Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
Print version ISSN 0100-736X
PEDROSO, Pedro M.O. et al. Natural and experimental poisoning by Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae) in cattle in Rio Grande do Sul. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.5, pp. 404-408. ISSN 0100-736X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-736X2009000500008.
This paper describes natural and experimental poisoning of cattle by Nerium oleander in Rio Grande do Sul. Two out of eight cattle died acutely after consumption of leaves of Nerium oleander, branches of which had been cut and placed into a paddock where the animals were kept. An affected cow did not show clinical signs, but a 4-month-old calf presented lateral recumbence, paddling, vocalization and death. Main gross findings in the cow naturally poisoned and in two experimentally intoxicated heifers were observed in the heart and included hemorrhages in the left atrium, clots and hemorrhages in the left ventricular endocardium, and pale areas in the interventricular septum and ventricular myocardium. Histologically, there was coagulation necrosis of individual cardiac fibers or small groups of fibers, characterized by enhanced cytoplasmic eosinophily and picnotic nuclei. These lesions were most severe in the papillary muscle. The diagnosis was based on presence of the trimmed N. oleander in the paddock where the animals stayed, evidence of consumption of the plant, consistent clinical and pathological findings, and experimental reproduction of the disease through oral administration of 0.5 and 1.0g/kg of its green leaves to two cattle.
Keywords : Nerium oleander; ornamental plant poisoning; cattle; heart lesions.