Title:
VETERINARY MEDICAL TUBING REMOVAL DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and method for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove veterinary medical lines which are attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity. The apparatus includes a tube body, two electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source. The tube is constructed of a non-conductive material and may be of varying diameter and length. The conductors are disposed so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body, and upon contact with the animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors and power source, thereby delivering an electrical impulse through the sensitive tissues of the animal. The low voltage electrical shock is harmless to the animal but is unpleasant, thus the animal does not attempt to remove the intravenous tube and medicating proceeds as normal.



Inventors:
Minick, Chris A. (Stillwater, MN, US)
Dingman, Brian (Spring Valley, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/360980
Publication Date:
07/30/2009
Filing Date:
01/28/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
119/850
International Classes:
A01K15/04; A61D99/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUSON, JOSHUA DANIEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOEL D. SKINNER, JR. (HUDSON, WI, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. An apparatus, comprising an elongated tube body, at least two elongated electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a predetermined configuration, and a power source, the conductors being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body by an animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tube has a central lumen and is attached to a fluid source at one end, and to a delivery element connected to the body of an animal at its other end, the tube delivering fluid from the fluid source to the delivery element.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fluid source is an intravenous (IV) fluid container.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fluid source is an intravenous feeding container.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fluid source is a gas container.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the delivery element is a percutaneous needle.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the delivery element is a transcutaneous catheter.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tube body is constructed of a non-conductive material.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tube body has a predetermined diameter and a predetermined length.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conductors extend the entire length of the tube body.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conductors are conductive foil tape connected to the tube body.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conductors are conductive wires.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the conductors are constructed of conductive ink printed on the tube body.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the predetermined connection of conductors is spiral wrapping on the tube body.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the power source comprises at least one battery.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the power source is connected to the tube body.

17. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the power source is connected to the fluid source.

18. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the apparatus is part of a veterinary medical IV line system, including the fluid source and the delivery element to prevent, adapted for connection and therapeutic use with a small animal to discourage or deter the animal from removing or attempting to remove the IV line system.

19. An apparatus for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove veterinary medical line systems which are attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity, comprising a non-conductive, elongated tube body of a predetermined length and diameter and having a central lumen, two elongated electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source, the conductors being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body, and upon contact with the animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors and power source, thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal.

20. A veterinary medical IV line system for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove the system which is attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity, comprising: a. a non-conductive, elongated tube body of a predetermined length and diameter and having a central lumen and an input end and an output end, two elongated electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source, the conductors being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body, and upon contact with the animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors and power source, thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal; b. a fluid source connected to the input end of the tube body; and c. a delivery element connected to the output end of the tube body and to body of an animal at its other end, the tube delivering fluid from the fluid source to the delivery element.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS, IF ANY

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/062,532, filed Jan. 28, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

37 C.F.R. §1.71(e) AUTHORIZATION

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the US Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX, IF ANY

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates, generally, to veterinary medical apparatus and methods, and to tubing apparatus and methods. More particularly, the invention relates to a veterinary medical lick and bite deterrent apparatus and methods for use in fluid therapy administered to small animals such as dogs and cats. The invention may be used in other fields and applications.

2. Background Information

The state of the art, in general, includes various veterinary medical tubes, hoses or lines which function to administer fluids (liquid or gas), medicines and/or nourishment into the body of a patient animal, for example a dog or a cat. IV lines are typically thin, flexible, plastic tubes that run from a bottle or bag of liquid a certain distance to an injection needle or to an intravenous catheter (another small tube) placed in a vein in the body. Medicines may be injected into the IV system and infused into the fluid contained in the bottle or bag. The rate or speed of the infusion is typically set or controlled by a roller clamp on the tube, by a balloon that squeezes out the medicine, or by an electronic pump. Gas tubes are somewhat similar to IV lines, and typically transmit Oxygen from a tank to a mask or small tubes (nasal cannula) placed just inside the nostrils. Feeding tubes transmit liquid food or nutrients from a bag or bottle to a tube placed in the stomach or the small intestine. The tube may go in through the nose or via the wall of the stomach. Liquids in IV lines must be sterile (completely germ free), to avoid putting microorganisms into the bloodstream and causing infections. The IV lines must be handled carefully to keep germs out of the patient's body. Tube feedings and oxygen tubes should be kept clean, but do not have to be sterile.

From time-to-time, animals resist having veterinary medical tubes attached to them. The tubing may cause discomfort. Also, animals are naturally inclined to attempt to remove such devices by licking or biting the device. If the animal removes the device, the effect of the medication, feeding or breathing means will be lost, resulting in a danger to the animal. At the very least, this necessitates reapplication of a new tube, incurring added expense in both time and money.

A common device to deter this removal is the placement of a collar on the animal so that it does not try to remove the device. This is not always effective and thus a solution to this problem has been to devise a means to deter the animal from removing the therapeutic device.

In addition the collar, there exists a means to deter animals from licking, chewing or removing bandages, wraps, and the like attached to the animal for treatment of wounds and surgical incisions. An effective product, STOPLIK™ Lick Deterrent System is manufactured and sold by Rockway, Inc. of Spring Valley, Wis., USA. This device includes an adhesive strip with low electric current for application to the body of animal on, over or adjacent to a wound or injury to deter or discourage the animal from aggregating the wound by licking or chewing on the wound or a wrap or bandage. This device is described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,896,830 and 6,453,850, which are incorporated herein by reference. This device comprises a strip-like laminate body, adhesively coated on the inward side and with printed conductors on the outward side connected to a battery. When the animal attempts to remove the wound wrapping by licking or biting, a low electrical shock is administered when the tongue contacts both terminals of the printed conductive surface.

In summary, the existing technology is believed to have limitations and shortcomings. A need therefor exists for the present invention.

All US patents and patent applications, and all other published documents mentioned anywhere in this application are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a removal deterrent apparatus and method for veterinary medical tubing and the like, which is practical, reliable, efficient, and safe, and which is believed to fulfill the need and to constitute an improvement over the background technology.

In a basic aspect, the invention provides an apparatus, comprising an elongated tube body, at least two elongated electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a predetermined configuration, and a power source, the conductors being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body by an animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal.

In another aspect, the invention provides an apparatus for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove veterinary medical lines which are attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity. The apparatus includes a tube body, two electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source. The tube is constructed of a non-conductive material and may be of varying diameter and length. The conductors are disposed so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body, and upon contact with the animal's tongue (directly) or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors and power source, thereby delivering an electrical impulse through the sensitive tissues of the animal. The low voltage electrical shock is harmless to the animal but is unpleasant, thus the animal does not attempt to remove the intravenous tube and medicating proceeds as normal.

In yet another aspect, the invention provides a veterinary medical IV line system for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove the system which is attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity, comprising:

    • a. a non-conductive, elongated tube body of a predetermined length and diameter and having a central lumen and an input end and an output end, two elongated electrical conductors connected to the tube body in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source, the conductors being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body, and upon contact with the animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors and power source, thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal;
    • b. a fluid source connected to the input end of the tube body; and
    • c. a delivery element connected to the output end of the tube body and to body of an animal at its other end, the tube delivering fluid from the fluid source to the delivery element.

The aspects, features, advantages, benefits and objects of the invention will become clear to those skilled in the art by reference to the following description, claims and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the apparatus.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of a portion of the apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention provides an apparatus and method of use for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove veterinary medical lines which are attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a basic embodiment of the apparatus 10 comprises a tube body 12, at least two electrical conductors 14A and B connected to the tube body 12 in a predetermined configuration, and a power source 16. The tube 12 is constructed of a non-conductive material such as a plastic, of a predetermined thickness and has a central lumen for conveying liquid or gas fluid. The tube 12 may be of varying diameter and length. The conductors 14 are disposed so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body 12, and upon contact with the animal's tongue (directly) or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors 14 and power source 16, thereby delivering an electrical impulse through the sensitive tissues of the animal. The low voltage electrical shock is harmless to the animal but is unpleasant, thus the animal does not attempt to remove the intravenous tube and medicating or other processes proceeds as normal.

In one embodiment, the conductors 14 are bonded to the body 12. The conductors 14 may be printed on the body 12, coupled via an adhesive or integrally formed in the body 12. The conductors are preferably thin, foil, conductive, for example metal, tape. The conductors 14 extend from the power source 16 along the body 12. They are preferably spiral wrapped along the length of the tube 12. Alternatively, they may be aligned in some other curvilinear arrangement, or in a linear arrangement such as in straight lines, steps, zig zags, or the like. The individual strips 14a and b are separated a predetermined distance by the non-conductive body 12 and do not contact each other. The metal foil tape strips 14 are connected to the positive and negative terminals of the power source 16 such that one metal foil tape strip is positive and the other is negative. Electrically conductive metal wires or electrically conductive printing ink other electrically conductive materials could be substituted for the electrically conductive metal foil tape strips 14.

The power source 16 of this embodiment is preferably a battery coupled and in circuit with the exposed conductors 14. The power supply 16 applies positive and negative low voltage. The power supply 16 is connected to the tube 12, but may be connected to some other device such as the fluid source. Preferred batteries are those known as Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are primary batteries that have lithium metal or lithium compounds as an anode. Depending on the design and chemical compounds used, lithium cells can produce voltages from 1.5 volts to about 3 volts, direct current. This is twice the voltage of ordinary zinc-carbon or alkaline cell. The batteries are also lighter in weight than the conventional zinc-carbon or alkaline cells. The most common of the lithium batteries is the lithium ion battery that has found wide consumer use. The materials used are inexpensive and suitable for low-drain, long-life and low-cost applications. It possesses a high energy density per both mass and volume and can deliver high pulse currents within a wide temperature range. Another advantage of the lithium ion battery is that it is readily rechargeable. Additionally, they have the one of the best energy-to-weight ration, no memory effect, and a slow loss of charge when not in us. Additional devices may be incorporated that give an audible signal to the owner when the battery power is running low and in need of recharging.

The device 10 functions by emitting a low voltage electrical shock to the animals' mouth when the saliva comes in contact with and complete an electric circuit between the charged metal strips 14. The electrical shock is unpleasant to the animal thus the animal does not disturb the IV tube 10, and healing may proceed as normal.

An additional or substitute means of deterrent may include audio emissions that may be sense only by the animal. The frequency range of sound for many domestic animals is great than human hearing. The range of hearing is from about 20 to about 20,000 hertz (Hz). For a dog the range is from about 40 to about 60,000 Hz; for a cat from about 45 to about 64,000 Hz. Thus, an apparatus may be constructed to emit an audio emission to provide the form of deterrent for each species of animal.

Still another means of deterrent within the purview of the invention may be in the form of an odor emission. When the animal's tongue contacts a strip on the tube 12, the strip then emits a noxious odor causing the animal to defer from removing the medical tube, container and injection means.

In another aspect, the invention provides a veterinary medical IV line system for discouraging or deterring animals from removing or attempting to remove the system which is attached to them or otherwise located in their immediate vicinity, comprising:

    • a. a non-conductive, elongated tube body 12 of a predetermined length and diameter and having a central lumen and an input end and an output end, two elongated electrical conductors 14 connected to the tube body 12 in a spiral, wrapped configuration, and a battery power source 16, the conductors 14 being configured so that they may be contacted on the outside of the tube body 12, and upon contact with the animal's tongue or saliva, an electrical circuit is completed through the tongue, conductors 12 and power source 16, thereby delivering an electrical impulse to the animal;
    • b. a fluid source connected to the input end of the tube body 12; and
    • c. a delivery element connected to the output end of the tube body 12 and to body of an animal at its other end, the tube delivering fluid from the fluid source to the delivery element.

The invention also provides a method of attaching the apparatus 10 to a fluid source, such as a liquid medication container, bottle or bag, or a gas canister, and to the animal so as to be useful to prevent the animal removing the apparatus 10. A veterinarian or other personnel activates the device 10 by placing the battery pack 16 in the appropriate position thus energizing the metal foil strips 14. The device 10 is attached to the medication reservoir and animal (not shown). If the animal attempts to remove the protected wound dressing by licking or biting the device 10, an unpleasant low voltage electrical shock is felt by the animal.

The descriptions above and the accompanying materials should be interpreted in the illustrative and not the limited sense. While the invention has been disclosed in connection with the preferred embodiment or embodiments thereof, it should be understood that there may be other embodiments which fall within the scope of the invention.