Clinical and Pathological Aspects of Experimental Oleander (Nerium oleander) Toxicosis in Sheep

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Dried Nerium oleander leaves at single lethal dose of 110 mg/kg body weight were administered orally to six native male sheep. Clinical signs of toxicosis in sheep began to appear about 30 min after receiving the oleander and included decrease of the heart rate followed by cardiac pauses and tachyarrhythmias; ruminal atony, mild to moderate tympany, abdominal pain, polyuria and polakiuria. Electrocardiography revealed bradycardia, atrio-ventricular blocks, depression of S-T segments, ventricular premature beats and tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. Five sheep died within 4–12 h and one survived. At necropsy there were varying degrees of haemorrhages in different organs and gastroenteritis. Histopathological examination of tissue sections revealed myocardial degeneration and necrosis, degeneration and focal necrosis of hepatocytes, necrosis of tubular epithelium in kidneys, oedema in the lungs, and ischemic changes in the cerebrum.

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