal Hospital, University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
ABSTRACT A 3-year-old entire female Cavoodle was presented for wounds on the ventral
neck region following prolonged application of an electronic anti-barking shock collar
(EABSC) . It was concluded likely that pressure from prolonged device-tissue contact
time, in combination with shear forces, resulted in local inflammation, tissue damage,
and superficial infection. Staging and management were guided by the National Pressure
Injury Advisors Panel clinical practice recommendations. The injury was classified as a
Stage II pressure injury, characterised by partial-thickness skin loss with exposed dermis.
Conservative management was therefore deemed a suitable treatment strategy. Microbial
culture yielded growth of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and Acidovorax temperans.
Treatment abided by the principles of moist wound healing, with management adjusted
for each phase of wound healing. Complete secondary intention wound healing was
achieved by Day 18, with a satisfactory clinical and cosmetic outcome.
To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case report describing management of a
pressure injury associated with the use of an EABSC in a dog.
The welfare implications of EABSC are discussed.
KEYWORDS animal welfare, electronic anti-barking shock collar, pressure injury
ABBREVIATIONS EABSC, electronic anti-barking shock collar; ECMA, Electronic Collar
Manufacturers Association; NPIAP, National Pressure Injury Advisors Panel
Aust Vet Pract 52 (1): 32-40, 2022
The use of electronic anti-barking shock
collars (EABSC) for training and behavioural
modification in dogs remains popular amongst
some owners despite ongoing concerns
about their welfare implications.1 EABSC rely
on aversive stimuli (positive punishment) to
eliminate or suppress a specified undesirable
behaviour.2 EABSC deliver a set electrical
stimulus in response to audible vocalisation.2
The stimulus is modulated by the electrical
resistance of the skin and underlying tissues,
between two blunt, protruding electrodes
on the ventral aspect of the dog’s neck.
Most evidence of the risks associated
with electronic collars stem from scientific
literature evaluating aversive methods
in general.1,3-6 Aversive-based training
methodologies have been shown to generate
stress, produce unintended training
outcomes, and have adverse welfare
implications.1,3-6 In 2012, an investigation
*Corresponding author: Darby Walmsley Darby.email@example.com