Oleander intoxication in New World camelids: 12 cases (1995-2006

Tania A. Kozikowski, K G Magdesian, Birgit Puschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective-To characterize the clinical and clinicopathologic effects and evaluate outcome associated with oleander toxicosis in New World camelids. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-11 llamas and 1 alpaca. Procedures-Medical records from a veterinary medical teaching hospital from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2006, were reviewed. Records of all New World camelids that had detectable amounts of oleandrin in samples of serum, urine, or gastrointestinal fluid were included in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate the history, physical examination findings, clinicopathologic data, and outcome of affected camelids. Results-11 llamas and 1 alpaca met the inclusion criteria of the study. Either oleander plants were present where the camelids resided (n = 7) or oleander plant material was identified in the hay fed to the camelids (5). One llama was dead on arrival at the hospital, and another was euthanized upon admission because of financial concerns. Of the 10 treated camelids, 9 had evidence of acute renal failure, 7 had gastrointestinal signs, and 4 had cardiac dysrhythmias on initial evaluation. The overall mortality rate was 25%, but the mortality rate for the 10 camelids that were medically treated was 10%. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-In New World camelids, oleander intoxication was associated with a triad of clinical effects (ie, renal, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular dysfunction). Oleander intoxication often represented a herd problem but carried a fair to good prognosis if treated promptly. Oleander toxicosis should be considered a differential diagnosis in sick camelids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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