The sinister sago palm

The sinister sago palm

Sometimes seemingly benign objects found at home are the most perilous for our pets. One example is the sago palm, a graceful plant that’s often used in ornamental Bonsai arrangements.

But don’t be deceived. All parts of the sago palm — especially the nuts — are extremely poisonous to pets. Sago palms thrive outside in tropical environments, but in much of the United States, they need to be grown as houseplants. That puts them right under the muzzles of our dogs and cats.

Ingestion of any part of a sago palm usually causes acute gastrointestinal signs within 15 minutes to several hours. Without treatment, animals develop end-stage liver failure within 2 to 3 days.

Even with aggressive therapy, only about 50% of animals exposed to sago palm survive. So, it’s best to avoid keeping these plants anywhere near your dog or cat.

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