My Dog Licked Sago Palm What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 08/15/21 •  3 min read
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Sago palms are popular indoor and outdoor plants, which usually are able to grow outdoors in warm, humid climates. They’re beautiful to look at, but what happens if a dog licks a sago palm?

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Has your dog licked a sago palm plant? Are you worried the sago palm will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when a dog eats or licks something he shouldn’t.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what sago palms are and whether or not they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What is a Sago Palm?

Sago palms strongly resemble small palm trees; however, they are not really palm trees! Instead, sago palms are cycads. Cycads are an ancient type of plant that has lived since prehistoric times.

Sago palms can live for hundreds of years! This makes them a popular houseplant, as they’re difficult to kill (most of the time!). And these are very slow-growing plants, which may only put on new growth once a year.

These plants don’t flower to reproduce; instead, they produce a large cone. A plant may not produce a cone until it’s about 15 years old or more. And the plants can only reproduce when there’s a male and female plant near one another.

While sago palms are beautiful plants, can they be dangerous for dogs?

Sago Palms & Dogs

Unfortunately, all parts of the sago palm plant are extremely toxic to dogs. The plants carry a toxin called cycasin, which is especially concentrated in the seeds.

Cycasin can irritate the digestive tract; however, it can also quickly cause liver failure. If not treated right away, the toxin can lead to death in dogs through liver disease, shock, and severe hemorrhaging. Even a small amount of cycasin can cause death in dogs.

Symptoms of Sago Palm Poisoning in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has licked a sago palm:

It’s imperative to take your dog to the vet immediately if he’s eaten or even licked a sago palm. It is p possible to save a dog’s life; however, the dog must be treated very quickly after ingesting/licking the plant.

For this reason, if you know for certain (or even suspect) your dog has licked or eaten sago palm, then head to the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Treatment of Sago Palm Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs that have been poisoned by sago palm need to be treated aggressively in order to save their lives. The vet may try to induce vomiting and use activated charcoal to get the toxin out of your dog’s system.

Next, if your dog’s liver has been damaged, the vet may use blood/plasma transfusions, vitamin K injections, gastro protectants, and other medications to treat him.

The prognosis is best in dogs that receive prompt medical treatment for sago palm poisoning. It can take time for a dog to recovery and may require follow-up visits to the vet to ensure your dog is progressing as he should.

If you have sago palms in your yard, then it’s best to ensure your dog can’t get near the plant. Another option is to completely remove the plant from your yard since they are so poisonous to dogs.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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