Definition:—An acute inflammation of the parotid gland, occurring secondary to other diseases, usually to acute infectious inflammations, and having a marked inclination to suppuration. This disease should not be confounded with mumps. It should be also borne in mind that the inflammation may extend to the other salivary glands at the same time.
Etiology:—This disease may occur during the course of the infectious fevers, including pneumonia and rheumatism, and is not uncommon as a complication of pyemia, typhoid, typhus, erysipelas and dysentery, and in rare cases it is present with measles and scarlet fever. Gowers calls attention to the fact that inflammation of these glands will occur in peripheral neuritis accompanying facial paralysis. Recent authorities refer this disease to injuries or to disease in the abdomen or in the pelvis, and especially to injuries of the testes or ovaries. It may occur from menstrual irregularities or during the period of gestation.
Symptomatology:—The symptoms are similar to those of mumps, except that the development of the inflammation occurs following injury or during the progress of other disease, and is not so abrupt as in mumps. It may be even insidious in some cases. There is a tendency to dusky, livid discoloration of the gland and speedy suppuration.
Treatment:—Aconite and phytolacca are of first importance in the early treatment of those cases which result from an injury, either immediate or remote. In those cases where other inflammatory disease is present, the treatment must be adapted to the other diseases, or an adjustment of the treatment of both diseases should be correctly made. If there is a probability that septic infection has caused the inflammation, echinacea should be given freely from the onset. Heat should be applied, and as soon as fluctuation can be determined, the abscess should be freely opened and dressed antiseptically. In a certain class of cases the use of echinacea or of calcium sulphid will prevent this complication, or will abort it, if not too far advanced. If given from the first appearance, they will usually prevent suppuration, which is important.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine with especial reference to the Treatment of Disease, 1910, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.