Monday, July 27, 2009

Sago Palm - a Deadly Decoration

If you are a Lab lover than you know that one of a Labrador's favorite past times is eating. That's why we owners are forever removing things from their mouths. Whether you currently own a Lab or are considering adding one to the family, it is important to be familiar with plants, medications and human food that may put your dog in peril.



One example of a toxic plant is the Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta). The Sago Palm is a popular ornamental plant in the central Texas area found in many homeowners yards (as well as indoors in cooler climates). All parts of the Sago Palm are poisonous and can make your Labrador very sick. For younger dogs or dogs that spend a great deal of time outdoors, sometimes a favorite activity is to dig (much to the disappointment of many owners). Puppies are known to pull plants from the ground, run around the yard with them in their mouths, and after tiring, continue the fun by chewing on them. Sago Palms can also drop seeds. These seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant. Older dogs while having learned not to dig, still may find the seeds enticing.


Symptoms of Sago Palm toxicity include vomiting (with or without blood), diarrhea (with or without blood), shaking, depression, anorexia, and seizures. The most serious concern associated with Sago Palm poisoning is liver failure. According to the ASPCA, Sago Palm poisoining has increased 200% since 2003, and in 50-75% of cases, Sago Palm poisoning is lethal. Treatment includes administration of activated charcoal to block the absorption of the toxins, IV fluid therapy and medications aimed at protecting the GI tract, controlling seizures and supporting the liver. Blood transfusions may be needed if loss of blood is severe.

To avoid the possibility of this happening to your Lab, consider removing the plants from the areas that your dog frequents or leave your dog indoors when you are unable to watch him outside. Crate training is a great option for your pet when you cannot be with him. Look for an upcoming article for this blog on the benefits of crate training. For more information on Sago Palm toxicity or plant toxicity in general, visit the ASPCAs website: http://www.aspca.org/

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  6. One example of a toxic plant is the Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta). The Sago Palm is a popular ornamental plant in the central Texas area found in many homeowners yards (as well as indoors in cooler climates).

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