Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Pet Family

PetMD Seal

Sago Palm Poisoning in Dogs

Sago Palm Toxicity

 

Dogs are known to chew on and eat plants, and sometimes they unwittingly eat plants that have toxic properties to them. Sago palms are one of these plants. The leaves from the sago palm can cause severe damage to the liver and potentially death when they are ingested by dogs.

 

The sago palm is also known colloquially as coontie palms, cardboard palms, cycads, or zymias.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Symptoms seen with ingestion of sago palms include:

 

  • Vomiting
  • Blood in feces
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Icterus (yellow coloration of skin and gums)
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urine
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding easily (coagulopathy, DIC)
  • Neurological signs such as depression, circling, paralysis, seizures, coma
  • Death

 

Causes

 

The symptoms seen are the result of liver damage caused by a toxin called cycasin that is found in the sago palm. Liver disease may lead to bleeding deficits (disseminated intravascular coagulation - DIC), that is, abnormal bleeding and clots in the bloodstream, and neurological abnormalities.

 

Diagnosis

 

Diagnosis is based on a history of ingestion of the plant and on blood and urine test results supportive of liver disease.

 

 

Treatment

 

If ingestion has just occurred and symptoms are not present, vomiting may be induced by a doctor using apomorphine, hydrogen peroxide, or ipecac. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect or know that your dog has eaten any part of a sago palm. Activated charcoal may also be used to absorb the poison in the stomach. Gastric lavage (“pumping the stomach”) may also be necessary.

 

If evidence of liver disease is evident via clinical signs or abnormalities in blood and/or urine tests, then additional treatment will be necessary. Fluid therapy and blood or plasma transfusions will be required. Controlling vomiting with anti-emetic medications is recommended. Antibiotics, gastrointestinal protectants and vitamin K may also be administered by your veterinarian. S-Adenosylmethionine, Ursodeoxycholic acid, or vitamin E may be of benefit as well.

 

Prevention

 

Avoid ingestion by keeping sago palms out of the reach of your dog. Ideally, remove the plants from your yard entirely if they are present.

 

 
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

How Antioxidants Improve Our Pet's Health, ...
The science behind pet nutrition continues to make major advances. One such example...
READ MORE
Pet Food Ingredients that Promote Longer Life
Pet foods, in order to promote a healthy long life, must be balanced and complete...
READ MORE
Five Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your ...
Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat wishes just one thing — that he or she has a...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM