Sago Palm Killed My Dog

As a vigilant parent, you may have done all in your power to protect your dog from harm, including not feeding toxic human foods, keeping household chemicals like bleach from their reach, and keeping anything that could be potentially harmful to your dog away. Unfortunately, you overlooked the dangerous sago palm that grows in your yard which ended up costing his life. The fact that dogs are poisoned by sago palms may have come as a surprise and you are yet to understand how it could have happened so fast. I extend my heartfelt condolences for your loss. In this article, I hope to shed light on the dangers of sago palms to help you understand how this tragedy could have occurred so quickly and how you can prevent such occurrences from happening in the future.

Sago Palm Killed My Dog

While there are other dangerous plants for dogs, the ASPCA considers the sago palm to be one of the most harmful to dogs, cats, and horses. This palm contains cycasin, which can cause liver failure and is regarded to be the major poisonous mechanism of the plant. All components of the sago plant are toxic but the seeds (nuts) are the most concentrated and hazardous.

Sago palms contain three major toxins according to Petmd:

Cycasin: This is the principal active toxic chemical that causes gastrointestinal symptoms as well as liver damage and failure.

β-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA): BMAA causes neurologic symptoms such as seizures and coma.

Another unnamed component found in the plant is known to produce neurologic symptoms.  

Sago palm poisoning symptoms can occur quickly, often within a few hours to a day of intake. Because of the quick onset, it can be difficult to administer prompt therapy.

Unfortunately, sago palm poisoning in dogs is fatal, especially if the consumption is not identified quickly and immediate veterinary care is not provided. Even with prompt treatment, the prognosis is frequently guard and some dogs might die.

Symptoms of Sago Palm Poisoning in Dogs

Sago palm consumption normally causes gastrointestinal symptoms within 15 minutes, however, they might be delayed for up to many hours. These signs may include:

  • Drooling
  • Inappetence
  • Vomiting (with or without blood)
  • Diarrhea (with or without blood)

Within 4 hours of consuming sago palm, neurologic symptoms could appear and include:

  • Weakness/Lethargy
  • Stumbling
  • Collapse
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Finally, 2 to 3 days after consuming sago palm, significant liver failure can be observed. the following additional clinical indicators of liver failure:

  • Distended abdomen
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased drinking and urinating
  • Yellow discoloration to eyes, gums, and skin (jaundice)
  • Black-tarry stool (melena)
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding from the nose or mouth
  • Bloody urine

My Dog Ate A Sago Palm. What Should I Do?

Take Your Dog Far From The Plant

Limit your dog’s consumption by removing them from the area as soon as possible. To prevent him from coming back for more, clean up any shredded plants. To inform your veterinarian, try to determine how much of the plant he may have consumed.

Check For Poisoning Signs

Verify the well-being of your dog. Some dogs may experience acute stomach discomfort, drooling, and vomiting within 15 minutes of ingesting the plant, and the timing of the beginning of symptoms can vary. Some dogs might not exhibit symptoms for several hours.

Call Your Veterinarian 

 You must contact your veterinarian even if your dog seems fine and is not showing any symptoms yet. Contacting your neighborhood veterinarian care right away will give your dog the best chance of survival.

Observe the recommendations of your vet. If your vet instructs you to visit the clinic, make sure you do so as soon as you can. The life of your dog may be saved if you heed their treatment recommendations.

Sago Palm Poisoning In Dogs: Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no known treatment or antidote for sago ingestion in dogs. Any treatment given is typically intended to reduce your dog’s symptoms and attempt to decontaminate the area to prevent further damage from happening.

In addition to other things, the vet will check your dog’s heart rate, abdomen for bloating and pain, and mental state.

They could suggest performing additional tests, such as a blood panel to look for infections or anemia and a biochemistry analysis to evaluate the liver, kidneys, and blood sugar levels. In particular, this blood test may be repeated in the days to come to monitor your dog’s liver parameters. If they are getting bigger, the damage might be happening.

Your veterinarian might be able to administer an emetic—a drug that induces vomiting—to your dog. It is crucial to take your dog to the vet immediately because this only works if he does it within an hour or two of ingesting the plants. Your veterinarian may advise a gastric lavage if the inducement of vomiting fails or if they are concerned about any plant matter still in your dog’s stomach

Usually, your dog will be hospitalized to get intravenous fluid therapy, which keeps his blood pressure and hydration levels stable.

Despite the greatest efforts of your veterinarians, some dogs still succumb to sago palm poisoning. If vigorous treatment fails, it is expected that half of the dogs will die or need to be euthanized on welfare grounds.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating My Plants?

Remove Toxic Plants From Your Yard

You should strive to prevent your dog from showing an unhealthy interest in your plants. To avoid accidents, remove any harmful plants from your home while you implement training methods. This is especially crucial if you have a curious puppy who likes to gnaw on everything.

Many common garden plants are poisonous to pets. Replace any hazardous plants with pet-friendly alternatives.


One effective method of avoiding problems is to teach your dog to keep away from your plants. Work on his recall using positive reinforcement, like clicker training, so that if he approaches your plants, you can easily call him away from them.

Physical Barriers

To keep your dog away from the plants, use physical barriers such as fences, garden borders, or garden netting. These can be effective barriers to entry.


Commercial pet-friendly repellents are available to keep dogs away from plants. These frequently have an unpleasant odor or taste for dogs. Homemade repellents can also be manufactured with materials like cayenne pepper, vinegar, or citrus.

Consult a Professional

Some dogs will destroy belongings when you leave the house, which could be a sign of separation anxiety. Calming pheromones may be beneficial and can be purchased to aid in your pet’s anxiousness.

You may also strive to train your dog to be comfortable being left for a brief period at first before gradually increasing this. If you are having trouble with your dog’s behavior, a behaviorist or dog trainer may be able to help.


Keeping pets away from the plant entirely is the most effective way to avoid sago palm poisoning. This may imply removing sago palms from your list of house plants.

Some plant nurseries and retail establishments sell plants with warning labels, although not all of them do. Because the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission does not have regulations in place requiring warning labels on house plants, pet owners must be aware of the dangers of sago palms. These lovely plants may not be worth the risk they pose to your pets.

If you reside in a region where sago palm trees are common, such as southern Florida or Georgia, keep an eye out for any sago palm leaves or seeds that may have flown into your yard. 

The easiest approach to keep your dog safe from sago palm poisoning is to keep them away from these dangerous plants.

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