US 3911925 A
A surgical instrument in the form of forceps especially adapted for use in trimming ears of dogs, and the like, has a pair of jaw members pivotally connected together for movement toward and away from one another. A pin is provided on one of the jaw members adjacent the pivot point thereof and arranged extending toward the other of the jaw members for permitting the forceps to be anchored to an ear.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent T illery, Jr.
[451 Oct. 14, 1975 EAR TRIMNHNG FORCEPS Joe B. Tillery, Jr., 4560 Eastwood Road, Jackson, Miss. 39206 Filed: May 23, 1974 Appl. No.: 472,804
OTHER PUBLICATIONS Redo, A New Clamp for Gastrointestinal Surgery,
Surgery, V01. 4C, No. 2, Aug., 1959, pp. 421, 422.
McElmoyle, Two New Gastrectomy Clamps, The Langet, 265, Ju1y 1953, p. 169.
Primary ExaminerRichard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerRick Opitz Attorney, Agent, or Firm-C1arence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT A surgical instrument in the form of forceps especially adapted for use in trimming ears of dogs, and the like, has a pair of jaw members pivotally connected together for movement toward and away from one another. A pin is provided on one of the jaw members adjacent the pivot point thereof and arranged extending toward the other of the jaw members forpermitting the forceps to be anchored to an ear.
4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 14,1975 3,911,925
EAR TRIMMING FORCEPS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to a surgical instrument, and particularly to forceps adapted for simplifying ear trimming operations on dogs and other pets.
2. Description of the Prior Art It is standard practice to trim the ears of certain breeds of dogs, such as Boxers, Great Danes, and Doberman Pinschers, and similar pets, in order to enhance the appearance of the pet. As common as this surgery is, however, it is normally a difficult operation which, if not performed properly, will detract rather than enhance the pets appearance.
A conventional manner of trimming dogs ears is to place the ear in a clamp, or forceps, and hold the ear until it is securely fastened. This procedure, however, increases the chance of slippage when the clamp is being tightened on the ear and creates great risk in the actual excision. Further, this known procedure generally requires the surgeon to have one or more assistants. Another difficulty encountered with the known procedure is that all of the clamps employed are of such a nature that the ear cannot be trimmed close enough to the animals face to get a smooth blending of the ear into its associated head.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide forceps especially adapted for trimming the ears of pets.
It is another object of the present invention to provide forceps which can assure uniform trimming of both ears of an animal with a minimum of variation in size and shape of the trimmed ears.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a physical instrument for trimming ears, and the like, which permits a trimming operation to be per formed by only the surgeon.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a surgical instrument for use in ear trimming operations which is simple of construction and easy to use.
These and other objects are achieved according to the present invention by providing a surgical instrument in the form of forceps having: a pair ofjaw members; a pivot arranged for pivotally mounting the jaw members for movement toward and away from one another; and a pin provided on one of the jaw members and disposed adjacent the pivot for permitting the forceps to be anchored to an ear being trimmed. Advantageously, a further pin is provided on the jaw members at a point spaced from the pivot, and a pair of apertures are provided on the jaw members, with each aperture arranged for selectively receiving a respective one of the pin and further pin.
ing the forceps adjacent the tragus of the ear and along a line from the anchor pin to the length mark previ ously made. The ear may now be stretched to remove wrinkles while the forceps are loosely closed on the ear, and the forceps closed tightly on the stretched ear once the wrinkles have been removed. Now the forceps are rotated laterally to expose the area of the ear between the forceps blades, or jaw members, and the tragus of the ear. Prior to making the excision, it is preferred that the forceps be removed from the one ear and the above steps repeated on the other ear so as to ensure substantially identical trimming of both ears. The forceps may then be re-clamped on the one ear and the ear excised on a medial side of the forceps from the top of the ear to the base thereof.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly cut away and in section, showing a surgical instrument according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, side elevational view, showing to a larger scale a detail of the instrument of FIG. 1 with the jaws of the instrument in a moved position from FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the first step in an ear trimming operation using a surgical instrument according to the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, perspective view showing a further step in an ear trimming operation using an instrument according to the present invention.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing yet another step in an ear trimming operation performed with an instrument according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 3 of the drawings, a forceps 10 according to the present invention is constructed from a pair of crossed levers 12 and 14 arranged scissors-style with opposed jaw members 16 and 18 extending in one direction from the pivot and handle portions 20 and 22 extending from the pivot in the direction opposed to the direction of extension of the jaw members 16, 18. Finger rings 24 and 26 terminate handle portions 20 and 22 as is conventional. A pivot 28, which may be in the form of a pin, rivet, screw, and the like, is arranged at the pivot point of levers 12, 14 for pivotally mounting same and their associated jaw members l6, 18 for movement of the jaw members 16, 18 toward and away from one another. As will be appreciated, the structure discussed thus far is conventional and similar to that used on standard forceps and similar clamping instruments.
A pin 30 and further pin 32 are provided on, for example, respective ones of jaw members 16 and 18. Pin 30 is arranged on jaw member 18 adjacent pivot 28, and extends toward jaw 16 for permitting the forceps 10 to be anchored to an ear to be trimmed. Pin 32 is arranged at the outermost end of, for example, jaw 16 so as to be spaced from both pin 30 and pivot 28. A pair of apertures 34 and 36 are provided on jaw members 16 and 18, each aperture 34, 36 being arranged for selectively receiving a respective one of pins 30 and 32. Provision of the apertures permits the blades or jaw members l6, 18 of forceps 10 to come together in a parallel plane.
As can be readily seen from FIGS. 1 to 3 of the drawings, pin 30 is disposed on one of the jaw members, member 18 being illustrated, and pin 32 disposed on the other of the jaw members, member 16 being illustrated, with apertures 34 and 36 being arranged accordingly. It will be appreciated, however, that the pins could be disposed on the same one of the jaw members if so desired.
While dimensions of a forceps 10 according to the present invention will of necessity vary as to the size of the instrument, a forceps having blade widths at the hinge or pivot 28 of 5/16 inches and at pin 32, which functions as an alignment pin in a manner to be described below, of 5/32 inches, with pin 30, being the anchor pin, spaced approximately 4 inches from the adjacent face of the enlarged portion of the associated lever has been found satisfactory. For dimensions such as these, the inter-blade space at pin 30 may be approximately 3/16 inches. At least two sizes of forceps are necessary to accommodate most sizes of dogs. One size has been fabricated for toy breeds such as Miniature Schnausers, Offenpincers, and the like, and another size has been fabricated for larger dogs such as Boxers and Doberman Pincers. Some difficulty has been encountered in adapting an instrument according to the present invention to the ear cropping of Great Danes.
The forceps 10 according to the present invention is advantageously employed for facilitating ear trimming operations as follows:
1. The length of each ear 38, 40, of an animal such as a dog 42 whose ears are to be trimmed, is determined by any suitable means or method at the surgeons option, and a distinct mark or cut is made in a suitable manner at this point on the anterior edge of the ear 38, 40. While FIGS. 4 through 6 of the drawings show an operation being performed only on car 38, it is to be understood that the operation on ear 38, will be identical to that to be performed on ear 40.
2. Forceps 10 is applied to an ear 38, 40 with anchor pin 30 pointing down, as is shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The edge of forceps 10 should be adjacent to the tragus of the ear. The forceps 10 should be lying across the ear in the general area of the mark made in step 1. Now close forceps l0 and set anchor pin 30 in a hole made through the ear 38, 40. FIG. 4 of the drawings shows a surgeons hand 44 holding ear 38, while the surgeons other hand 46 manipulates forceps 10. The blade or jaw member 18 associated with pin 30 should be arranged adjacent to the edge of the auricular cartilage of the animals ear.
3. Cross the blades or jaw members 16, 18 of forceps 10 arranged, as mentioned above, along a line from anchor pin 30 to the length mark made in step 1. The ear is now stretched as by hand 44 to remove any wrinkles in the skin or cartilage of the ear. Forceps 10 is now closed tightly such that alignment pin 32 passes into its associated aperture 36 and is held securely in place. Sufficient pressure should be applied to forceps 10 to prevent slippage of ear 38 in the clamp formed by jaw members l6, l8.
4. With the forceps 10 still tightly applied to the ear that is, with forceps 10 held securely closed the surgeon should check for slippage by pulling laterally on the ear. See FIG. 5 of the drawings. Now rotate forceps l0 laterally to expose the area of the ear between the jaw members and the tragus, or auricular cartilage, of the ear. The ear should now be excised at this time. Now repeat the measuring procedure outlined above on the other ear, 40, again noting the space between the forceps and tragus. If necessary, the spacing of each ear may be re-checked several times, provided the same anchor pin holes are used to ensure the space will be the same each time. The space referred to above must be identical on both ears before the actual cropping.
5. The stretch is appliedto the ear as shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings, with anchor pin set and forceps 10 loose enough to allow free movement of the ear within the blades. When the ear is free of ridges and wrinkles, apply enough pressure to the clamps of the forceps 10 to prevent slippage and excise the ear on the medial side of the clamps, or jaw members l6, 18, from the top ofthe ear to the base thereof. The same amount of stretch should, of course, be applied to each ear38, 40 to assure the same bell size and shape.
6. The tragus and part of the auricular cartilage is left and must be trimmed to blend the ear into the face of the dog 42, and the like. Minor shaping is usually necessary at the base of the ear to blend the crop into the head.
Steps 4 and 5 above may now be repeated on the other ear, 40, using the same anchor pin hole as previously made during step 4 above.
The ear 38, 40 may be stitched or not at the surgeons option.
A pair of scissors 48, and the like, may be employed as shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings to check the spacing referred to in step 4 above. A conventional scalpel (not shown) or razor blade (not shown) may be employed as the cutting instrument. By slanting the cutting instrument toward the back, or skin, side of the car 38, 40, a smoother edge can be obtained. This also reduces the chance of denuding of the skin from the back of the bell.
Forceps 10 according to the present invention, when applied as directed, can assure uniform results of both ears with a minimum of variation in shape and size. The entire operation can be performed by only the surgeon. This is especially helpful to a veterinarian with a limited staff. Once proficiency has been achieved in the use of this forceps, surgery time is minimal as the operation is relatively simple.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. 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 accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. Forceps for use in trimming ears, comprising, in combination:
a. a pair of crossed levers arranged forming a pair of opposed jaw members and a pair of opposed handle members;
b. a pivot arranged for pivotally mounting the crossed levers for movement of the jaw members toward and away from one another;
c. a pin provided on the inner surface of one of the jaw members facing the opposite jaw member and disposed adjacent the pivot for permitting the forceps to be anchored to an ear to be trimmed by being arranged in a hole in the ear;
d. a further pin and a pair of apertures provided on the opposing inner surfaces of the jaw members, the further pin being peg-shaped and spaced from the pivot and pin and adjacent the ends of the jaw members, each aperture located opposite a respective pin and arranged for selectively receiving a respective one of the pin and further pin, with the further pin functioning as an alignment pin; and
e. the opposing inner surfaces of the jaw members intermediate said pin and further pin being smooth and continuous.
2. A structure as defined in claim 1, wherein one of the pins is the opposing inner surface of one of the-jaw members, and the other of the pins is disposed on the opposing inner surface of the other of the jaw members.
3. A method for trimming ears, comprising the steps of:
a. predetermining the length to be trimmed from an ear and marking the ear at the length determined;
b. anchoring forceps to the ear by setting an anchor pin provided on the forceps adjacent a pivot of same pointing down on the ear and in a hole made through the ear, and arranging an edge of the for- 5 ceps adjacent the tragus of the ear and along a line from the anchor pin to the length mark made in step (a);
c. stretching the ear to remove wrinkles with the forceps loosely closed, and closing the forceps tightly from the top of the ear to the base thereof.
4. A method as defined in claim 3, wherein step (d) is performed on each of a pair of ears to be trimmed prior to performance of step (e) on either of the ears for assuring both ears will be cut the same, and step (c) is repeated subsequent to step (d). =l