The aim of the study, was to investigate the effects of desflurane and isoflurane on postanaesthetic recovery characteristics with hepatic and renal functions in dogs. Sixteen adult mongrel dogs of both sexes weighing between 16-21 kg were equally divided into 2 groups. Anaesthesia was induced with 0.3 mg kg(-1) midazolam and 10 mg kg(-1) thiopental intravenously. Maintenance of anaesthesia was continued with 7.2-8% desflurane or 1.3-1.5% isoflurane. Heart and respiration rates, arterial haemoglobin oxygen saturation and rectal temperatures were monitored before, during, 1 h and 1 day after anaesthesia periodically and postanaesthetic recovery score times were also observed. Serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, blood urea nitrogen, total bilirubin and creatinine levels were measured in venous blood samples. Postanaesthetic recovery scores including time to standing, time to reaching sternal recumbency, eye opening and time to extubation were found shorter in desflurane group than isoflurane group (p<0.05). Alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyltransferase activities were non-significantly increased in the isoflurane group and there were no change between groups. Total bilirubin and creatinine levels were non-significantly decreased, blood urea nitrogen levels were non-significantly increased within normal range during and after the anaesthesia in both groups. The present study reveals 2 important results. Firstly, desflurane provided faster anaesthetic induction, recovery with less excitation and rapid recovery times (p<0.05) and the dogs stood up in shorter time than those of isoflurane. Secondly, this study indicates that both volatile agents have no harmful side effects on renal and hepatic functions in dogs.