About Pressure Necrosis
Electric dog fence collars are 100% safe when used properly. However, they should never be left on for extended periods of time. Ideally the dog fence collar should not be kept on for more than 10-12 hours at a time. Breaking this rule may cause your dog to develop an unsightly condition, called pressure necrosis.
Pressure necrosis is very similar to bedsores in humans. Basically what happens is the contact points rub the same spot on the dog’s skin, over and over again, when the collar is not removed.
This potential problem can also be remedied by moving the receiver to different locations on the dog’s neck throughout the day.
Improper Collar Fit
If the dog fence collar is too tight or even too loose, it can cause problems. The receiver must be properly fitted to the dog’s neck.
If the receiver is so tight on the dog’s neck that it doesn’t move at all, the blood flow underneath the contact points becomes restricted. In turn, the skin tissue begins to break down and deteriorate. This is the same situation that happens with bedsores.
On the other hand, if the collar is too loose, the collar can easily spin around the dog’s neck, or vertically move when the dog lowers and raises his head. Friction happens as a result, and can damage the skin. Continual exposure to friction is a lot like taking your fingernail and scratching the same spot on your skin over and over. This would cause micro tears in the skin. The same thing happens on a dog when he is wearing the collar too loose.
Improper Wear Time
In combination with collar fit, wearing the collar for too long makes the situation worse. If you have seen pictures of pressure necrosis, you know how awful they can look. No one wants their dog to have to go through having this condition. The horrible pictures you may have seen are a result of a neglectful owner, keeping their dog’s collar on for weeks at a time.
Bedsores, NOT BURNS
These sores that develop with pressure necrosis are NOT BURNS. An electric fence collar only produces 2% of the heat output needed to create a burn.
In 1983, the inventor of Invisible Fence® partnered with the prestigious University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to determine if there were any short or long-term effects on a dog using this type of fence. The results of this study determined that there were no ill effects, either short or long term from using this type of device.
A Word of Advice
The best thing you can do is pay attention to your dog’s neck when you are using an electric dog fence collar. Throughout the day, take a look and see how the skin looks. Make sure the collar is fitted correctly, every day. Notice if there are any signs of redness. If there is, move the receiver to the opposite side of the neck, or take the collar off for a time, so that airflow and circulation to the skin can improve.