United States Patent 3703898
A teat dilator for insertion into the canal opening in a cow's teat and characterized by a multi-sided frame of more than two members joined together; the frame providing a cavity which may be used for carrying a medicament into the canal and the members forming the frame being made of resilient plastic material so that the dilator will deform on insertion into the opening but expand again after passing through the opening to support and separate the canal walls, the dilator being adaptable to fit into and be useful with canals of varying length.
Silver, Jules (Norwich, CT)
A61D1/02; A61D1/00; (IPC1-7): A61M35/00
Chamblee, Hugh R.
What is Claimed
1. A teat dilator adapted to be inserted into a canal opening of a cow's teat and comprising a multisided, flexible, resilient, elongated open frame having four members joined together to form the frame, said frame being open at opposed sides providing an opening adapted to receive a medicament said members being formed of resilient plastic material, a first set of two members being joined together to provide an elongated nose portion for insertion into the canal opening, said first two members extending outwardly from said nose portion and connected at their most outwardly expanse to a second set of two members to form said frame, said second set being joined together at their ends away from the connection to said first set to provide a stop means and limit the extent of insertion of said frame into said canal, said frame members being spaced widest apart at the connection at the first set of members to the second set of members and its members being deformable inwardly on entering the canal opening whereby the deformed dilator may be gradually inserted therein and may expand and adjust to conform to various size teat openings.
2. A teat dilator as defined in claim 1 wherein shoulder portions are provided on the two members forming the nose, the shoulders being adjacent to the points where the two members are joined to the second set of members, said shoulders adapted to assist holding the dilator in place in the canal.
3. A teat dilator as defined in claim 1 and further including a drainage opening in said frame and positioned opposite the nose portion.
4. A teat dilator as defined in claim 3 and also including a removable plug inserted in the drainage opening and adapted to be removed therefrom.
5. A teat dilator adapted to be inserted into a canal opening of a cow's teat and comprising a multisided, flexible and resilient frame having at least four members joined together to form the frame, said frame being open at opposed sides, said members being formed of resilient plastic material, a first set of two members being joined together to provide an elongated nose portion for insertion into the canal opening, said first two members extending outwardly from said nose portion and connected at their most outwardly expanse to a second set of two members to form said frame, said second set being joined together at their ends away from the connection to said first set, said members being deformable inwardly on entering the canal opening whereby the deformed dilator may be gradually inserted therein and may expand and adjust to conform to various size teat openings, a drainage opening in said frame positioned opposite the nose portion, a removable plug inserted in the drainage opening and adapted to be removed therefrom, said plug including a nose portion adapted to extend through the drainage opening to hold the plug in position.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Teat dilators of various types have been used for many years in an attempt to open the canal of a cow's teat. Among the purposes of the dilators are to aid in healing an infected canal, and also to assist milk-out for hard-to-milk cows. One type of a dilator is formed from molded plastic and functions primarily as a wedge which may be driven into the clogged canal. Such a dilator is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,664,984, issued Jan. 5, 1954 to Gariepy. This type of dilator is of limited value.
Another type of dilator used heretofore is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,827,054, issued Mar. 18, 1958 to Towne. The dilator shown therein is of the wire type which is folded in the form of a sear spring. It is inserted into the canal and allowed to expand, thus opening the canal. This type of dilator is similar to a pipe cleaner except that there is a certain amount of resiliency in the wire which is used. The wire type of dilator often times exerts too constant and too strong a pressure on the canal walls and may actually prove an irritant, promoting ulceration and preventing healing.
Other types of dilators have built-in prongs which bit into the canal walls and lock themselves onto delicate tissues. These cause injury to the animal if great care is not exercised in removing them.
Still another type of dilator uses materials which swell in the presence of fluid. Again, these have the problem of either being too tight or too loose depending on the size of the canal opening.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a teat dilator which may be of a universal application in that it will accommodate itself to the canal openings of various cows by exerting a sufficient pressure to keep the walls of the canals apart but not such extreme pressure to irritate or injure the animals. This is accomplished by using resilient plastic material formed as a flexible wedge frame forming a cavity in which a medicament may be placed and inserted into the canal opening.
A dilator in accordance with the present invention will promote healing in a canal by keeping the injured walls apart while at the same time relaxing and strengthening the sphincter muscles by bringing fresh blood to the point of dilation and to the muscles. It may further act as a mechanical means of applying and keeping medication at the point of injury or infection in the cow. Since the dilator is resilient enough to keep the canal open, it will prevent narrowing of the canal due to contraction of scar tissue. It also inhibits scab formation, thus preventing subsequent bleeding from scab removal during milking. Finally, the dilator can aid in the milking-out of cows who are normally hard to milk.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a partially fragmentary view showing a dilator in accordance with the present invention inserted into a container containing a medicament such as petroleum jelly, into which has been compounded a desired drug;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the dilator of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along lines 3--3 of FIG. 2 showing the open frame and cavity for carrying the medicament;
FIG. 4 is a side view of a dilator with medicament in the cavity shown in position before being inserted into the canal of a teat;
FIG. 5 is a drawing showing the dilator inserted into a teat canal and exerting a minimum amount of pressure on the canal walls; and
FIG. 6 is another embodiment of a dilator with a drainage plug added.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to the drawings and to FIGS. 1 through 5 in particular, a teat dilator 10 is shown which has a central opening or cavity 12 in which may be carried a lubricated medicament 14 such as petroleum jelly which is held in a container 16. A number of dilators may be inserted into a container of material and as required one may be extracted. When the dilator is extracted, the cavity will be filled with the material so that it will be ready for use in treating an animal without the necessity of further handling of the medicament.
The illustrated dilator 10 has a grip tab or touch 18 which provides the means of taking hold of the dilator without danger of contaminating the medicament. A stop 20 is provided adjacent to the tab 18 and serves the dual purpose of preventing the dilator from being inserted too far into the container 16 as well as preventing it from being inserted too far into the canal "C" of the teat "T". Extending upwardly from the stop 20 is a stub portion 22 from which a pair of arms 24 extend outwardly. At the end 26 of the arms 24 away from the stub 22, a second pair of arms 27 are provided and these arms 27 converge together from the outward position at 26; and meet to form an elongated nose portion 28. At the point of juncture 26 of the arms 24 and 27 rounded shoulder portions 30 free of teat irritating projections may be provided to assist in holding the dilator in the canal when in use.
As shown in FIG. 5 in particular, the dilator is deformed by the muscles of the teat after it has been inserted into place. The canal "C" is funnel shaped and above it is the interior portion of the teat called the cistern "CI". Due to the frame design of the dilator 10 the walls of the canal are forced apart under sufficient pressure to keep them in that position but without the danger of providing too much pressure and causing irritation. Advantageously the frame utilizes the funnel fit to help hold itself in place.
In some cases the dilator will reopen to its full expansion after it has been inserted into the canal. This of course will depend upon the length and shape of the particular canal.
The length of cows' teat or streak canals vary substantially from 4 to 15 mm. With some cows it may be as short as 4 to 5 mm. Thus, it is apparent that in order for a teat dilator to function correctly it must be able to adapt itself to such varying canal lengths.
In the illustrated embodiments the stub is about 5 mm. long and the canal about 10 mm. long. With the shortest canals this brings the entire frame into the cistern and the stub holds back the canal walls. The arms 24 are about 10 mm. long and with longer canals they act to hold back the inner portion of the canal walls and to prevent drop out of the dilator. With a construction such as this, the shoulder portions 30 are advantageously within the cistern. This permits the shoulders to function as supports for the dilator when in use and also to prevent drop out.
Preferably the dilator is made from a resilient plastic material which will not infect the animal. Among the materials which are suitable for forming the dilator are ethylene vinyl acetate and the various vinyls.
Another embodiment is shown in FIG. 6. As shown therein, the dilator 10a is formed quite similar to the first embodiment. In dilator 10a the arms 24 are joined together at a rounded junction 32. The embodiment 10a does not have a grip tab 18 or touch. However, it does have a drainage opening 34 in the form of a short canal.
Into the opening 34 is fitted a plug 36 which includes a grip 38, a shaft 40 and, if desired, a nose portion 42.
In actual use the dilator 10a with the plug 36 in place functions in the same manner as dilator 10 and is inserted in the same fashion. After the dilator 10a has been in place and, if used, the medicament 14 allowed to function, it may be advantageous to drain the teat "T". This may be accomplished while still retaining the dilator 10a in place. To do this the plug 36 is simply extracted from the drainage canal 34. Because of the shortness of the stub 22a any accummulated fluid in the cistern of the teat will drain off while the dilator 10a continues to function.
the plug 36 may be fitted into the canal 34 and held in place by a friction fit or the nose 42 may be the principal retention means.
In some applications the stub 22 may be eliminated and the arms 24 joined directly to the stop 20.
While in the description of the preferred embodiments and in the claims, the general term "medicament" is used, it is to be understood that it includes materials which are used primarily as a lubricant to salve with or without the addition of a particular drug. In some cases it may be desirable to use the dilator merely to insert a salve into the cow's canal and plain petroleum jelly will be suitable for this purpose.