Superior Protection When Providing Care for Animals | ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves

Animal Innovations Show - Episode 76 - ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves

Superior Protection When Providing Care for Animals | ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves

Who knew something so simple as an animal bite injury can lead to an innovation that would help save animals’ and pet guardians’ lives?

That’s what experience has taught Dr. Laura Catena, a veterinarian who developed the ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves after she was bit by a cat early on in her veterinary career.

According to Dr. Laura,

“The bite resulted in extensive surgery. My joints became infected, and so, I had to have surgery to clean out the joints. I was in the hospital for a full week because of the cat bite. And then I had seven months of physical therapy to just regain the use of my hands.”

Dr Laura Catena's cat bite before inventing ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves

The experience opened Dr. Laura’s eyes to the reality of being in vet practice and how a simple bite and scratch, while common and may not sound so severe an injury, can still have a serious impact on people’s lives.

ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves as an Investment Against Painful and Expensive Animal Bites

According to the World Health Organization (2018), animal bites are one of the major causes of mortality around the globe.

In fact, approximately 5 million cases of dog and cat bites occur annually, with 400,000 of this number needing to be admitted to the ER.

And having suffered the effects firsthand, and faced with the possibility of no longer being able to use her left hand again nor practice veterinary medicine as a result of the severe injury, Dr. Laura racked her brains for a way to prevent the same experience from happening to other professionals like her.

“I wanted to make a difference for other animal caregivers, so I kept on thinking, ‘We need gloves that we can use.’ There’s no point in having a product that is not user-friendly,”

the vet said, thinking back.

At the time, the only thing that veterinarians like Dr. Laura had available were bulky, leather, welder gloves. It was the type of hand gloves that they themselves rarely use since they couldn’t restrain animals compassionately or properly with those pairs.

bulky leather welder gloves for vets

She added,

“The pet would just slip through your hands. It would cause more stress for the animal, the owner, the staff. And so, more often than not, we were just choosing to go without personal protection.”

So, having learned a valuable lesson, Dr. Laura took the time to come up with features that she wanted her protective gloves to have.

This would then lead to the development of the ArmOR Hand Gloves.

ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves Features You’ll Love

Wanting to change the way animal handlers provide care for animals worldwide, Dr. Laura designed ArmOR Hand Gloves to become machine-washable and offer superior flexibility and dexterity. To this end, she said,

“The gloves are reinforced in the high-risk injury areas of the hand. And it was very important for me to do compassionate, low-stress, safe animal handling with them. And that’s really how the idea came about.”

armor hand animal handling gloves

Apart from that, the gloves are made of synthetic/vegan materials, like stretch Cordura, which provides a strong stretch. A double layer of DuPont™-knit Kevlar also lines the entire hand, while Neoprene lines over the knuckles to increase flexibility.

Another strong point of the ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves is that they aren’t bulky. Consequently, you’ll have an idea about the amount of pressure you’re applying, which reduces the chances of injuries.

It’s also water-resistant and allows for greater motor control. According to their website, these features are part of what makes the hand gloves safe for even pregnant and immunocompromised animal caregivers.

armor hand animal handling gloves features

Sharing her vision for the future, Dr. Laura said,

“I really do want to get the gloves in all of the veterinary spaces… One of the missions behind ArmOR Hand Gloves is to really support veterinarians and also incorporate self-care. So, it’s important for me to get the message out that you deserve to be protected.”

 

 

Learn more about ArmOR Hand Animal Handling Gloves:

Check out their website at https://armorhandglove.com/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Dr. Catena: Hi. I’m Dr. Laura Catena, and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Excellent introduction, Dr. Laura.

So, welcome. Thanks for coming. Tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Dr. Catena: Thanks, Chris.

So, I developed the animal ArmOR Hand Gloves, and I developed the product after I was bit by a cat early on in my veterinary career. The bite resulted in extensive surgery.

My joints became septic, and so I had to have surgery to clean out the joints. I was in the hospital for a whole week because of the cat bite. And then I had seven months of physical therapy to just regain the use of my hands.

So, because of that injury, that is why I developed the ArmOR Hand Gloves. I wanted to make a difference for other animal caregivers.

And so I kept on thinking, we need gloves that we can use. There’s no point in having a product that is not user-friendly. It’s just going to sit there. The only thing that we had available to us historically, were these bulky leather welder gloves.

And with those gloves, we would rarely use them because you cannot restrain, compassionately or properly. The pet would just slip through your hands. It would increase more stress for the animal, the owner, the staff.

And so more often than not, we were just choosing to go without personal protection. And so I really— I took the time to think of exactly what I wanted in these gloves.

I wanted them to be machine washable, wanted them to offer superior flexibility and dexterity. The gloves are reinforced in, statistically, the high-risk injury areas of the hand. And it was very important for me to do compassionate, low stress, safe animal handling with them.

And that’s really how the idea came about—my whole week in the hospital.

Chris: So, I’m curious, how flexible are these? Can you make a full fist with them? Can you feel things through them? Give me some of those factors.

Dr. Catena: They are extremely flexible. I’m able to administer vaccines wearing them. So, I can give vaccines. I can a—There’s two styles.

The first style has the full fingertips coverage.

The second style is called the Procedure-Palpation Glove, and that has the first three fingertips exposed. And so the exposure is minimal. You still have the top of the hand, the bottom coverage, and up to the elbow.

But the benefit of those was: is you can palpate if you need to palpate—  a thyroid gland on a fractious cat, or you’re administering sedation for the procedure, We can—you can trim nails. There’s anything that you need to do in practice. You can absolutely do wearing the three open fingertipstyle.

But even with the full finger coverage, I’m able to give vaccines. I’m able to palpate certain areas of the abdomen with them, clean ears—you know.

So, it’s a very, very flexible product.

Chris: Now, have you gotten feedback and comments and stuff from people? It sounds like you’ve gone global now, right?

Are you getting feedback from people that are using it?

Dr. Catena: Yes, I’ve got an exceptional feedback.

So, I do post the reviews on the website. We also have a Facebook page, and I post the reviews there as well.

But I’ve heard—you know, wildlife rehabbers, that have been doing this for over 30 years. They tell me: This is the best investment they’ve ever made.

And that, to me, is huge. Because I really feel like with ArmOR Hand, we are changing the way that we can provide care.

You know—and I just, I love hearing that. I love hearing that—the rehabber stories, animal shelters, animal control, of course, veterinarians.

But anyway that we’re able to help animals and do it in a compassionate way is just, you know, that’s my whole passion behind the product.

Chris: What’s next?

Where do you see this going in the next five years? 

Dr. Catena: I really do want to get the gloves in all of the veterinary spaces. I think it’s important for veterinarians, technicians, everybody to just know that they’re worth kind of—it takes a second to put on that pair of gloves.

And in veterinary medicine, I think we struggle with so many different things. Unfortunately, there’s this huge epidemic of suicide in the profession.

And so, one of the missions behind ArmOR Hand is to really support veterinarians and also incorporate self-care. So, it’s important for me to get the message out that:

You deserve to be protected. We’re worth it.

We need to do this proactively for our health, our own wellbeing. And so really, I’m trying to get the gloves—just really to saturate the veterinary market so that, everybody has that protection that they deserve.

Chris: Dr. Laura, this has been really super cool, and learning about your journey and your passions. Is there anything else you wanted to share before we wrap things up today?

Dr. Catena: Thank you for this opportunity.

I think for people just to really— take a look at the website, kind of see what our mission is, how the gloves can benefit you.

Or if there’s any animal handler in your life that you know, it’s a good product and we’ve gotten a kind of good feedback on it. And so I’m really hopeful that it can help as many people as possible.

Chris: I absolutely love that. That’s a nice way to end the show.

And I will remind our viewers and listeners, if you’ve got an amazing idea like Dr. Laura did, she started with just an idea from a cat biting her, right.

So, if you got an idea for something that’s innovative, that can help animals and people, we want to know about it. Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW, and we’d love to have you on the show and talk to you like we did with Dr. Laura.

So, Dr. Laura, thank you again for coming on and sharing your story and what you’re doing, really exciting. And I really enjoyed the conversation.

Dr. Catena: Thank you, I did as well. Thanks you so much for your time, Chris.

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