Position Statement on Elizabethan Collars

profile of rabbit under chair

Many veterinarians contact House Rabbit Society for information on various procedures for rabbits. Veterinarians associated with House Rabbit Society have accumulated medical and surgical experience with tens of thousands of rabbits spanning a period of more than two decades. HRS wishes to make the benefit of this experience available to all veterinarians who are interested, and to this end we offer position statements on questions that regularly arise. Please feel free to contact HRS if you need further information, or wish to speak personally with one of our experienced rabbit veterinarians in your area.


Veterinarians who work with HRS typically avoid the use of E-collars, except in rare and unusual circumstances. E-collars create additional stress in rabbits, increase the risk of post-operative anorexia, and prevent the ingestion of cecal pellets. Experience has shown that rabbits who damage, overgroom, or disrupt a surgical site do so, more often than not, because of unnecessary pain and discomfort, often arising from inadequate perisurgical or postoperative analgesia, poor surgical technique, or inexperience with rabbit surgical procedures. This is not to say that E-collars must never be used; rather, that they should be reserved for extremely unusual circumstances.