Episode 19: A closer look at veterinary bandage art

October 5, 2020
dvm360 Staff

On this episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, artist and emergency department technician in human medicine Jack DeWees talks with Dr. Christman about his newfound passion—veterinary bandage art.

Jack DeWees, an emergency department technician at Stanford Health Care in California and a longtime artist, started making 3-D figures out of Coban wrap for pediatric patients to help ameliorate stressful situations.

Now he’s using his bandage art to calm pet owners during clinic visits, who during the pandemic, have had limited interaction with their pets. “I’m just trying to make the best out of a bad situation,” he says.

DeWees says he first felt the call to work within the veterinary space when he said his last goodbyes to his dog of 18 years. He tells Dr. Christman that the veterinary staff had handed him a blue bandage with a heart on it to honor his beloved animal companion—a simple gesture that meant so much to him and his wife. “It’s been months, and I still have it framed,” he tells Dr. Christman.

“I appreciated the work that [veterinarians] were doing with bandage art, I thought it was such a unique concept that needed to be practiced more,” he says.

DeWees explains that he was surprised that with the number of talented artists creating veterinary bandage art, there was no central place to curate their work. That's why he launched an Instagram page and a website to serve as a community hub for artists, allowing them to showcase their work and "legitimize the practice of utilizing bandage art in all fields.”

DeWees makes a wide variety of bandage art for veterinary patients, a process that can take him hours to complete, but he says it’s worth it. Some bandages feature fun cartoon characters like Sonic The Hedgehog and Yogi Bear. Others are customized with clinic logos on them. He's also creating tutorials to help others learn how to make bandage art.

Listen below to learn more about DeWees’s unique artwork.