Pleurisy





This is an inflammation of the pleura, or the serous membrane which

lines the cavity of the chest, and which is deflected over the lungs.

Inflammation of this membrane rarely occurs in a pure form, but is more

generally associated with inflammation of the tissue of the lungs. If

this disease is not attended to at an early period, its usual

termination is in hydrothorax, or dropsy of the chest. The same causes

which produce inflammation of the lungs, of the bronchia, and of the

other respiratory organs, produce also pleurisy.



Symptoms.--The respiration is quick, short, and painful; pressure

between the ribs produces much pain; a low, short, painful cough is

present; the respiratory murmur is much diminished,--in fact, it is

scarcely audible. This condition is rapidly followed by effusion, which

may be detected from the dullness of the sounds, on applying the ear to

the lower part of the lungs. The febrile symptoms disappear; the animal

for a few days appears to improve, but soon becomes weak, languid, and

often exhausted from the slightest exertion.



Treatment.--The same treatment in the early stage is enjoined as in

inflammatory pneumonia, which the reader will consult--counter-irritation

and purgatives. Bleeding never should be resorted to. When effusion

takes place, it is necessary to puncture the sides with a trochar, and

draw away the fluid, giving internally one of the following purges three

times a day: rosin, eight ounces; saltpetre, two ounces, mix, and divide

into eight powders. Half-drachm doses of the iodide of potash,

dissolved in water, to be given three times daily, will be found useful

in this disease.





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