Sago Palms And Dogs

Sago Palms and Dogs: What Pet Parents Need to Know

Medical Contributor:

Dr. James Oldeschulte

Jun 14, 2023

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There are many plants that are toxic to dogs, but pet parents are often not aware of the dangers of some common houseplants for their pets. Outdoor landscaping can also include these kinds of dangerous plants that are toxic to pets. It’s important to make sure that you know which kinds of plants your pet should not have access to in order to prevent accidental poisoning.

The Sago Palm is a plant that dogs should never be allowed to interact with. These plants are highly toxic to dogs, and every part of the plant can make your dog sick. While palms are not often inviting for dogs to consider eating, the seeds of this plant and the withered leaves or other parts of the fronds can invite curious canines to chew them or put them into their mouths.

Is Every Part of the Sago Palm Toxic?

The toxin in the Sago Palm is present in all of the parts of the plant. This means that the seeds, the fronds, and the roots are all toxic to dogs. There are various toxic compounds in this plant, and they can cause irreparable damage to your dog’s well-being within fifteen minutes of ingesting the plant’s parts.

Even if your pet has just chewed on the Sago Palm frond they found on the ground or picked up the frond and put it down, this can be enough to cause poisoning. This is why these plants should never be in any space that your dog spends time in, particularly when they are not supervised.

What are the Symptoms of Sago Palm Poisoning?

The symptoms of poisoning related to this plant can appear within fifteen minutes of exposure, or they can take a few hours to show up. In most cases, signs are present within the first 24 hours. The symptoms are often pretty distinctive, which makes it easier for pet parents to recognize this particular problem.

Listed below are the main symptoms to look out for: 

The symptoms that are caused by exposure to this plant are due to the impact that it has on the liver. When the liver is damaged to this degree, internal bleeding and severe digestive upset are quite common. Dogs might only show vomiting or diarrhea in the early stages of the exposure.

How is Exposure to the Sago Palm Treated?

Your vet should be called right away if you think your dog has been exposed to Sago Palm. You will need to get them to the vet as soon as possible to support them through the toxic exposure. Vets will often induce vomiting if caught early enough, and they will usually give intravenous fluids as well. Some dogs can be given activated charcoal to try and absorb the toxins related to the poisoning.

For affected dogs, liver protectants, antacids, anti-nausea medicines, and electrolytes will usually also be given. Pets will need to stay in the hospital and might not be released to go home for a few days. Some dogs will need treatment with plasma and vitamin K1 to offset the issues caused by blood clotting disorders due to liver damage.

Prognosis for this kind of poisoning is always guarded (cautious). Many dogs that have eaten Sago Palm die. The sooner that your dog gets medical care, the more likely they will be to survive. Some pets will have lasting liver issues and digestive problems related to eating this plant.

The amount of the Sago Palm that has been ingested is the key factor in determining the severity of your dog’s reaction and the long-term impact to their health. Dogs that have eaten the seeds or have ingested parts of the fronds are much more likely to have severe symptoms compared to dogs who have just put the plant in their mouth and spit it out.

How to Avoid the Risk of Sago Palms

You will need to be sure that you do not buy a Sago Palm and place it in your yard or home. Not all places that sell these plants include warnings in the plant section where they are stored. You will also need to be very cautious when you are out walking with your dog. If you see palms that look like Sago Palms, assume the worst and keep your pet away from them. Sago Palms are common in outdoor landscaping arrangements. This is a plant that is best avoided, and it is always ideal to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to Sago Palm exposure.

sago plams dogs

Consider houseplants that are fake so that you do not run into these kinds of accidental poisoning. Cats can also be impacted by the same plants that make dogs sick, so there is no reason to create a possible toxic plant risk in your home. There are many lovely silk plants that you can replace your real houseplants within order to keep your pets safe.

Contact VEG Right Away if Your Dog Ingested Sago Palms

Sago Palms are among some of the most toxic plants that dogs might be exposed to. Make sure that you do not add these plants to your home and be certain that you keep your dog away from palms when you have them with you on outdoor walks or trips. Dogs like to put things in their mouth, so keeping your dog away from toxic plants is key. You can easily replace real plants in your home with silk plants or fake plants and eliminate any chance that your dog will ingest Sago Palm or any of the other poisonous plants that can make pets sick. You will need to prevent exposure to these kinds of plants to keep your dog safe for sure.

If you know that your pet has ingested sago palms, call our team at VEG right away. Our locations are open 24/7, and you never have to wait to speak to an emergency vet when you need help. We’re here to answer all of your questions, and to give your dog the best possible care.