Oleander poisonous to dogs

Oleander poisonous to dogs

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Oleander poisonous to dogs

Oleander is one of the most common plants in the urban landscape of North America. It is an annual and perennial shrub or small tree of the Oleaceae family. It is native to tropical Africa, India, and the Arabian Peninsula. Oleander is a member of the genus Olea and the species oleaster. It is most often confused with the similarly shaped and coloured, but non-poisonous Nerium oleander.

This plant is poisonous to many vertebrate animals including dogs, cats, and humans. The plant contns cardiac glycosides (digitalis-like compounds). Symptoms of oleander poisoning usually appear within hours to a few days and may include vomiting, diarrhoea, and breathing problems. In more severe cases, there may be damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs, and liver.

Some animals may eat or lick oleander and then vomit or show signs of poisoning. It is very unlikely that a dog that eats a large quantity of this plant will eat the leaves or be poisoned, the poisoning is usually due to incidental ingestion of the plant stem. There are other plants that look similar to the oleander plant and contn similar compounds which are not dangerous for dogs.

The leaves and flowers of oleander are edible by some people and animals, but their toxic nature is not known.


Oleander leaves and flowers are toxic, causing vomiting and diarrhea if eaten in large amounts by most animals and also by some people. Dogs and cats are especially susceptible to oleander poisoning because they tend to lick leaves and flowers. The toxicity may be due to the cardiac glycoside digitoxin, which occurs in all parts of the plant, especially in the leaves. Although this cardiac glycoside is not as toxic as other heart glycosides, it may be fatal if ingested in large amounts.



The toxic effects of oleander can be life-threatening if they are not detected and treated. Most dogs and cats exposed to oleander do not develop any signs of poisoning and can survive the effects of the poison. However, animals that ingest oleander leaves, stems, and flowers may become lethargic, tremble, and have abdominal pns.

Other animals that eat oleander may develop a rash over their paws and may or may not vomit or have diarrhea. Although most dogs and cats are not sensitive to oleander poisoning, animals may have an allergic reaction to oleander sap and may develop a skin rash.

Symptoms may appear within hours or up to 10 days after ingestion. Cats that eat oleander leaves and stems, especially if they eat large amounts of leaves, may die from the toxic effects of oleander poisoning.


Dogs and cats with oleander poisoning must be taken to a veterinarian to be evaluated immediately and receive emergency treatment if necessary. Because of the dangers of oleander poisoning, pet owners and veterinarians should always have oleander plants and flowers in their yards and gardens.

Treatment of acute poisoning

When a dog or cat ingests large amounts of the leaves and flowers of oleander, the cardiac glycoside digitoxin may be the cause of the poisoning. Therefore, treatment involves providing adequate water in order to flush out the stomach and intestines and administer activated charcoal to bind the toxic components of the plant. If the symptoms are not severe or the patient does not vomit within two hours of ingesting oleander, it is not necessary to hospitalize the patient. However, if vomiting does not occur, the patient should be taken to the veterinarian and treated as if they had ingested a large quantity of poison. In a small number of cases, treatment with a high concentration of activated charcoal (10 grams of charcoal mixed in one quart of water) may be necessary.

Treatment of allergic reactions

In some cases, oleander can cause allergic reactions in dogs that eat the plant's sap. A rash may appear over the animal's paws, and the paws may have a thick, crusty appearance. The allergic response is very similar to that of other poisonous plants, such as poison ivy. The rash usually appears 10 to 15 minutes after contact with the plant sap. If the reaction is severe, the animal may be hospitalized. Treatment of the rash involves cleaning the affected areas, applying calamine lotion, and avoiding contact with the affected areas. If the rash is severe, an antihistamine or corticosteroid cream may be applied.


Oleander plants can be cultivated in order to prevent accidental ingestion by pets and children. When planted near the house, oleander may act as a natural deterrent for small animals. However, the plant should be planted in an area that is well away from any play areas so that dogs or children do not accidentally ingest oleander leaves or flowers.

If a pet or child does eat oleander, the leaves and stems should be rinsed off with running water and the plant's stem should be cut out of the animal's mouth.

Fatal cases

There are some reported cases in which a dog or cat ingested large amounts of the leaves and flowers of oleander. Cats usually die if they eat more than 1/3 of their body weight, whereas dogs usually die if they eat more than 1/6 of their body weight. Dogs that consume enough oleander leaves or flowers to meet this level of toxicity have not survived.

Other animals

Some animals eat the plant's sap and may also vomit or have diarrhea. Other animals may eat the leaves or flowers of oleander and not get any symptoms of poisoning, because oleander does not contn any cardiac glycosides. Some animals that eat the sap of the plant, such as horses, may develop a rash similar to that of a poison ivy or oak allergy.

Dogs that eat large quantities of oleander may vomit or have diarrhea after eating the leaves and flowers. Dogs with no symptoms usually recover quickly without treatment. However, dogs that eat enough leaves and flowers to meet the lethal levels of toxicity may

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