• acetylcholine;
  • anesthesia;
  • critical care;
  • muscle relaxants;
  • neuromuscular blocking drugs


As the management of critically ill and emergency patients intensifies and veterinary surgical procedures become more complex, more sophisticated methods of support are becoming necessary. Emergency and critical care patients are excellent candidates for the use of neuromuscular blocking drugs. The main advantage of the current generation of neuromuscular blocking drugs compared to earlier agents is that they provide muscle relaxation with little or no cardiovascular effects. The pharmacology and physiology of neuromuscular blocking drugs are discussed, and their use is described with specific references to critical care patients. Monitoring techniques are described and reversal of neuromuscular blockade as well as potential side effects and adverse reactions arediscussed.