Module 3: The Case of the Embedded Collar

The Case . . .

You are on call for the shelter when you receive this text: “Sorry, but we need you ASAP, doc! Just took in a dog with a swollen face. Look at the picture. What should we do?”


Dog with a very swollen face


It is the animal shelter staff asking for help with a dog they just admitted and think that the swollen face is due to a collar that is deeply embedded around the neck.

You agree with staff that this looks like an emergency and hurry to the shelter. When you arrive, you find everyone from intake, animal care, and administration is gathered around the dog. You hear these statements from staff:

Animal Care Technician: This is an outrage! Whoever did this should be locked up! I found a microchip in this puppy and we are calling the owners right now to come face charges!

Adoption Counselor: I’ve never seen anything this gruesome! I wonder how long this poor dog has been suffering like this?  I’ve heard that embedded collars take months or years to get this bad! I hope we have this owner arrested.

Animal Control Officer: Doc, this looks like animal cruelty to me and I need your help to build a case. I want to do this by the book so they don’t get away with this. They had to know this dog was suffering for a long time for it to get this bad. Good thing a Good Samaritan found this puppy and brought it to the shelter. I hope we can find the owner and prosecute.

Shelter Director: This is one of the worst embedded collars I’ve ever seen! I already alerted the press and put pictures of this dog on our shelter’s Facebook page!  We will show the world how long it takes for a dog to recover from an injury like this. We’ll ask for donations to help with this dog’s veterinary care.

The Shelter Vet Speaks: I know how upset everyone is but please don’t call the press or write a citation just yet. Let me examine this dog and give it some pain medication first. Go ahead and take pictures. We might need the photos later.


Review these photos to see the examination findings:

The dog is a 5- to 6-mo old male neutered puppy with a Body Condition Score of 5/9 (Purina Scale). His face and neck are swollen due to edema.

In addition to the edema in the chin and ventral neck, there is a deep circumferential wound around the neck caudal to the ear base and hemorrhagic drainage from the wound.

A white cord was removed from the neck wound and appeared consistent with that used for clotheslines.

Cord removed from the neck wound




Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems Copyright © 2020 by University of Florida is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.