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Help, my dog ​​ate sago palm! What to do & Symptoms


A sago palm is not actually a palm tree, but a low-growing plant known as a cycad. These tropical plants are native to warm parts of Japan and China, and many people in the US keep them as a houseplant. It can also be found outdoors in other warm climates including USDA zones 9 through 11 such as Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.

The plant has long, tough, green, spiky leaves that grow from a short stem. This plant grows very slowly and after a few years it can only reach 2 or 3 feet. Unfortunately, this means they are often the perfect height for your pet to nibble on.

But is the plant a danger to your dog if he eats it? Let’s learn what signs and symptoms to look out for, and how to treat a dog who has recently ingested this palmate, poisonous plant.

Is sago palm toxic to dogs? What parts are poisonous to dogs?

Sago palms are highly toxic. If your dog eats any of it, call your vet for advice immediately.

While there are many plants that are poisonous to dogs, the ASPCA lists the sago palm as one of the most toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. This species of palm contains cycasin, which can cause liver failure and is believed to be the plant’s primary toxic mechanism. Corresponding the animal poison hotlineall parts of the sago plant are poisonous, but seeds (nuts) are the most concentrated and dangerous.

What happens when a dog eats a sago palm?

If your dog eats it he might develop the following symptoms

  • drooling
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhea
  • inappetence
  • Weakness
  • seizures
  • lethargy
  • stomach pain
  • fluid in the abdomen
  • jaundice
  • Death

Initial symptoms can appear within 15 minutes to several hours after your dog consumes the plant. you usually dfirst develop gastrointestinal disorders with drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

Symptoms then progress over a few days, with animals developing signs of central nervous system problems. Your dog can start Trembling, twitching, and even seizures, with liver failure being very common. Your dog may have blood clotting problems and may show signs of internal bleeding, generally seen as dark, sticky, tarry stools (melena).

My dog ​​ate a sago palm. What should I do?

Vet examining english bulldog closeup
Unfortunately, even with aggressive treatment from your veterinarian, around 50% of animals can die after consuming this plant species.
  1. Remove your dog from the area to prevent him from eating.
  2. Try to limit the amount your dog eats by removing them from the area as soon as possible. Clean up any crushed plants to prevent him from coming back for more food. Try to determine how much of the plant he may have consumed so you can report this to your vet.
  3. Check if your dog is okay. Symptom onset can vary, and some dogs may develop an acute stomach upset and start drooling and vomiting within 15 minutes of eating the plant. Others may take a few hours to show problems.
  4. Contact your vet immediately! Even if your dog seems fine and is currently asymptomatic, you still need to call your vet. Prompt treatment will give your dog the best possible chance of survival, so waste no time in contacting your local veterinary clinic.
  5. Follow your vet’s advice. If your vet tells you to come to the clinic, do so as soon as possible. Follow their advice on treatment plans as it could save your dog’s life.

Sago palm poisoning in dogs: treatment

Unfortunately, there is no specific antidote or cure for consumption in dogs. Any treatment is usually aimed at relieving your dog’s symptoms and trying to prevent further damage from decontamination.

The veterinarian will check your dog’s mental state, heart rate and abdomen for bloating and discomfort, among other things.

They may advise doing additional tests, such as B. A blood test to check their hematology for signs of infection or anemia and biochemistry to assess their liver, kidneys, and blood sugar. This blood draw can be repeated, especially over the next few days, to keep an eye on your dog’s liver parameters. If these increase, it could indicate that damage is occurring.

Your vet may be able to give your dog one Emetic, a drug that makes you vomit. This is only effective if your dog visits the vet within an hour or two of consuming the plants. Therefore, it is important that you take your dog to your veterinarian immediately. If inducing vomiting is unsuccessful, or your vet is concerned about plant matter being left in your dog’s stomach, they may recommend a gastric lavage. This will require your pet to be anesthetized so they can flush their stomach with copious amounts of sterile saline to remove all plant matter.

Your dog is usually hospitalized to receive intravenous fluid therapy, which helps maintain his hydration status and blood pressure and supports his liver. If your dog has seizures or problems with blood clotting, he may need medication to counteract these.

Despite the best efforts of your vets, Some dogs still die from sago palm poisoning. It is estimated that about half of dogs either die or need to be euthanized for welfare reasons if aggressive treatment is unsuccessful.

Why is my dog ​​eating my houseplants?

German pointer on a back patio
Mental and physical stimulation are key, as is proper training when discouraging your pets from eating your plants.

A lack of mental stimulation can cause dogs to show themselves destructive behaviors how to ease their boredom or to grab your attention (albeit negative attention). This could result in them pulling out and gnawing on your possessions, including your houseplants. Some dogs also destroy household items separation anxiety.

young dogs and Puppies are usually just curious and explore the world through their mouths, leading to this chewing and eating things they shouldn’t.

To attempt Increase your dog’s exercise program to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. Exercise is a great way to burn off energy, but simply getting out and giving them a change of scenery with new smells and sights is important. Giving your pet lots of attention through grooming and play can also help. Brain games can also be helpful in increasing healthy mental fatigue.

Secure Medical conditions can cause dogs to eat non-food items. In pica, dogs will eat non-food items, which are plants or other items such as soil, bedding, rocks, etc. can act. Make sure your dog is fed a high quality, fully balanced pet food to ensure there are no underlying nutritional deficiencies.

Talk to your vet, especially if your dog is showing other abnormal symptoms. Polyphagia, or a general increase in appetite, can be seen in a variety of medical disorders. This can make your pet eat anything and everything! Your vet will examine your dog and discuss whether further testing is needed.

How do I prevent my dog ​​from eating my plants?

Tropical plant with green leaves in stylish interior
While this greenery is a beautiful houseplant, it can prove deadly to pets.

If your dog is showing an unhealthy interest in your plants in general, you should try to discourage it. Remove all poisonous plants from your home to avoid accidents while implementing training methods. This is especially important if you have an inquisitive puppy who likes to chew things.

Teaching your dog to stay away from your plants is a good way to prevent problems. With positive reinforcement, such as clicker training, Work on its recall so that when it approaches your plants, you can easily recall it away from you.

Some dogs destroy possessions when they leave the house, which could be a symptom of separation anxiety. Calming pheromones can be useful and can be purchased to support your pet’s anxiety. You can also work on training your dog to be initially comfortable with only being left alone for short periods of time before building this up. A behaviorist or dog trainer may be able to help you if you are struggling with your dog’s behavior.

Increase your dog’s exercise and provide toys and games Improving their mental stimulation can also help reduce destructive behavior as a tired dog is a happier and less destructive dog.

frequently asked Questions

Is the sago palm poisonous to dogs?

Yes, the tree is extremely poisonous to dogs. You must see a veterinarian if your dog eats any part of this plant. Even with prompt and aggressive treatment, about half of dogs die after eating sago palm, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

What should I do if my dog ​​ate sago palm?

If you suspect your dog has eaten something, contact your local veterinary clinic immediately. Follow your vet’s advice regarding treatment as this will give your dog the best chance of survival even if your dog currently seems fine. It may take a few hours to days for symptoms to fully appear.

How Many Sago Palm Seeds Will Kill a Dog?

All parts of the plant are poisonous to dogs, but the seeds are particularly concentrated. A seed or two could be enough to be fatal in a medium-sized dog. If your dog is eating seeds at all, it’s always best to have them checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Sago palms are extremely toxic to dogs so discourage your dog from eating them and ideally not keep them at all if you have pets. If your dog has accidentally eaten one or part of these plants, you should contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and treatment.

If your pet shows an unhealthy interest in plants, you should try to improve their mental stimulation and institute an exercise program to work on their behavior and avoid dangerous accidents.

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