HALOTHANE was first introduced into veterinary anaesthesia in the late 1950s by Dr Leslie Hall at Cambridge. Its use has been responsible for enabling many of the advances seen in veterinary surgery over the past 50 years, particularly in horses, for which at the time no suitable method of long duration anaesthesia existed. However, halothane is no longer available in the UK and has been superseded by isoflurane, sevoflurane and desflurane, all of which are commonly used in humans. This article discusses the differences between these agents, and highlights the relative advantages and disadvantages of each.
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