Urine, is that part of the blood which is separated by the extremities of the arteries connected with the kidnies. It drops by the ure-ther into the urinary bladder, where it USUally remains a few hours; and is prevented from returning into the ureters, by their entrance being oblique, and provided with valves.
As this secretion is of importance in the animal economy, we shall give a concise view of the principal diseases arising from that source. It deserves to be previously stated, that the obstruction of the urinary passage is always attended with greater and more immediate danger, than that of the bowels. - When the inclination to make water is succeeded by a discharge of a few drops only, it is termed a strangury ; if the difficulty of voiding it be attended with pain, a dysury ; and a total suppression, is called ischury.
Causes : - The most frequent are, an acrid state of the blood ; spasms, compression of the neighbouring parts ; scirrhous, or cancerous tumors forming internally; suppressed perspiration 3 repulsion of rheumatism, gout, and cutaneous eruptions; stone in the bladder or kidnies ; inflammation of the bladder, etc.
Cure: - In urinary affections arising from acrimony, suppressed perspiration, or spasms, it will be advisable to take antispasmodics, combined with mild sudorifics ; for instance, emulsions with tincture of guaiacum ; camphor, etc. : at the same time, warm fomentations should be applied to the lower belly; or, tepid bathing, followed by emollient clysters, may be of still greater advantage. If the disorder originate from a repulsion of rheumatic, gouty, and other morbid matter, attempts must be made to reduce the affection to its former seat, by means of diaphoretics 5 blisters applied to different parts, and the use of warm baths. In cases of inflammation of the bladder, or stone, we refer the reader to vol. i. p. 278; and p. 139 of the present volume.
In every stage of these painful maladies, the patient should take lukewarm, mucilaginous liquids ; such as solutions of gum-arabic, or tragacanth, in water ; or linseed-tea 3 and a bland, nutritious diet. It, however, the desired relief be not speedily obtained, proper medical aid ought to be procured, without delay.
Sometimes the urine is involuntarily emitted, but without pain ; a complaint which frequently affects children. It generally originates from indolence 3 so that moderate correction will prove the most certain remedy: it may, however, also arise from a weakness of the sphincter of the bladder; in which case, tonics, such as hark, valerian etc. together with blisters applied to the loins, or to the sacral bone, will be the most proper means. But, where it proceeds from worms, anthelmintics may be employed with advantage.
Another affection of the urinary system, is diabetes, or an immoderate and long-continued discharge of urine, the quality of which is, in most cases, preternaturally changed: thus, in some instances, it has the smell, colour, and taste of honey ; while, in others, it is entirely limpid. - It is a remarkable circumstance in this affection, that the excretion of urine exceeds the quantity of liquid taken by the patient.
Causes: - Spasms; general debility, or local weakness in the kid-nies ; strong diuretics, and whatever may induce a laxity of the body. - This malady is seldom cured, unless it be attended to in its earlier stages.
Treatment: - The remedies hitherto prescribed for this affection, are tonics, such as bark, with small doses of rhubarb, or mixed with the diluted vitriolic acid; and the daily use of mucilaginous drinks, conjoined with lime-water, either alone, or with milk. But the most important point appears to be, abstinence from all vegetable food; a practice which has been attended with the best effect. - See also Artificial Musk.
Lastly, there occurs sometimes an alarming affection of the bladder, when the urine is mingled with blood. - If this malady be suffered to continue for a long period, it may prove fatal; but, in general, it is not attended with danger.
Cure : - When the disorder arises from debility, tonics, combined with astringents, should be employed. The loins ought to be fomented with vinegar and water ; arquebusade ; or a decoction of sage and rose-leaves. - If acrid matters produced such bloody discharge, it will be necessary to resort to mucilaginous substances and antispasmodics; such as chamomile, rue, opium, etc : but, when it is occasioned by suppressed evacuations, these ought, if possible, to be speedily restored. - Where the passage is ulcerated, it will be useful to take the Peruvian bark with sal ammoniac, or lime-water and milk. - In cases of Stone, the reader will find the proper remedies stated under that article.