Kidnies, in anatomy, are those two viscera which separate the urine of animals. They are situated in the lower part of the cavity of the abdomen, on each side of the vertebrae of the loins, between the last false rib and the hip-bones. The right kidney lies beneath the great lobe of the liver ; and the left, under the spleen: they are generally about five inches in length, three inches broad, and one inch and a half thick, in adults. Their excretory ducts are called ureters, or canals which convey the urine into the bladder.
The kidnies of animals are, in general, tough, acrid, and difficult of digestion : hence they ought not to be eaten by persons of a delicate habit, or of a sedentary life. Those of calves, lambs, and other young animals, may however be used with safety ; as they afford a more palatable and congenial food.
Inflammation of the Kidnies, or Nephritis, a painful affection of these parts, attended with a frequent discharge of water, which is either thin and colourless, or very-red ; with vomiting, coldness of the extremities, difficulty of breathing, numbness of the thigh, and other febrile symptoms.
The remote causes of this inflammatory disease are, stony concretions, external contusions, violent or long continued riding, strong diuretic medicines, such as the spirit of turpentine, etc.- The more immediate causes, are the same as induce other local inflammations.
Cure: In this, as in similar complaints, bleeding is the first remedy to be resorted to, especially by means of leeches. It will also be advisable to apply cloths immersed in hot water and wrung out, as nearly to the part affected as the patient can bear, and to renew them as often as they grow cool. Emollient clysters are also to be frequently administered; and the same treatment must be adopted, as has been already pointed out under the article Inflammation.
Should these remedies fail to afford relief, and the numbness of the part affected, together with the other symptoms, continue to increase, a suppuration will immediately ensue. in this disease, the patient must avoid all acrid, sour, and salted provisions, and subsist entirely on mild, mucilaginous vegetables. Butter-milk, if used to a considerable extent, has been found of excellent service, and in some cases, even proved a specific remedy for ulcerated kidneys. Goats' milk, and the balsams of Copaiva, or Canada, have been recommended as eminently useful.-Those persons who are liable to frequent returns of inflammation, or obstructions, of the kidneys, ought rigidly to abstain from wines, and all ardent spirits; their food should be of the lightest kind, and easy of digestion : they must likewise not attempt to lie on feather-beds, or be covered too warm ; never sleep on their back ; and carefully take daily, though moderate, exercise.