Friday, August 12, 2011

Gloves (Latex and Rubber)

Ok, so I got my first pair of gloves (latex) on an earlier transport (Buddy) because his foster thought I might need a pair (Buddy had a hurt leg and was getting surgery). It turned out I didn't need them for that transport but being the horder I am I tossed them in my little plastic crate and assumed that maybe one day I would need them.

For once I was right. At one point I picked up a litter of seven puppies who had previously had a skin condition which could be contagious to humans. I found this out once I was already at the pick up and needed to transfer the pups from one crate to another. The last transport was using a wipe on her hands and unfortunately hadn't had any gloves. I loaned her another great tool from my kit, hand sanitizer, and as I stared at the pups, I realized, "Oh my god I still have the gloves from Buddy's transport!" I opened my kit and sure enough, there was the pair of gloves, almost 5 months later.
Rubber Gloves in 3 lengths

The pair i had just barely covered my wrists, but they did the job and even though the pups later tested as clean (nothing contagious) you still have to be cautious. As much as I love dogs, I would not love to exchange Sarcoptic Mange which is also called Scabies (aka the seven year itch, ouch!).  Gloves are one way you can help prevent the transfer of these ailments.

There are several types which can be helpful. The first are Rubber Gloves, like the ones associated with cleaning house. These come in several sizes and lengths. Some lengths only cover just to the wrist while others cover most of the forearm.

Obviously coverage is the benefit here, and these gloves can be reused. The down-side is that if you are going to reuse them, you'll need to sanitize them to protect other dogs. These can cost up to about 2 dollars a pair, I would not pay more than that. You can find these at places like your local pharmacy.

Latex Gloves.
Latex Gloves are the other option. These also come in various sizes and sometimes you can find longer ones, but the standard is just above the wrist. These are slightly less durable that the rubber gloves, but they do help to protect against transmission of parasites or disease.

The benefit is protection and that these are disposable, one use and then toss them. They are also fairly cheap, with 100 gloves (50 pairs) at about $5-$7. The down side is that they only protect the hands and wrists (not the forearm like the long rubber gloves) and are a little less durable.

PLEASE NOTE: Some people are ALLERGIC to Latex. There are other non-latex gloves that these people can use (like Nitrile gloves). Before you loan gloves to other people, please ask if they are allergic to Latex, it takes seconds and could save lives including their own!

Also, gloves can come powdered or plain. Really this part is up to you. I prefer powdered because when it's hot it helps keep my hands dry.

Whether it is just one pair you stash aside for a "rainy day" or an entire box of gloves, they can not only protect us from ailments, but can also come in handy when dogs create little messes that need to be cleaned. Do yourself a favor and stash a pair in your kit. You never know when or why you'll need them!

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