Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your bird and/or flock. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find me a Vet

Oleander Toxicity

Nerium Intoxication

Oleander Toxicity Overview


Oleander (Nerium oleander) is an attractive, hardy, ornamental, evergreen shrub that is a major cause of animal poisonings worldwide. N. oleander is found in tropical and subtropical regions. It has dark gray-green, leathery leaves. It's showy clusters of flowers bloom from early summer until mid-autumn.


N. oleander is a highly toxic plant. It contains several cardiac glycosides--the most toxic chemicals being oleandrin and neriine. Cardiac glycosides cause poisoning by inhibiting Na+/K+ ATPase. Bird's don't need to ingest very much to have fatal consequences. The most frequent source for oleander exposure in birds is yard/garden clippings.

Clinical Signs

Depression
Paresis
Incoordination
Diarrhea
Restlessness
Weakness
Recumbency
Sudden death

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Necropsy

Treatment

Supportive care: Isolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian immediately.

Prevention

Prognosis

Poor

Scientific References

Risk Factors

  • Keeping oleander in areas where birds have access to it

Seasonality

WinterSpringSummerAutumn