The right or left anterior chamber of 12 dogs (ie, 24 eyes) was irrigated with 100 ml of 0.9% saline solution, balanced salt solution, or balanced salt solution with glutathione (8 eyes/solution) for 22 minutes. Changes in endothelial cell density and corneal thickness from pretreatment values were evaluated immediately after, and at 2 and 7 days after irrigation. Using specular microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy, corneas were examined immediately after and at 2, 7, and 14 days after irrigation. Changes were not seen in endothelial cell density after irrigation with any of the solutions evaluated. Corneal thickness increased 4% immediately after irrigation with 0.9% saline solution and returned to normal by 1 week after irrigation; treatment with 0.9% saline solution was not associated with visible corneal edema. Ultrastructural changes attributable to differences in irrigating solution composition were not observed. The difference between the endothelium's response to limited irrigation with saline solution, balanced salt solution, and balanced salt solution with glutathione was small and irrigation with these solutions was not associated with permanent endothelial damage.