In the present state of knowledge, dysentery can scarcely be looked upon as a specific disease. Pathologically it may be considered a form of colitis of varying degree and extent and dependent upon a number of exciting causes. Thus, there have been described catarrhal, tropic or amebic and diphtheric varieties. The symptomatology has been rather more uniform, the distinctive clinical manifestations being frequent, small, sometimes ineffective stools, containing often mucus and blood, together with tormina and tenesmus.
Recovery may take place spontaneously. The best treatment consists in the removal of the offending cause and the restoration of the bowel to its previous condition. For this purpose magnesium sulphate has proved useful, as has also irrigation of the bowel. Other remedies of repute are ipecacuanha, which has found great favor among the physicians of British India, and mercuric chlorid. A single large dose of mercuric chlorid may be given at the