US 3905367 A
A flexible limb cooling apparatus for wrapping about the limb of an animal and the like. The wrap comprises an impermeable outer layer and a permeable inner layer with fluid dispensing means disposed between said layers, and means for securing the wrap in an encircling condition about the limb.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Dapcich 1 LIMB COOLING APPARATUS  Inventor: John Bernard Dapcich, 903 Ashland St., Valley Cottage, NY. 10989 22 Filed: May 10, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 468,742
 US. Cl. 128/254; 128/268; 128/379; [28/400  Int. Cl. A61F 7/00  Field of Search 128/254, 268, 399, 400, [28/241, 402, 368, 379, 256, 258, 65, 66; 4/163  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 701,521 6/1902 Studley 128/66 UX [111 3,905,367 [451 Sept. 16, 1975 1,224,862 5/1917 Barker [28/258 2,544,381 3/1951 Goldmerstein.... 128/268 X 3,075,517 1/1963 Morehead 128/24.1
3,345,987 10/1967 Ediin 128/254 3,822,705 7/1974 Pilottemn 128/379 Primary ExaminerLawrence W. Trapp Attorney, Agent, or FirmLilling & Siegel 5 7] ABSTRACT A flexible limb cooling apparatus for wrapping about the limb of an animal and the like. The wrap comprises an impermeable outer layer and a permeable inner layer with fluid dispensing means disposed between said layers, and means for securing the wrap in an encircling condition about the limb.
18 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures USEF I 61975 PATENT saw 2 0f 2 FIG. 6
FIG. 7 F
LIMB COOLING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a limb cooling apparatus and more particularly to a device for moistening the legs of horses or other animals. The invention employs a flexible wrap comprising a plurality of layers and passage means for directing the flow of a fluid, such as water to a particular location in the wrap whereby the fluid can flow due to gravity to all areas of the wrap. The wrap further includes separable means for locking the wrap about the limb of an animal.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Prior known devices employ rigid boots which restrict the horse to a fixed location. In effect, the limbs of the horse are immobile and the horse is generally apprehensive and insecure. Such devices are impractical because of their bulkiness and they generally preclude a horse from walking while his limbs are being bathed or cooled. In this regard, see U.S. Pat. Nos. 353,428 and 3,234,935.
Other prior art devices incorporate additional features in boots, such as having means for applying dry heat or cold to the limb being treated. In addition, such boots may establish a circulation of the fluid by pump means whereby a hydrotherapeutic effect is achieved. See for example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,378,004. In another application, a limb cooling apparatus is combined with a splint and the device comprises an inflatable pressertype bandage or splint. The coolant is in the form of crushed ice or dry ice and is disposed in a cavity in the apparatus. See U.S. Pat. No. 3,561,435 and also U.S. Pat. No. 3,628,537, which deals with a self-retaining cold wrap embodying a sealed envelope-like structure and a pocket area for the refrigerant.
Another prior art device of the type analogous to the self-retaining cold wrap of U.S. Pat. No. 3,628,537 is the cold pressure bandage of U.S. Pat. No. 3,717,145 which enables a horse to move while the bandage is on, but such cold pressure bandage did not provide any means for wetting the limbs of a horse through the action of water flowing in a controlled manner about the area of the limb upon which the wrap is provided.
One of the first patents directed to an apparatus for eliminating the need for an attendant at a racing stable for spraying the feet or limbs of a horse with a garden hose was U.S. Pat. No. 127,875 which employed a ringlike device secured to the front legs of a horse. The ring-like device for each leg was connected to a common water sack secured to the neck of the horse and the water sack provided a flow of water to the rings for spraying the forelegs of a horse. In such apparatus, the feet may also be wrapped with flannel so as to serve to keep the legs moist upon being soakedwith the water discharging from the annular ring like sprinklers.
Thus, although prior art devices have been employed to cool or wet the legs or limbs of a horse. particularly racehorses. especially before and after a race, none provide a relatively compact wrap-like apparatus'which is capable of being applied in any position along the leg of a horse. and one which is comfortable to the horse in any application. Furthermore, none of the references disclose an improved limb cooling apparatus having a air of sheet material layers comprising a permeable inncr member and an impermeable outermember with passage means along one end thereof for dispersing the liquid to be discharged about the limb of the animal in a continuous manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, a limb cooling apparatus is provided for cooling the legs of a horse or the like. The apparatus is in the form of a flexible wrap adapted to be connectable to a water supply, and wherein a flexible fluid conveying means is disposed in said wrap and the wrap has passage means for discharging the fluid or water conveyed to the wrap. Means are also provided for securing same in position about a limb in a conformably encircling condition.
It is therefore a principle object of the invention to provide an adjustable limb cooling apparatus capable of fitting a limb of an animal in an'encirclin'g manner.
It is another object of the invention to provide passage means in a limb cooling apparatus for the dispensing of water downwardly in a direction from top to bottom so that the area treated is thereby cooled.
It is still a further object of the invention to provi de a removable absorbent layer detachably connected to the inner layer of the limb cooling apparatus.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, which: form a material part of the application.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a fragmentary view in elevation of the limb cooling apparatus employing the principles of the present invention and operative in position around the shank of a foreleg of a horse;
FIG.- 2 is.a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an inside plane view of the limb cooling ap paratus prior to application about the shank of a fore- FIGS. 4 and 4a are cross-sectional views, FIG. 4 being taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3; and FIG. 4a being a view similar to that of FIG. 4 but illustrating an alternate quick-disconnect fitting;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3; i
FIG. 6 is a plane view taken from the inside of an alternate embodiment of the invention;
FIGS. 7 and 7a are cross-sectional views taken along the lines 77 and 7u7a of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, similar to that of FIG. 2, but illustrating the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 7; and v FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view, similar to that of FIG. 7, but illustrating another alternate embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-5, a first embodiment of the limb cooling apparatus 10 is illustrated wrapped about the shank or cannon 12 of a foreleg or forelimb of a horse. It will be noted that the limb cooling apparatus of the invention is of a predetermined size enabling the apparatus to be wrapped around any portion of the leg of a horse, be it therelatively narrow portion adjacent the hoof or the substantially wider upper portion of a foreleg adjacent the body of the horse. In this embodiment. a plurality of parallel straps 14 suitably secured to the limb cooling apparatus, for example, along a marginal edge thereof or same may even extend inwardly a substantial length, and a plurality of cooperatively associated catch elements or receiving means 16 are provided on the outer surface of the limb cooling apparatus and these parts provide the adjustable means to the appara tus for accommodating any position of the device about the leg of an animal.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the strap elements 14 are separable and independent of the wrap and all of such connectible elements comprise strips of material having co-operativcly associated hook and eye elements, such as those conventionally known in the trade as a Velcro fastener, a registered trademark of the Velcro Corporation of America. Thus, the strap elements 14 may comprise the hook portion of such a Velcro fastener and the cooperatively associated means or elements 16 on the outer portion of the wrap or limb cooling apparatus comprise the other mating part of the co-operatively associated Velcro fastener. Of course, any conventional fastening means may be applied in the practice of the invention, so long as same is free to yield upon sufficient pressure or shear forces being applied thereto and same permits a plurality of adjustments thereby enabling the wrap to fit a plurality of cross-sectional tubular portions, representative by areas of, for example, a leg ofa horse, whether front or rear leg, be it the ankle, chin, hock, or lower stifle.
The limb cooling apparatus 10 comprises a plurality of layers, each of which substantially forms a sheet approximating a rectangular element of about 14 by 18 inches. The inner panel or sheet 18 comprises a permeable layer and the outer panel or sheet comprises an impermeable layer. If desired, an intermediate layer 19a (see FIGS. 6-8) may also be employed in the practice of the invention so as to provide the wrap or limb cooling apparatus 10 with some body and drapeability" to the device. It is preferable in the practice of the invention when employing an intermediate layer to utilize an impermeable material, such as a natural or synthetic rubber material, which would aid in protecting the outer panel 20 from deteriorating due to the moisture and water constantly being discharged against the inner surface of said outer panel. Such outer panel 20 in time would conceivably disintegrate or rot or otherwise become inoperable in maintaining the moisture within the wrap and therefore such intermediate panel would extend the life of the device in the long run. It will be appreciated that where an intermediate layer or panel is employed, it is substantially identical in size to the inner and outer panels and is likewise secured to same in any suitable manner, such as about the periphery thereof and possibly about any other portion thereof, say along diagonal or transverse lines so that such panels are fixedly secured together, as best shown in FIGS. 6-8. Of course, it is also possible for such layers to be made in the form ofa composite or in the form ofa lamination wherein the layers are secured together, such as by discrete adhesive areas.
The inner panel 18 is preferably made of woven, inert and porous fabrics, formed, for example, from synthetic polymeric fibers, such as polyester, Dacron, a registered trademark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. of Wilmington, Del., nylon; or modocrylic fibers,
Dynel, a registered trademark of the Union Carbide Corporation of 270 Park Ave, New York, N. Y., and coated glass fiber cloth or other like material having a permeable property so as to allow the water being discharged from the passage means to pass therethrough thereby coming into contact with the animals leg, and one which is also porous, but not degraded by the continuous Contact with water or in a wet environment. Furthermore, such inner panel becomes soaked with the liquid or water being discharged thereto and such water or moisture is maintained about the animals leg by the impermeable outer panel, which is preferably of a flexible material, for example a thermoplastic sheet material, such a material identified by the trademark Naugahyde, a trademark of the US. Rubber Corporation (now called Uniroyal Company) of New York, N. Y. Of course, the outer panel 20 may be made of any suitable material having the properties of being impermeable, such as a natural or synthetic rubber or even a thermosetting material, as long as it is flexible to enable the limb cooling apparatus to be easily wrapped about any portion of the leg of an animal. The intermediate water-proof layer may be employed with any combination of inner and outer panels, and it is desirable to use same where the outer, panel is of a material which lacks body and drapeability and is otherwise not sufficiently strong enough to provide a generally sturdy looking and strong limb cooling wrap which can take considerable punishment under all conditions of operation, particularly where a horse may be walked with the wraps on the legs, although in such case the water supply would generally be disconnected, althout it is not absolutely necessary that same be the case. It should be appreciated that the wrap of the present invention is capable of retaining sufficient moisture content to continually cool the limbs of a horse if the animal was walked for about a half-hour or so. Thereafter, the wrap can be re-hooked up to a water supply for further cooling of the horses limbs.
It will be appreciated that the panels may be secured together by any suitable means, such as stitching, thermosealing, solvent sealing, ultrasonically welded, or by any other means suitable or compatible with the materials employed in the practice of the invention.
The water passage means 22 is suitably suupplied by means of a hose or other type supplied and as best shown in FIG. 3. The passage means 22 is disposed along one marginal portion of the wrap and is connected by means of a suitable angled connector 24, for precluding kinking at the elbow of the passage means, to another passage means 26 disposed along an adjacent marginal portion of the wrap. The passage means 26 is not provided with any apertures, but relatively small slits or apertures are provided at 28 in the passage means 22 for dispensing the water downwardly against the limb in a controlled continuous flow. The passageway conveying the Water is suitably sealed at its dead end as at 29. It will be appreciated that the passage means 22 and 26 are suitably held in position by any means similar to the means employed for fastening the layers together. Thus, for example, stitching as at 30 analogous to the stitching 32 provided about the periphery of the wrap, is employed to maintain the passage means 22 and 26 in place within the wrap. It will be appreciated that the passage means 22 and 26 comprise flexible tubing, such as a low density polyethylene or other suitable material such as a Tygon tubing, a
trademark of the U.S. Stoneware Corporation, or any other like material. Such tubing docs-not interfere with the wrapability of the limb cooling apparatus about the limb of an animal-and further is relatively strong and such tubing can be joined by connectors 24 readily by any suitable means, such as clamping, adhesives or by frictional fittings, as best illustrated in FIGS. I and 4. As shown in FIG. 4,.a relatively short connecting piece 34, similar to the right angle connector 24, is suitably wedged by frictional means tightly within the inner di ameter of the passage means 26. Such connection means is fluid tight and. virtually impossible to break due to the tapering surface 36which tightly sealsjbc cause of its interaction in weding the,tz ipering surface 36 against the inner surface of the passage means26 by stretching the end of the tube 26. It is believed that a vacuum is set up between the smooth and clean con tacting surfaces of the mating parts and such condition precludes the separation of the parts. .The connecting piece 34 is made of a thermoplastic material and com prises an element having tapering ends. Suitable beads 38 and 40 may be provided at one end for connecting to a plastic supply hose, such a polyethylene tubing 42.
In FIG. 4a, an alternate connection is shown, such as the quick-connect, disconnect frictionah fitting (straight type) 34' manufactured and sold by the Bel- Art Products Company of Pequannock, N. J. 07440 and identified by said company by its Cat. No. 19729; This fitting comprises co-operatively associated male 34" and female 34" elements, each having an opposite end engageable with the inner diameter of a suitable plastic tubing. I
As best shown in FIG. 1, thetubing 42 s connected to one fork of a suitable Y-connector 44, such as one manufactured by the Bel-Art Products Company and identified in Cat. No. 19673. The other fork of the Y- connector44is connected to another suitable tubin g which connects to another limb cooling apparatus for a second leg of the animal such as the two front legs or two rear legs. The yoke portion of the Y-connector44 is suitably connected to a garden hose type of supply which is readily available at any racetrack, breeding farms, or other stable where animals are maintained and require treatment or use of such limb cooling apparatus. It is also within the scope of the invention to employ lay-flat tubing with appropriate clamping means for connecting joints to serve as the passages 22, 26. Other suitable fittings manufactured by Bel-Art and applicable in the present apparatus is a 90 elbow'identifi'ed as Cat. No. 19676 (which can be used in lieu of elbow- 24).
Theconnecting element 34 extendsoutwardly from between the layers or panels 18, and at such area, the panels are not secured together so as to permit the connecting element 34 to extend therethroughfThe connector 24 is identical to the connector 34, except that it has been heated to provide a right angle bend. Of course. the passage means 22, 26 may comprise a single element disposed along the marginal edges as shown in FIG. 3 with only the portion along the top marginal edge having the perforations or apertures 28 for permitting the liquid or water'toflow down about the interior of the wrap so as to soak and wet the limb of the animal being treated or using the apparatusof the present invention. End 29 of the passage means 22.
is sealed off by any suitable means. such as thermosealing, so as to preclude the escape of any fluid therefrom. The marginal portion of the wrap where the connecting element;34.extends outwardly is considered the bottom portion of the wrap inasmuch as the liquid or water is pumped, to the wrap from the bottom thereof so that thefluid flows downwardly due to the action of gravity. It will be. appreciated that with the type of connection between the beads 38 and 40 of the connecting joint 34 and the polyethylene tubing .42 is such that the tubing simply slips or stretches about such beads and is maintained in position without the need for additional clamps orothcr securing means. Such connection enables the ,quick disconnect of the tubing from the fitting if the horse or other animal rears upwardly or otherwise moves in such a manner as to endanger himself if the connection was a positive type. It is therefore a safety feature that the tubing 42 be frictionally disposed about the connecting element 34 so that the attending per sonnel need not be concerned if the horse becomes frightened for some reason and gallops away from the area where the horse is being treated. I
The preferred embodiment of the invention further provides foradetachable inner element 46, such as a soft, highly absorbent terry-cloth like material. Any other suitable material, even a soft foam layer may be employed as long asit is of the open cell type since such inncraccessory maintains a bath-likereservoir within the wrap and pecludes any fluid or watcrfrom squirting outwardly about the upper and lower ends of the wrap should the pressure be such to normally cause a fast flow from the wrap. Such soft absorbent layer 46enablesthedevice to providea soaking, cold compress about the limb of the animal and thisidevice is preferably removablefrom the limb cooling apparatus so that it can be washed or. otherwise cleaned and can be replaceable when it wears out. The soft layer 46 may also therefore be suitably connectable, to the limb cooling apparatus 10 by.means of co-operatively associated hook and loop elements, such as noted hereinabove in connectionwith the straps 14. Such elementswould therefore also comprise VELCRO strips 48 secured to both one marginal edge of the soft layer 46 and a marginal, portion of the wrap 10. 7
It will be appreciated that the soft layer 46 is not absolutely necessary and in the embodiments of FIGS. 69, no such inner removable layer 46 is shown. Furthermore, in, these alternate embodiments of the invention, like elements are provided with like reference numberals so asto enable one to readily perceive the alternate construction, Thus, the passage means 22a need; not necessarily bedisposed between the innter and outer layers 18, 20, but can} simply be fixedly secured in place by a shortened permeable strip of material 18a. This strip of material 18a is simply suitably secured in position about the inside marginal portions of the limbcooling apparatus and the operation of the wrap is the same as that of the wrap illustrated in FIGS.
l-S. Another suitable strip of material 58 may be used to securely hold the passage means 260 in place.
In order to provide the apparatus of the invention with considerable adjustment and also to provide a safety feature for the automatic releasing of the apparatus when such device is used in usual operating conditions. such as if a horse bends his limb in such a manner,- the device will in effect pop open or pop loose.
Thus, in this connection, the receiving means 1611 are sufficiently long to provide an adjustment so that the apparatus can be used around any portion of a limb, be it the narrow diametric portion adjacent the ankle or the large diametric portion adjacent the hocks. The smaller receiving means 16/) shown in FIG. 721 is rela tively short in length, approximating 1V2 inches, and it is generally this portion of the means for securing the apparatus around a limb which gives first under harsh operating conditions or if the animal bends its limb thus precluding injury to the animal if the animal finds the apparatus disagreeable or annoying. In general the device of the invention when properly secured can withstand considerable abuse so that even if the horse is walking or galloping, in its normal operation the device will hold fast. However, the safety means comprising the separate strap means and receiving means are analogous to a safety ski binding to a certain extent which releases a ski boot from a ski when predetermined forces are acting on the binding.
In FIG. 9, there is no intermediate layer and strip 18b of permeable material holds the passage means 26b in place.
The connecting elements 24, 34 may be made, for example, from a Davol catheter fitting, a trademark of the Davol Corporation, but it will be appreciated that any other suitable type of fitting may be employed in the practice of the invention. The tubing may be of the clear type, although it is not necessary. In addition, the apertures or holes in the passage means 22 are of a predetermined size so as to provide sufficient'flow to saturate the terry-like inner removable cloth layer, but'not create a flood-like condition. In the practice of the invention, it has been found sufficient for the passage means 22, 26 to be approximately /s inch'plastictubing with /8 inch diameter apertures 28 on /4 inch centers. The apertures may comprise circular holes or holes of other shape, such as a diamond shape. It will be appreciated that all layers of material are substantially thin and relatively soft so that the wrap when used is comfortable to the animal.
As best shown in FIG. 7a, the separate straps 14a are removably joined to their co-operatively associated receiving means 16b which are secured to the outer surface of the wrap adjacent a marginal edge portion by suitable stitching means a.
It will therefore be seen that the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention, and further since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and consequently all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A limb cooling apparatus for cooling the legs of a horse or the like adapted to be connectible to a water supply comprising: a flexible wrap having an impermeable outer surface, flexible fluid conveying means in the form ofa tubular conduit disposed in said wrap and having passage means for discharging the fluid conveyed by said flexible conveying means; said conduit having a closed end and being disposed along at least one marginal edge of said wrap; said passage means comprising a plurality of apertures extending from said closed end and beingdisposed along the upper portion of said wrap when in use so as to permit the fluid adapted to be discharged from said apertures to flow downwardly against the inner surface of said wrap and along said limb portion; and means securing said wrap in position on a limb, wherein said flexible wrap may be conformably applied around and held in place about substantially any portion of a'limb' in an encircling condition.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, said wrap including a thin. permeable inner layer,- and said fluid conveying means being disposed between said inner permeable layer 'and said impermeable outer surface of said wrap. I
3. The apparatus according to claim 2,'wherein said impermeable outer surface of said wrap is a thin, separate layer, and said permeable inner layer and said separate outer layer are fastened together and comprise flat, sheet material disposed in a back-to-back relationship, and said impermeable outer surface being a sheet of thermoplastic material. I
4. The apparatus according to claim 3, including an additional layer of soft, absorbent material removably attached to said inner layer.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said soft, absorbent material is a porous, flexible foam layer.
6. The apparatus according to claim 2, including an intermediate layer disposed between said permeable inner layer and said impermeable outer surface of said wrap, and said intermediate layer being resilient and flexible. I i
7. The apparatus accordingto claim 6, wherein said intermediate layer is impermeable rubber-like material and is disposed between said impermeable outer surface of said wrap and said fluid conveying means.
8 The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said wrap is rectangularin shape, and said means for securing comprising a plurality of spaced strap means adapted to be engageable with a plurality of spaced cooperatively associated receiving means disposed on the outer surface of said wrapfor releasably securing said wrap in an overlapping engagement with itself about saidlimb portion. I l
9. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said strap means and said receiving means comprise raised pile means in the form of interlocking and separable hook and loop fibers extending froma substrate.
10. The apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said receiving means are secured to the outer surface of said wrap and comprise a pair of spaced receiving means, the plurality of receiving means foreach spaced pair being of a length sufficient to, provide considerable adjustment to said apparatus and so as to provide a release of one or more of said straps from said receiving means when said apparatus is under harsh operating conditionsand use.
11. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said fluid conveying means is provided at one end with a connecting element for releasable connection to a fluid supply conduit.
12. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said soft, absorbent material is relativelythicker than said inner and outer layers and is made from a towel-like cloth material.
-13. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said inner layer is made from a woven, inert porous material. I, c I
14. The apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said separate layer is made from a vinyl material.
15. The apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said inner layer is secured to said impermeable outer surface of said wrap and said intermediate layer, and said inner layer extends about said fluid conveying means forming a pocket-like passageway for accommodating said conveying means in a fixed relationship with respeet to said wrap.
16. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein said inner layer, said outer separate layer and said intermediate layer form a rectangular shaped wrap and said layers in a backto-back relationship form a threeply construction.
17. The apparatus according to claim 15, including an additional layer of soft. absorbent material removably attached to said flexible wrap.
18. A limb cooling apparatus for cooling the legs of a horse or the like adapted to be eonnectible to a water supply comprising: a flexible wrap having an impermeable outer surface, flexible fluid conveying means disposed in said wrap and having passage means for discharging the fluid conveyed by said flexible conveying means, means securing said wrap in position on a limb; said flexible wrap adapted to be conformably applied around and about substantially any portion of a limb in an encircling condition; said fluid conveying means having a quick-disconnect fitting adapted for connection to a fluid supply conduit, and said fitting is provided at the bottom of said wrap, whereby fluid flow in said wrap is first directed upwardly to said passage means for discharging said fluid and thereafter said fluid flows downwardly due to gravitational action against the inner surface of said wrap and along said limb portion.