Known As:  Dogbane, Oleander, Rose Bay, Rose Laurel
Latin Name:  Nerium Oleander
Description:  Has narrow, lane-shaped, leathery dark, dull green leaves growing opposite each other.  Leaves are 8-10 inches long although shorter plants will have smaller leaves.  Flowers are clustered on terminal branches and are 1-3 inches in diameter.  Sap is so poisonous it is used in rat poison and as little as one leaf can contain a lethal dose.  Mature Oleander hedges may be as much as 20 feet high and the cane-like stems of youthful plants become very dense as the bush matures. Flowers can be single or double and range in color from red to pink, salmon, soft  light yellow and white. These should never be placed where animals can have contact with them.
Poisonous parts:  All parts (extremely poisonous). Water used for cut plants.  Even small amounts can kill.  Most animals are poisoned by consuming leaves, fresh or dried.  Oleander contains the glycoside toxins oleandrin, oleandroside, and nerioside, which are very similar to the toxins in foxglove (Digitalis).
Symptoms: Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, abnormal heartbeat, coma, death.  Can be fatal. Clinical signs may develop rapidly, and the animal may be found dead with no prior warning. Irregularities in the heart rate and rhythm will occur: the heart may speed up or slow down, and beat erratically. As the toxicosis progresses, the extremities may become cold and the mucous membranes pale. Trembling and collapse can occur, followed by coma and death within a few hours.
Treatment: Contact a veterinarian immediately. The toxin acts quickly, and is lethal in small amounts. Emergency measures may be used to empty the gastrointestinal tract of remaining plant matter, and medications may be administered to control the effects that the toxin has on the heart. Despite emergency care, the animal may still die, but  the sooner treatment is begun, the better the prognosis for survival.