Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Clinical Techniques
  • Published:

Restraint collars. Part I: Elizabethan collars and other types of restraint collars


Restraint collars can provide an investigator with a noninvasive means to prevent certain undesirable behaviors and provide a clinician with a nonpharmaceutical method to prevent an animal from inflicting self-injury; without proper use and monitoring, however, these collars can do more harm than good. This first part of our look at restraint collars introduces collar types and proper use. Next month's installment will review specific issues associated with the use of different types of collars for different species.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Low-density polyethylene Elizabethan collars.
Figure 2: A custom-fit plastic collar.
Figure 3: A pillow or foam pipe collar made from washable canvas.
Figure 4: Cervical collars keep the animal's neck in extension, thus preventing access to its neck, thorax, and abdomen.
Figure 5: An avian spherical collar made of medical grade polycarbonate plastic (also known as Lexan).


  1. Sakaguchi, E., Kaizu, K. & Nakamichi, M. Fibre digestion and digesta retention from different physical forms of the feed in the rabbit. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Comp. Physiol. 102(3), 559–563 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Gioffre, F., Francia, A. di, Testasecca, A. & Proto, V. Effect of prolonged inhibition of caecotrophy in the growing rabbit fed on two different diets. [Italian]. Riv. Coniglicoltura 26(4), 27–35 (1989).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Neale, R.J. Coprophagy in iron-deficient rats: II. 2 novel methods of prevention. Lab. Anim. 18(2), 119–124 (1984).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Tulliez, J.E., Durand, E.F. & Bories, G.F. Metabolic fate and pharmacokinetics of tissue residues of the anticoccidial drug robenidine in the rabbit. Incidence of coprophagy on its bioavailability. J. Agric. Food Chem. 30(6), 1071–1075 (1982).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ferrando, R., Henry, N., Klur, M. & Megard, J.P. Nitrogen and amino acid content of caecotrophes and other faeces in collared rabbits given antibiotics in diet or not. [French]. Ann. Nutr. Alimentat. 26(5), 189–196 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Demaux, G., Gallouin, F., Guemon, L. & Papantonakis, C. Effects in the rabbit of preventing caecotrophy for a prolonged period. [French]. Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 20(5B), 1651–1659 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Weingartner, K.E., Franzen, L. & Erdman, J.W. Jr. Effect of coprophagy in rats upon bioavailability of calcium added to casein- and soy flour-based diets. Nutr. Rep. Int. 23(4), 755–761 (1981).

    Google Scholar 

  8. Zhang, D., Hendricks, D.G. & Mahoney, A.W. Effect of coprophagy on bioavailability of iron from plant foods fed to anemic rats. Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 42(2), 97–108 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Eckstein, R.A. & Hart, B.L. Grooming and control of fleas in cats. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 68(2), 141–150 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Farrar, P.L., Opsomer, M.J., Kocen, J.A. & Wagner, J.E. Experimental nasal dermatitis in the Mongolian gerbil: effect of bilateral Harderian gland adenectomy on development of facial lesions. Lab. Anim. Sci. 38(1), 72–76 (1988).

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hernandez, A.D. & Sukhdeo, M.V.K. Host grooming and the transmission strategy of Heligmosomoides polygyrus. J. Parasitol. 81(6), 865–869 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Astroff, A.B., Young, A.D., Holzum, B., Sangha, G.K. & Thyssen, J.H. Conduct and interpretation of a dermal developmental toxicity study with KBR 3023 (a prospective insect repellent) in the Sprague-Dawley rat and Himalayan rabbit. Teratology 61(3), 222–230 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Astroff, A.B., Freshwater, K.J., Young, A.D., Stuart, B.P., Sangha, G.K. & Thyssen, J.H. The conduct of a two-generation reproductive toxicity study via dermal exposure in the Sprague-Dawley rat—a case study with KBR 3023 (a prospective insect repellent). Reprod. Toxicol. 13(3), 223–232 (1999).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Gobello, C., de la Sota, R.L. & Goya, R.G. A review of canine pseudocyesis. Reprod. Domest. Anim. 36(6), 283–288 (2001).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Herrenkohl, L.R. & Campbell, C. Mechanical stimulation of mammary gland development in virgin and pregnant rats. Horm. Behav. 7(2), 183–197 (1976).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Reuter, J.D., Ovadia, S., Howell, P. & Jaskwich, D.H. Femoral fracture repair and postoperative management in New Zealand White rabbits. Contemp. Top. Lab. Anim. Sci. 41(4), 49–52 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  17. Schafer-Nolte, C., Kummerfeld, N. & Ganter, M. Experiences with cylindrical throat collars for cage birds. [German]. Kleintierpraxis 32(3), 133–134, 136 (1987).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Wilson, S. Elizabethan collars and plastic bags. Vet. Rec. 132(26), 664 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Brown, C. Restraint collars. Part I: Elizabethan collars and other types of restraint collars. Lab Anim 35, 23–25 (2006).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing