25 Sep Sago Palm and Your Dog
Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) and other cycads can be lethally poisonous to dogs. We have posted about cycads previously, however as we continue to receive reports of dogs being poisoned by these plants, this post serves as a reminder to all pet owners to be incredibly careful around these plants.
Cycads contain a toxin called cycasin, which is broken down by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract to a compound known as MAM. MAM is responsible for most of the toxic effects seen in cycad poisonings.
Ingestion of any part of the plant can result in poisoning. The seeds are particularly toxic, and ingestion of even one seed can result in severe poisoning or death. Signs of poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, drowsiness, weakness, seizures, coma, and liver failure.
In some published case series, the survival rate in dogs poisoned by Sago Palm is reported to be as low as 50%. Many dog owners that have cycads growing in their garden are not aware of the significant risk until it is too late. Whilst urgent veterinary assessment can be lifesaving, the most effective treatment is prevention as there is no specific antidote for cycad poisoning.
Veterinary treatment for cycad poisoning can be expensive. Pet insurance provides peace of mind and protection in the event that your pet is ever poisoned. Our platinum sponsor, Bow Wow Meow for Pets, is currently offering two months free pet insurance in the first year of coverage for Animal Poisons Helpline followers. Visit
bowwowinsurance.com.au/poisons and enter promo code APH368 to take advantage of this offer.
☎ If you’re a dog owner and have Sago palm or any other cycads growing in your garden, consider removing them or at least restricting access. If your pet has been exposed to a cycad, please phone the Animal Poisons Helpline on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) immediately for advice, even if your pet looks well. The Animal Poisons Helpline is a free service for all pet owners in Australia and New Zealand.