Porphyrin photodynamic therapy directed specifically to the hind leg of various strains of mice was found to induce a high percentage of lethality at dosages which would be required to achieve cures in tumor bearing mice. Toxicity was observed in both pigmented and albino mouse strains. An inverse relationship between light dose rate and lethality was documented. Anti-coagulant drugs and anti-inflammatory agents which inhibit cyclo-oxygenase had protective effects. The response induced by localized PDT appears to mimic that of a classical traumatic shock syndrome and may be limited to PDT in small animals such as mice.