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We Need To Start Prioritizing The Health Of Our Animal Caregivers

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

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While working emergency medicine, early on in my veterinary career, a patient bit my left hand. This injury almost ended my ability to practice medicine. The infection had spread from my hand up to the left side of my neck. My joints became septic. I had to undergo extensive surgery and was in the hospital for a week. When I was discharged, I had 7 months of physical therapy to regain use of my hand. My health has not been the same since my injury, but I decided during my hospital stay that I wanted to develop a product that animal caregivers could actually use – we desperately needed gloves that were not bulky welder gloves. We needed gloves made for veterinarians to not only protect ourselves but also to provide proper restraint technique for our patients and do it compassionately.

Animal handlers have the second highest rate of work-related injuries and illness according to the National Institute for Occupational Health & Safety, averaging $8.8 million in claims annually with an average of about $2,700 per claim. The Journal of the American Veterinary Association, or JAVMA, states that 50% to 67% of veterinarians and 98% of veterinary technicians will experience an injury at some point in their career.
There are a variety of training procedures we can implement and safety gear we can add to our clinics’ arsenals, but we must first start with eradicating the stigma around protecting ourselves. A common misconception for animal handlers is that to use gloves and prioritize provider health is wrong. Or, for an animal handler to use personal protective equipment, such as protective gloves, implies that the animal is dangerous or bad.

These common misconceptions could not be further from the truth. In order to continue providing the absolute best care, providers need to be protected. This is why ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves were created to change the industry approach toward keeping caregivers safe. The gloves do not compromise when it comes to durability, while ensuring superior flexibility and dexterity.

Made of fully synthetic materials with no animal products, ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves provide protection and maximum flexibility so that you can achieve proper restraint techniques. The gloves are so flexible, you can use low-stress handling techniques. Unlike the bulky “welding-type” gloves, a double layer of knit Kevlar and stretch cordura provides the dexterity as well as a level of protection while restraining. The gloves provide protection up to the elbow.

Our versatile gloves became certified as Fear Free Preferred Product in 2019 because of their ability to decrease patient and caregiver stress, making veterinary visits a positive experience. This means our products can be used by Fear Free certified practices and professionals, knowing that the use of our gloves are able to be used with compassionate handling techniques.

It’s not only bites and scratches that are a cause for concern in animal care, but also the spread of disease. Our gloves are water-resistant and machine washable, meaning you don’t have to rely upon the same pair of gloves for all your patients and they can be easily sanitized between uses. You can simply spray them down with whichever disinfectant you use to clean exam rooms, wiping them down with a paper towel or cloth and letting them dry completely before the next use. The ease of sanitizing the glove means the risk of transmission for both zoonotic and infectious diseases are minimized when done properly. Additionally, the gloves can be machine washed as well, which supports the One Health Initiative.

ArmOR Hand Protective Gloves are changing the way animal care is provided, one pair at a time. Pet owners love seeing that I am using a machine washable product made specifically for their pets. More providers are able to avoid injury while compassionately caring for their patients. See how our products can help you achieve “more feels and less force” today by learning more about ArmOR Hand® Protective Gloves . 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.