Certainly not all cases of renal dropsy show diminution in the excretion of chlorides.
During excretion they irritate the kidneys and the sweat-glands, and thereby increase the excretion of urine and of sweat.
This, like the excretion of the sundew and other insectivorous plants, contains a digestive ferment (or enzyme) which renders the nitrogenous substances of the body of the insect soluble, and capable of absorption by the leaf.
The acetate and the citrate are valuable mild diuretics in Bright's disease and in feverish conditions, and by increasing the amount of urine diminish the pathological fluids in pleuritic effusion, ascites, &c. In tubal nephritis they aid the excretion of fatty casts.
The essential part of the medicinal treatment of this condition is the administration of iodides, which are able to decompose the insoluble albuminates of lead which have become locked up in the tissues, rapidly causing their degeneration, and to cause the excretion of the poisonous metal by means of the intestine and the kidneys.