Yellow oleander contains highly poisonous compounds such as cardiac glycosides, cardenolides, thevetins A and B, thevetoxin, ruvosode, nerifolin, and peruvoside. Most animals that try to consume yellow oleander die as a result of this combination. The plant’s entire structure is poisonous and even ingestion of little amounts of the plant might be fatal to the cat. When wilted, yellow oleander retains its toxicity.
Yellow oleander can be found in gardens or growing wild in many of the warmer states where winter does not exist. All cats in warm regions that are usually outdoors are in danger of getting into touch with this plant. Eating a few leaves, chewing on a twig of the plant, or even drinking water containing yellow oleander leaves might result in death.
What Is Yellow Oleander?
Yellow oleander, scientifically known as Thevetia peruviana, is an evergreen tropical shrub or small tree with glossy green and willow-like leaves. They have a waxy covering to limit water loss, which is a common feature of oleanders. It has a green stem that becomes silver/gray as it matures. The long funnel-shaped, fragrant yellow flowers appear in terminal clusters of a few blossoms. Its fruit has a deep red-black color with a large seed.
Yellow oleander is an Apocynaceae family member that is commonly grown as an ornamental plant and is planted like a big blooming shrub or small decorative tree standards in temperate region gardens and parks. In frost-prone places, it is a container plant that is taken inside a greenhouse or as a house plant during the winter season. It is drought resilient and tolerates most soils.
Clinical Signs of Yellow Oleander Poisoning in Cats
Yellow oleander poisoning symptoms often appear in cats within the first three hours after consumption. These are the signs that you should be mindful of:
- Diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Excessive drooling
- Food aversion
- Slow heart rate
- Slow capillary response time
- Dilated pupils
- AV block (a heart block)
First Aid and Treatment of Yellow Oleander Poisoning in Cats
The cat’s symptoms will determine the course of treatment. Every effort will be made to keep the animal’s essential functions stable.
To eliminate any residual plant material before it has been digested, the vet will empty the stomach using either emesis with hydrogen peroxide or gastric lavage (stomach pumping).
Taking activated charcoal can help limit the absorption of additional plant toxins in the digestive tract. The vet will decide whether to utilize a single dosage or many doses.
Heart arrhythmias can be treated with a number of drugs such as potassium chloride, Procainamide, dipotassium EDTA, atropine, FDP, or lidocaine. Digoxin-specific antibody fragments have been found as having the potential to neutralize yellow oleander poisons; however, this medication is difficult to obtain.
If the cat becomes dehydrated, the vet will administer IV fluids.
Recovery from Yellow Oleander Poisoning in Cats
The prognosis is questionable if the cat swallowed very little amounts of the herb, although recovery is possible. The cat might have lifelong cardiac damage as a result of the incident. Death is more likely if a bigger amount of yellow oleander is ingested. The cat will be immobilized, go into a coma, and die within 24 hours.
Prevention of Yellow Oleander Poisoning in Cats
To prevent future poisoning to happen, it is best to keep your cats indoors. This will reduce the risk of getting in contact with yellow oleanders and other toxic plants outdoors.
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