Sago palm poisons pets

Vet warns trendy plant deadly to pets.

Sago palms, also known as cycads, have become trendy among gardening enthusiasts but vets have warned the popular palms pose a deadly hazard to pets.

Veterinarian Dr Paula Parker said pet owners should ensure their gardens are free from cycads.

“They are hardy, suitable for the less successful gardeners out there, and can seem like a good idea, however, they are extremely toxic to our pets,” Dr Parker said. 

“In fact, all parts of the cycad plant, including the seeds, roots, and leaves are toxic to animals.”

Dr Parker said the toxins in cycads were deadly and could cause liver failure.

“I saw three dogs from the same family poisoned by cycad plants,” she said.

“They had moved to a new property and were removing plants from the backyard. In the process, the cycad plants were disturbed and the dogs started playing with the roots.

“Their owners brought them into the veterinary clinic later that afternoon… even after just a few short hours, we could detect signs of liver damage.

“Thankfully, with intensive treatment, two of the dogs pulled through.”

Dr Parker said the best way to prevent your pet from cycad toxicity was to remove any cycad plants around your home or pet’s environment. 

Seek vet treatment immediately if your pet comes into contact with cycads or any other toxic plants.

Signs of sago/cycad poisoning

  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Weakness, inability to control movement and paralysis;
  • Seizures;
  • Depression;
  • Blood in faeces; 
  • Abdominal pain.

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