This study examined the pharmacokinetics and physiologic effects of two infusions rates of morphine in conscious dogs. Five adult dogs were randomly studied at weekly intervals. An initial dose of either 0.3 or 0.6 mg/kg were each followed by infusions of 0.17 and 0.34 mg/kg/h. Plasma morphine concentrations, physiological parameters, sedation and mechanical antinociception were evaluated during each infusion. Morphine was assayed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical coulometric detection and pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated. Data were fitted to a bi-compartment model with a rapid distribution (<1 min for both doses) and slower termination rate. For the high and low doses, respectively, mean ± SD terminal half-life was 38 ± 5 and 27 ± 14 min, apparent volumes of distribution at steady-state were 1.9 ± 0.5 and 1.3 ± 0.8 L/kg, with clearances of 50 ± 15 and 67 ± 20 mL/kg/min. Steady-state plasma concentrations ranged from 93 to 180 ng/mL and 45 to 80 ng/mL in the high and low doses, respectively. Respiratory rate increased significantly, pulse oximetry remained >95% and body temperature decreased significantly during both infusions. No vomition or neuroexcitation occurred. Sedation and mechanical antinociception were both mild during the lower infusion rate, and mild to moderate during the higher infusion rate. In conclusion, morphine pharmacokinetics was not altered by increasing infusion rates, producing stable, long-lasting plasma concentrations.