The goals of the present study were to determine whether the infusion of a glucose solution into the portal vein is tolerated in cows and whether the glucose concentration differs after administration of glucose into the jugular vein and portal vein. Fifteen healthy Swiss Braunvieh cows were used. An indwelling catheter was placed in both jugular veins and a balloon-tipped indwelling catheter with a diameter of 2 mm was placed in the portal vein under the guidance of ultrasonography. Three cows received 500 ml of 20% glucose solution over 60 min via the left jugular vein. Three other cows received the same solution over 60 min via the portal vein. Blood samples were collected from the right jugular vein before and for 24 h after the infusion of glucose for the determination of the concentrations of glucose and bilirubin and the activities of glutamate dehydrogenase, sorbitol dehydrogenase and gamma-glutamyl transferase. Infusion via the portal vein did not result in abnormalities in the general condition of the cows or increases in the concentration of bilirubin or the activities of liver enzymes. The blood glucose concentration increased to the same extent after both intraportal and intrajugular infusion. Over a 12-h period, three cows received 10 l of 20% glucose solution via the left jugular vein and three others received the same solution over a 12-h period via the portal vein. Blood samples were collected from the right jugular vein before and for 30 h after the start of infusion. Infusion via the portal vein did not affect the general condition of the cows or the activities of the liver enzymes. There was no significant difference in the blood glucose concentration between the two groups throughout the study.