US 3882867 A
A wrap for use as a cold compress, preferably on the legs of horses, is disclosed. The wrap preferably includes a layer of highly compressed absorbent material, such as artificial sponge, a resilient net-like supportive backing sewn thereto and having a tongue extending from one end thereof, and adjustable fastening means whereby the wrap may be held in place on the leg. If compressed sponge material is used, it expands greatly upon being doused with water producing a firm fit. The fine net-like supportive backing promotes rapid evaporation by allowing maximum exposure of the water to the atmosphere, thus cooling the horse's leg.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Moran  Assignee: Troy Equine Products, Bordentown,
 Filed: Feb. 13, 1974  Appl. No.: 442,054
 U.S. Cl 128/254; 128/402  Int. Cl. A611 7/00  Field of Search 128/254, 165, 399, 402, 128/165, 169-171  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1902 Haglock 128/165 7/1940 Riley 128/399 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Italy 128/165 1 May 13,1975
478,563 11/1969 Switzerland 128/169 Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Sperry and Zoda  ABSTRACT A wrap for use as a cold compress, preferably on the legs of horses, is disclosed. The wrap preferably includes a layer of highly compressed absorbent material, such as artificial sponge, a resilient net-like supportive backing sewn thereto and having a tongue extending from one end thereof, and adjustable fastening means whereby the wrap may be held in place on the leg. If compressed sponge material is used, it expands greatly upon being doused with water producing a firm fit. The fine net-like supportive backing promotes rapid evaporation by allowing maximum exposure of the water to the atmosphere, thus cooling the horses leg.
12 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures LEG WRAP BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention is an accessory for use primarily on racing horses. It is well known that the legs of horses are quite delicate and therefore much is done to protect them before, during, and after a race.
The present invention relates to means for comforting and protecting the legs of a horse, and it consists essentially of a cold compress for application to the lower portion of a horses leg.
2. Description of the Prior Art After a horse has been in a race, and often at other times, it is desirable to place a cold compress on certain portions of the horses leg to afford protection and comfort. A number of similar devices have been patented for similar uses in the prior art, however, these have generally been semi-rigid supports or bandages or the like, primarily intended for support. Examples are US. Pat. Nos. 1,019,985, issued to McMahon; 2,937,487 issued to Dever; 3,209,617 issued to Hyman; and 3,338,028 issued to Freeman. Similar devices for human use include US. Pat. Nos. 2,560,712 issued to Bell and 3,674,023 issued to Mann.
No devices are known, however, which are suitable for use as a cold compress. Typically in the past a cold compress has been improvised by wrapping the leg with a bandage-like absorbent material and dousing it with water. Evaporation of the water then produces a cooling effect.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a leg wrap, preferably for use on a horse, as a cold compress. The construction of the wrap provides the particular advantages of easy use and high evaporative efficiency which is desirable for maximum cooling.
It consists essentially of absorbent material, such as sponge or the like, to which is sewn a net-like resilient, supportive backing. The absorbent material and resilient backing have similar shapes such that they may be wrapped firmly around a horses leg. The resilient backing preferably projects beyond the absorbent material at one end and includes fastening means whereby the wrap may be held in place.
After the wrap is fastened in place, it is doused with water to produce a cold compress. The resiliency of the backing serves to exert mild pressure on the leg while the net-like structure of the backing allows rapid evaporation of water from the sponge. Although the specific scientific phenomena which promote this rapid evaporation in this device are not certainly known, it does in fact, occur. It is theorized, however, that evaporation is promoted especially by a combination of capillary action in and between the fibers of the net-like resilient backing drawing water from the sponge, pressure of the resilient backing squeezing water from the sponge and the extensive exposure of water to the atmosphere provided by the spaces between the fibers of the resilient backing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded edge view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 illustrates the preferred shape in which this invention should be fabricated for application between the fetlock joint and hoof of a horses leg;
FIG. 4 illustrates the application of the invention to a horses leg; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective illustration of the embodiment of FIG. 3, showing the attachment of the invention to a horses leg.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention may be generally described as a leg wrap for the legs of horses providing the function of a cold compress.
As shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the invention has a first layer of absorbent mate rial 10, which lies against the horses leg, when the invention is applied thereto. Absorbent material 10 is preferably made from artificial cellulose or sponge which is preferably in a highly compressed, flat condition at the time of assembly and first application to the leg. In a prototype of this invention a piece of compressed sponge material was used which was originally about one-sixteenth of an inch thick with an appearance similar to that of cardboard. Upon wetting, however, the sponge quickly expands to over one-half of an inch in thickness, exposing numerous pores and taking the appearance of an ordinary household sponge.
Although it is conceivable that absorbent material 10 could be provided with fastening means and use as a wrap by itself, the preferred sponge material is not sufficiently strong when wet. Therefore, a band of supportive material 12 is attached, preferably by stitching around its perimeter, to one side of absorbent material 10. Such stitching is shown schematically in FIG. 2 by vertical lines 11. If absorbent material 10 is compressed sponge, as is preferred, the stitching operation will be quite simple. The supporting material itself is preferably resilient at least in the direction of wrapping around the circumference of the leg. Further, the supporting material 12 is preferably net-like, or mesh-like, to promote the rapid evaporation of water through the spaces therein. If the mesh is such as to present numerous but small spaces between the fibers, it is theorized that the small spaces will tend, by capillary action to draw water to the interface between the absorbent material 10 and the supportive material 12. However, since the spaces between the fibers are preferably numerous, a maximum of space will be presented for air to circulate thus promoting evaporation and good cooling characteristics. Additionally, the resiliency of the backing 12 will tend to squeeze water from the pores of the absorbent material 10. Notwithstanding any particular scientific principles, however, rapid evaporation has been observed to occur in this invention. Therefore this disclosure should not be construed to limit the invention to any particular scientific theory.
In practice it has been found that stitching the supportive material 12 directly to the absorbent material 10 causes the absorbent material 10 to curl or fold back from the horses leg when it is doused with water. This lowers the efficiency of the invention and sometimes causes chafing of the leg because of increased pressure along the line of the stitching. Therefore, to alleviate this problem, it is preferred that two strips of padding material 14 be sewn between the absorbent material and the supportive material 12. The particular dimensions, weight and consistency of this padding material 14 are not critical but should be sufficient to perform the functions of reinforcing and padding the area around the stitching. Conventional seam binding tape is suitable for these purposes. Of course, if the supportive material 12 is attached to the absorbent material 10 by means other than stitching, such padding material 14 may not be necessary.
Supportive material 12 is preferably dimensioned so that three of its edges are spaced approximately A to /2 inch from the edges of absorbent material 10. Along the fourth side, as shown in the drawing, supportive material 12 preferably extends beyond absorbent material 10 to form a tongue 16. In alternative embodiments tongue 16 may or may not be integral with supportive material 12. This configuration enables the preferably resilient supportive material 12 to be stretched as the horses leg is wrapped so that the compress will exert some pressure on the horses leg. The material of the tongue 16 is prevented from unraveling by the application of a strip of seam binding tape 17, as is conventional in many cloth items. At or near the free end of tongue 16, and at the opposite end of supportive material 12, are attached complimentary fastening means 18a and 18b. In a preferred embodiment the fastening means 18a and 18b may be a hook and pile type fastener often known as Velcro which is conveniently attached by stitching. Further, as shown in the drawings, it is preferred that the fastening means 18a and 18b incorporate a certain amount of adjustability into the wrap, as by providing several spaced strips of pile material, as at 18b, to any of which the strip of hook material 18a may be attached.
As described above, a general purpose wrap may be constructed in a generally rectangular shape for use anywhere on a horses or other animals leg. However, it is preferable in some applications to have a shaped wrap which will fit a particular contour of the leg. In a typical example, shown in FIG. 3 the wrap is cut and assembled generally in the shape of an arc. A wrap in this particular shape is particularly well suited for application to the leg between the fetlock joint 20 and hoof 22 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. Other shapes may also be convenient for application of the wrap to other areas of the leg, such as between the knee 24 and fetlock joint 20, also shown in FIG. 4.
It is contemplated that the present invention will be supplied to the user with absorbent material 10 comprising a compressed sponge material as previously described. Preferably, the wrap is placed on the horses leg with the absorbent material 10 remaining in this compressed state. Tongue 16 is preferably pulled around and fastened so that the wrap fits snugly on the leg. The wrap may then be doused with preferably cool water which will be instantly absorbed by the compressed absorbent material 10, causing it to expand. As the expansion occurs an even tighter fit will be produced, however, the resiliency of supportive material 12 and the natural softness of the sponge absorbent material 10 will prevent the fit from being too tight. Thus, the horses leg will be firmly wrapped and efficiently cooled for greater safety and comfort. Further, if the preferred hook and pile fasteners are used, the wrap may be easily applied even to highly spirited animals.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that many variations in the form and arrangement of the parts of this invention will be possible. The description and drawings often refer to particular shapes, dimensions, textures, methods of construction and other features which combine to provide the best configurations of this invention. However, none of these specifications are intended, and they should not be interpreted to limit the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. A wrap for use as a compress comprising a layer of dry absorbent material characterized by its ability to expand when moistened and dimensioned to be wrapped around an appendage of an animal, and a layer of reinforcing material overlying said layer of absorbent material and secured thereto to hold the absorbent material confined in contact with the surface to which it is applied, said reinforcing material having means thereon for holding the wrap in place when moistened to cause the absorbent material to expand.
2. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the reinforcing backing is pervious to liquids.
3. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the reinforcing backing has a net-like structure.
4. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the reinforcing backing has a fine mesh net-like structure of sufficient fineness to attract liquid from the absorbent layer by capillary action of liquid in and between the mesh fibers, while at the same time presenting a maximum exposure of water to the atmosphere between such fihers.
5. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the absorbent layer comprises a sponge.
6. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the absorbent layer comprises an artificial cellulose sponge which is in a highly compressed, flat state prior to being soaked with liquid.
7. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein said fastening means comprise a hook and pile type fastener.
8. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the reinforcing backing is stitched to the absorbent layer, and including, additionally, a strip of padding material between said reinforcing and absorbent layers along the lines of such stitching for the purposes of padding and reinforcing the areas of, and around, such stitches.
9. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein the reinforcing backing is also resilient.
10. A wrap as defined in claim 1 including additionally a tongue of resilient material extending from one end of said absorbent layer and having complementary portions of said attachment means located at or near the free end of such tongue and at or near the opposite end of the wrap.
11. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein said fastening means provides for adjustability of the wrap.
12. A wrap as defined in claim 1 wherein each of the components of the wrap is shaped so as to cooperate with the other components so that the wrap will fit and follow the contours of an appendage of an animal when applied thereto.