ABSTRACT Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of intraurethral administration of atracurium besylate (AB) on urinary obstruction due to urethral plugs in male cats. Methods. Forty-five male cats were divided into: (i) the treatment group (n=25) in which the urethral area was irrigated with AB (0.5 mg/ml) and (ii) the control group (n=20) not irrigated with AB. Results. In the treatment group, the urethral plugs were removed at the first and second attempts in 64% and 36%, respectively, of the animals. The corresponding values in the control group were 15% and 85%. The proportion of cats in which the plug was removed at the first attempt was higher in the treatment group than in the control group (16/25 versus 3/20, respectively; P<0.05). The overall mean (±SD) time required for removal of the urethral plugs was 21.1±16.2 sec in the treatment group and 235.2±232.4 sec in the control group (P<0.001). Clinical significance. The results of this study indicate that in adult male cats with urethral plugs, urethral administration of AB increases the proportion of animals in which the obstruction is removed at the first attempt and reduces the time required to remove the urethral plugs.
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