Oleander – Toxic Plant of the Week


Welcome to this week’s edition of the a-z of plants that don’t like your horse. Today’s plant is an incredibly common one & one that is toxic to more than just horses. Oleander can be spectacularly beautiful, but it packs quite a punch if ingested.

A Little About Oleander

Nerium oleander is also called Rose Laurel. This is an evergreen shrub/ tree with thick, leathery leaves. Flowers grow in clusters & can be white, pink or red.

How Dangerous Is It?

This plant can be found almost everywhere & is often planted for ornament or hedges. While not particularly palatable to horses, an ounce of leaves can kill a full grown horse. Oleander contains toxins called oleandrin & neriin, which disrupt normal heart function. All animals should be kept well away.

All parts of this plant are toxic & can be fatal to equines.


What To Look For

You know your animal the best, so you should know when something is amiss. Oleander toxicity symptoms occur several hours after ingestion & include colic, profuse sweating, bloody diarrhea, difficulty breathing, heart arrhythmia, sweating, loss of coordination & tremors.

Learn More

Be sure to check out the Oleander page to learn more about the plant & while you are at it why not check out more toxic plants?

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*It should be noted that we’re not veterinarians. This information is written specifically for horses & should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.