The Effect of Neuromuscular Blockade on Canine Laparoscopic Ovariectomy: A Double-Blinded, Prospective Clinical Trial


  • Bart Van Goethem Diplomate ECVS,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Sebastiaan Alexander van Nimwegen PhD,

  • Ies Akkerdaas DVM,

  • Joanna Claire Murrell BVSc., PhD Diplomate ECVAA,

  • Jolle Kirpensteijn PhD, Diplomate ACVS & ECVS

Corresponding Author: Bart Van Goethem, Diplomate ECVS, Department of Small Animal Medicine and Clinical Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Gent University, Gent, Belgium




To evaluate the effect of neuromuscular blockade (NMB) on surgical time and various anesthetic variables during laparoscopic ovariectomy in dogs.

Study Design

Prospective, double-blinded, randomized clinical trial.


Female dogs (n = 40).


Laparoscopic ovariectomy by bipolar electrocoagulation was performed by 1 surgeon using a standardized protocol, where 1 ovary was removed under NMB, and the other without NMB. Surgical and anesthetic (respiratory and circulatory) variables were recorded for predetermined procedural stages and were statistically evaluated.


Mean total surgical time was 25.1 ± 6.3 minutes (range, 16–47 minutes). With NMB, mean duration of surgical excision of the ovary (5.7 ± 2.3 minutes) was not significantly changed compared to ovariectomy without NMB (5.9 ± 1.9 minutes). Arterial blood pressure was the only recorded anesthetic variable that significantly changed under NMB (5% decrease). Occurrence of intraoperative complications did not differ. In obese dogs, total surgical time was increased by 22%. Other variables, including occurrence of intraoperative mesovarial bleeding did not influence surgical duration.


NMB did not significantly improve laparoscopic ovariectomy times and except for a 5% decrease in arterial blood pressure did not change any of the evaluated anesthetic and surgical variables.