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How I Turned A Life Threatening Injury Into A Life-Saving Product

Published Mar 4, 2021  |  Author: Dr. Laura Catena  |  Topic(s):

Dr. Laura Catena & her dog Beans

As a small animal veterinarian, I am well aware of the dangers of animal-related injuries. While providing care for a feline patient that was experiencing an adverse reaction to a topical flea product, I was bitten on my hand. I went to the hospital and my hand was washed and soaked to clean the wound, and I was sent home on antibiotics. The next morning, the infection had spread up my arm and to my neck.

The joints in my hand became septic, causing severe pain that required extensive surgery and seven months of physical therapy to heal. Despite not knowing if I could practice veterinary medicine again due to my injury and the decreased function of my hand, I did not want the same experience to happen to other animal caregivers and I developed The ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves.

Unfortunately, bites and injuries such as mine are not uncommon in the veterinary field. Each year, around 32,000 veterinary professionals are injured providing care and about 10% require extended time off to heal. As I reflected upon my injury, it could have been completely prevented by wearing protective gloves, but the lack of personal protective equipment for animal caregivers led me to create ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves.

The protective equipment available at the time of my injury consisted of bulky and inflexible welding gloves. A common misconception is if the glove is bulky that it provides adequate protection, and this is not the case. The cumbersome gloves further predispose animal handlers to injury because of the extreme lack of sensation. Welding gloves do not allow animal handlers the control and dexterity required to treat patients with low-stress and compassionate handling restraint techniques. In practice, I opted to not wear the welder gloves that had been available to us, despite needing protection. This was because they did not meet the need to accomplish proper restraint technique; their use only resulted in increased stress for the patient as well as the client.

There was an enormous need in the veterinary community for protective, flexible gloves that animal caregivers could use that would not compromise safety to the animal or handler. When I created the ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves, I took into account all of the needs of animal handlers to be able to make a unique glove that does everything the wearer requires of them. The gloves are hand sewn from superior materials to provide protection, safety, and low-stress handling for both the patient and the veterinary professional.

The gloves are made from the strongest of the stretch materials, including 100% double knit DuPont® Kevlar. The gloves have the flexibility and dexterity to restrain an animal safely while also providing a level of protection. With reinforcement in high-injury areas and coverage up to the elbow, ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves decrease the risk of serious injury. Neoprene along the knuckles ensures increased hand articulation when necessary.

The fully synthetic materials used also means that the gloves can be machine-washed or disinfected according to standard office procedure, preventing the spread of zoonotic disease and infections between patients. Due to Covid-19, there has been an increased awareness of infectious disease transmission. It is vital when working with animals to use a product that can be washed in order to decrease the risk of infectious disease transmission. ArmOR Hand, being a machine washable glove, supports the One Health Initiative.

The two styles of gloves, the original full-finger coverage style, and the Procedure-Palpitation Glove ensure that whatever tasks need to be done can be accomplished without compromising safety. With the exposure of the thumb, index, and middle fingertips, the Procedure-Palpitation Glove enables you to perform the most delicate of operations like toenail trimming, vaccine administration, and blood draws, ear cleanings, and palpitations with full-control and complete protection.

The veterinary community is worldwide and ArmOR Hand has received praise from animal caregivers in the US as well as internationally. Animal handlers from SOAR Wildlife say, “the gloves have changed the way they provide assistance and care for the wildlife they work with, doing so in comfort and protection. At SOAR we will only use ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves from now on. The quality is exceptional and the flexibility is superior to all other gloves.”

Veterinary professionals like Dr. Sally Foote, a DVM – AVSAB with over 30 years of veterinary experience, have been able to provide services to patients they would not have been able to otherwise without using the gloves. She is able to perform solo exams in more difficult areas of the patient’s body like the mouth, allowing for fewer people in the room which can calm the patients, allowing her to not use excessive force during the treatment because of fear of bites. Animals are attuned to our anxiety and this can, in turn, increase their stress, but the gloves provide a sense of safety which decreases the stress of the animal caregiver, the patient, as well as the pet owner.

The ArmOR Hand® brand is a compassionate brand, creating products that aim to reduce stress and anxiety to pet owners and patients, while also ensuring that the animal caregivers are protected and safe as they do the job they love. Make the decision to provide to your patients the ArmOR Hand restraint using “More Feels. Less Force.” To learn more about our products, visit our store. Follow ArmOR Hand® Glove on Facebook page, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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Dr. Laura Catena is the Founder and President of The ArmOR Hand Gloves.

She graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine and is a small animal veterinarian. Dr. Catena developed The ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves after a life-threatening injury she endured while working emergency medicine. She is a member of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council and an animal welfare advocate.

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Real-life stories of our gloves and their impact.

Dr. Laura Catena

Veterinarian & inventor of The ArmOR Hand Glove.

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Be safe. Glove up.|More Feels. Less Force.®

The ArmOR Hand Protective Gloves® are bite resistant, not bite proof.
They can decrease the severity of injury, if injury occurs.