Plasma concentration of lactate and the values of pH, pO2 and pCO2 were measured in the portal, systemic venous and, when possible, systemic arterial blood of 31 dogs with a single congenital portosystemic shunt, before and shortly after the temporary complete occlusion of the shunt, and at the end of surgery. At completion of the surgery, the shunt in 16 of the dogs had been occluded completely whereas in the other 15 it had been occluded only partially. There were no significant differences between any of the measurements of these variables in the portal venous, systemic venous or arterial plasma of any of the dogs, or between the values measured in the groups in which the shunts had been occluded completely or partially. Furthermore, there were no significant differences between the two groups of dogs in the arteriovenous gradients calculated at any of the sampling sites or sampling times. None of the variables was associated with the development of postoperative complications.