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Is South Carolina’s Sago Palm Plant Poisonous to Pets?

Cane Bay Summerville - Sago Palm Plant Poisonous to PetsSago Palm plants are commonly used to liven up the landscape or decorate the indoors. Originally from Japan, their popularity has spread across the U.S., particularly in South Carolina and warm, southern climates. Despite their widespread acceptance into homes across the nation, the beautiful palms can wreak serious havoc.

Every single part of the Sago Palm is highly toxic if ingested, not only to our dogs and cats, but also to children. In 2016, ABC News found that several independent nurseries and even some larger chain stores failed to put warning labels on the plants regarding their high toxicity.

Countless pets have fallen seriously ill or passed away as a result of ingesting the harmful plant. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that roughly 34 dogs have passed away – and over 1,400 have been poisoned – in the last 10 years due to Sago Palms.

What Part of the Sago Palm Plant is Poisonous?

Every single inch of the plant is toxic – the roots, the leaves, the bark, all of it. Dr. Tina Wismer, the medical director of ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, told ABC News that even ingesting one or two seeds is enough to kill a pet or child.

In fact, Dr. Perry Jameson of Veterinary Specialty Care LLC wrote in The Post and Courier that the seeds from the female plant are the most toxic part of the plant, though ingesting any part of the plant can cause serious complications or death.

Signs of Sago Palm Poisoning

If your pet starts exhibiting any of the following symptoms after being in close proximity to a Sago Palm, immediate veterinary care is necessary. Symptoms of poisoning may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Liver Damage or Failure
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Death

Every case is different, but symptoms have been known to emerge either rapidly or up to three days after ingestion. According to Dr. Jameson, vomiting and diarrhea are typically the first symptoms to appear.

What To Do If Sago Palm is Ingested

If you suspect your pet has ingested even a bite of a Sago Palm, take him to the vet immediately. Your veterinarian will most likely take prompt steps to prevent the toxins from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

She may induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to rid your pet’s body of the poison.

Best Method to Avoid Poisoning: Prevention

As with most things, prevention is always the best method. Most veterinarians recommend not keeping any Sago Palm plants in your house or on your property. Despite the beauty, the risks far outweigh the benefits when our fur babies and children are involved.

Moreover, be cautious on walks and when out on the town. Even blowing leaves from dead Sago Palms can be dangerously toxic if ingested.

Thanks for stopping by! We’re glad you’re here and hope you enjoyed our article. Please feel free to share so others can protect their pets from the highly toxic Sago Palm.

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