PSA: Keep Your Dogs Away From Sago Palms

PSA: Keep Your Dogs Away From Sago Palms
Image: Getty

Sago palms may be pretty plants to add to your home but be warned, they pack a deadly punch if your dogs get into them.

The story about the unfortunate death of a French bull dog, who ate a sago palm, has been making the rounds.

Kate Wagner posted on Facebook about losing Lily and took this incident to raise awareness about researching heavily before buying plants, especially if you’re a pet owner.

You can read the entire post below but the most striking and heartbreaking sentence that really hit home was this:

“There have been many tears shed, dollars spent, and guilt felt… all because of a $5 plant,” Wagner said in the post.

Just how poisonous are sago palms for your dog?

All parts of the sago palm – also commonly known as cycad – including the the prickly fronds of the plant are poisonous but the seeds are the most toxic and it’s easy for pets to eat them.

Following a similar incident back in 2012 in Townsville, Australia, Dr Philip Judge, then senior lecturer in veterinary emergency and critical care at James Cook University, said in a media release that eating even two seeds of the plant could kill your dog.

“The leaves are apparently quite attractive-smelling to dogs, making accidental ingestion likely, with initial symptoms of poisoning usually being vomiting, dehydration and lethargy,” Judge said.

“Using appropriate treatment with intravenous fluid therapy and medications, the symptoms often subside within 24 to 48 hours or so – only to be replaced by the development of severe liver damage that could result in liver failure and death within seven to 14 days.”

Following the ingestion of any part of this plant, your dog could suffer from the following symptoms: vomiting, blood in faeces, bloody diarrhoea, icterus (yellow coloration of skin and gums), increased thirst, increased urine, bruising, bleeding easily, neurological signs such as depression, circling, paralysis, seizures and coma.

These symptoms occur due to liver damage caused by the cycasin toxin present in the sago palm.

What other plants are poisonous to dogs?

Unfortunately, there’s a wide range of plants that are toxic for dogs. This is why it’s so important to do you research before visiting Bunnings or any local nursery. It’s also more true of late as more Aussies turn to adding greens to their house given we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find the full list of plants to avoid here but some of the common ones are ivy, aloe vera, tomato plant, tulip, baby’s breath, asparagus fern and azaleas.

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