A Vetrap™ bandage is a flexible and porous self-adhesive bandage commonly used in veterinarian medicine. Made by a company called 3M, Vetrap™ bandages are normally available in 5-yard (4.6-meter) rolls in 2-inch (5-cm), 3-inch (7.6-cm) and 4-inch (10.1-cm) widths and come in a wide variety of colors. Vetrap™ products are typically found at veterinarian clinics as well as pet and farm supply stores. The bandage has gained popularity in recent years due to its wide variety of uses for animals of all sizes.
Traditionally, veterinarians had to rely on fabric bandages or plaster casts for treating injuries and covering wounds. Because most animals do not tolerate bandages well, fabric bandages were often chewed or rubbed off by the animal, sometimes causing more injury. Because of this, fabric bandages had to be reapplied several times each day. Plaster casts, while useful for breaks, severely limit movement, which can prolong healing times. The flexible nature of the weave of a Vetrap™ bandage supports the limb while allowing a limited range of movement that promotes healing.
Many veterinarians prefer Vetrap™ bandages for most types of injuries. When applied over a cotton or fabric dressing, the bandage is wrapped around the limb, providing protection from moisture and dirt. Because the material is self-adhesive, there is no need for clips or tape. This is important in veterinary medicine because many animals can ingest bandage closures should they attempt to remove the bandage. The ease of use of a Vetrap™ bandage has made it popular with not only veterinarians, but also animal owners as well.
Vetrap™ bandages are particularly popular with horse owners. Horse owners most commonly use Vetrap™ bandages with a soft cotton blanket for supporting the legs during heavy work. Traditional leg wraps and polo wraps tend to slip with the movement of the horse, and can pose a safety risk to both the horse and rider alike should they come undone. While a Vetrap™ bandage is designed for one use, the relatively low cost makes it a practical bandage choice.
Because the Vetrap™ bandage is so thin, it also has become popular for holding poultices to horse's hoofs. Before Vetrap™ was available to individual owners, most owners relied on an infant diaper to protect the hoof when an abscess on the hoof occurred. Vetrap's™ thin nature and flexibility allows a horse owner to completely wrap the hoof without the bulk associated with other bandages.
While a Vetrap™ bandage is most traditionally used for holding sterile dressings securely over animal wounds, its advantages over other forms of bandages is making it popular for humans as well. Many gymnasts have found that Vetrap's™ ability to support the limbs is useful for protecting the wrists and ankles during gymnastic events. The lack of closures also means that the gymnast can move freely without worrying about closures popping off. The bandages bright colors also make it a popular choice because they can coordinate with a variety of uniforms. Aside from providing support, a Vetrap™ bandage is an excellent addition to a first aid kit, as it can be used along with a sterile bandage to put pressure on a wound to reduce blood loss.