Is Sago Palm Toxic to Dogs?

November 20, 2022

As a pet owner, you already know some of the things that are toxic for our best furry friends. Once you become a pet owner, you join a club with a particular niche. You learn to be careful when cooking onions. As much as you want to give your dog every treat they'd ever want, you know to keep them far away from chocolate.

We need to be wary of other things in this world as well. In this article, we are going to talk about the sago palm.

What is the sago palm?

The sago palm is a plant that grows in tropical climates. Mainly, it is used for ornamental purposes, but it does produce a particular type of flower found in south Asian cuisine. Because of this, people might not think it is toxic, but that is incorrect. Sago must be cooked before consumption; otherwise, it retains its toxins.

Is the sago palm toxic?

Yes. Not only is it toxic for humans, but sago palm poison to dogs can be severe and should be treated with urgency. The Pet Poison Hotline rates its toxicity level as "severe." Even more dangerous is the fact that the entire plant is toxic. The sago palm contains three different types of toxins, each with varying levels of poison. They are cycasin, beta-methylamino-L-alanine, and a third, which is unidentified. If your dog were to ingest any of a sago palm, you would want to call your veterinarian right away.

One of the other dangers of the sago palm is accessibility. Of any part of the plant, the seeds are the most toxic. Unfortunately, the seeds are also the easiest for a dog to get to.

What are the symptoms of sago palm poisoning?

The first and most apparent sign of sago palm poisoning is if you see your pet ingesting any part of the plant. Unfortunately, our pets can be sneaky, especially when they are motivated by the idea of a snack, so we are not likely to catch them in the act. However, there are strong signs of sago palm poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Paralysis
  • Swollen stomach
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Blood in the vomit or the stool
  • Frequent urination and an unquenchable thirst
  • Yellow or jaundice-like color of the skin

If you notice these things, you need to call your vet immediately so they can begin a sago palm toxicity treatment. The earlier it is detected, the better chance your dog must make a full recovery.

How will my vet treat sago palm poisoning?

One of the scary things about sago palm poisoning is that there isn't a blood test to detect it. So, if your pet's illness could be related to sago palm, it is best to let your vet know. Or, if your pet becomes ill, you should let your vet know that you have a sago palm in the vicinity of your home.

As for treatment, your vet will likely induce vomiting. Afterward, they will introduce something along the lines of activated coal to help absorb toxins in the body. The sago palm may have already caused liver failure, which, in this case, your vet will administer IVs.

If your dog is particularly ill, it will likely have to stay with the vet for observation and care until they get better.

How to keep dogs away from sago plants

If you have decided to keep a sago palm in your home, the best way to keep your dog away from it is by putting it in an area that is difficult to reach. However, dogs can be pretty creative when hungry and curious, so even that might not solve the problem.

The best way to keep your dogs away from sago palms is not to have them. It might seem like a disappointment because they are a great ornamental plant, but at the end of the day, the risk simply isn't worth it.

If you live in the south, it is best to know what sago palm looks like in case you run across it while walking your dog so that you will learn to keep them away from it.

If you want to learn more or have questions, please contact Forever Vets today.