Fluorescence spectroscopic detection and photodynamic therapy may provide an effective approach for early detection and treatment of oral cancer. Thus the development of a safe photosensitizer that could enhance the spectroscopic contrast between normal and neoplastic tissue, while allowing for selective photosensitization and treatment of pre-malignant and malignant lesions in the oral cavity, is highly desired. In this study, the pharmacokinetics and a safety of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) that could induce an endogenous precursor of protoporphyrin IX and heme in the biosynthetic pathway was investigated. Two doses of ALA:25 and 75 mg/kg were administered intravenously to 4 and 3 dogs, respectively. A 'wash-out' period of 1 week between administration of each does was allowed to ensure against PpIX build-up. Using an optical multichannel analyzer, the fluorescence from the oral cavity was recorded at 3 sites: buccal mucosa, gums, and the tongue, and also from a remote site, the skin. A fiber optic probe was used to deliver excitation and collect the emitted fluorescence. Results showed that the ALA-induced fluorescence reached a peak at 2-4 hours, and returned to baseline in 24-31 hours. The dogs were stable during the course of the study, minimal vomiting was noted. In conclusion, the study showed that higher doses result in a higher peak at a later time.It was observed that different tissues have different pharmacokinetic response, the tongue and the gums have the highest peak fluorescence values, followed by the buccal mucosa and skin.