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Sago Palm Toxicity In Dogs

April 1, 2022
Did you know that Sago palms are toxic to our canine companions? This popular landscaping palm can be deadly to Fido! They do thrive in this area, so it’s important to know what they look like, and what the effects of ingestion are. In this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX animal clinic, a local vet discusses this pretty but deadly tree.

Basics

Sago palms contain a toxin called cycasin, which can cause liver and/or neurological damage, which can be deadly. Unfortunately, sago palms have a taste many of our canine pals find appealing. The bad news doesn’t stop there, though. With some toxic plants, only one part of the plant is dangerous. That’s not the case here: the entire palm is dangerous, including the roots and seeds. However, it’s the seeds that are most often ingested. These are not only the most toxic, but they’re also the easiest for Fido to eat.

Symptoms

It’s important to know what warning signs to look for. Vomiting and bloody diarrhea are two immediate red flags. Drooling and depression are also red flags. Cycasin can also cause neurological issues, including weakness, wobbling, trembling, and seizures. In some cases, dogs will show signs after just 15 minutes, but that isn’t always the case: it may take a few hours. Signs of liver damage may take a few days, and may cause dark urine, discoloration of the eyes or skin, and/or a swollen belly. Ask your vet for more information.

Treatment

There are treatments available for Sago palm poisoning. However, early action is crucial. If you notice any of the signs listed above, contact your vet or a pet poison helpline right away. Our number is (281) 256-3150. For emergencies, you can also contact (281) 304-0039 or (281) 675-6000.

What’s In A Name?

As with many other plants, Sago palms have more than one name. Some of its aliases include the Coontie palm, Cardboard palm, Zymia, Cycad, and Japanese Cycad.

Prevention

There’s really only one way to protect Fido: keep him away from Sago palms. If you have any on your property and you decide to remove them, be sure to get rid of the whole thing, including the roots. Do you have more questions about plants that are toxic to pets? Contact us here at Fairfield Animal Hospital, your local Cypress, TX animal clinic, today!
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