May 13, 2016
Sago palms are naturally found in tropical/subtropical environments but they are also sold in home improvement stores and are used as ornamental Bonsai houseplants. The Sago Palm is also known colloquially as coontie palms, cardboard palms, cycads or zamias. All parts of the Sago palm are considered poisonous, with the seeds (nuts) being the most toxic part of the plant. Sago palm contains cycasin, which is the primary active toxic agent resulting in sever liver failure in dogs. Ingestion results in acute gastrointestinal signs (e.g., drooling, vomiting and diarrhea (bloody), increased thirst and urine, within 15 minutes to several hours after ingestion. Central nervous symptoms (e.g., weakness, ataxia, seizures, tremors, etc.) and liver failure can be seen within 2-3 days post-ingestion. Aggressive treatments should be initiated immediately as fatality rate can be 50% to 70%.