31 Mar Queen Palm
Syagrus romanzoffiana (more commonly known as the queen palm or cocos palm) is an introduced palm that commonly grows in Queensland and New South Wales. The queen palm can grow up to 15 metres high and produces clusters of yellow or orange fruit. The fruit are approximately 3-3.5 cm in diameter and drop to the ground once ripe.
The Animal Poisons Helpline is often contacted about dogs ingesting queen palm fruit that has fallen to the ground. Dogs seem to be attracted to the fruit and will sometimes ingest large numbers if given the chance to do so. Whilst the fruit has a thin outer flesh, the harder fibrous interior means that they can become stuck in the stomach or bowel. In most cases handled by the Helpline, dogs that ingest this fruit develop transient vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced appetite and lethargy. There are anecdotal reports of more serious effects in dogs, but these effects do not seem to be a common occurrence.
If you are a dog owner and have a queen palm growing in your garden, ensure the fruit is regularly picked up or remove the fruiting clusters from the tree before they have a chance to drop. When taking your dog to parks or other properties with queen palms, make sure they do not have access to any fruit that has dropped to the ground.
If your dog has ingested any fruit from a queen palm, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline for advice. The Animal Poisons Helpline provides free advice to pet owners in Australia and New Zealand, and can be reached on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ).
The Animal Poisons Helpline is proudly sponsored by Bow Wow Meow for Pets, who are currently offering two months free pet insurance in the first year of coverage for Helpline followers. Visit bowwowinsurance.com.au/poisons and enter AP368 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.