Thursday, June 2, 2011

WARNING to pet owners! SAGO PALM kills dogs!

Sigh, I don't even know how to title this post. It isn't going to be fun to write but I sure hope everyone reads it and passes it on to all of their friends that own dogs.

We bought Piper, our Golden Retriever, as a Christmas gift for our daughter. She (Piper, not our daugher!) is soooo hyper. She hates her kennel. She loves to chew. She loves to destroy. She loves to sit in our daughter's lap! She loves to harass our old dog, Haus. She is a complete ball of energy!

Here she is as a puppy in her Christmas dress (which she hated!)

She loves water! If there is any water anywhere in the yard she will end up covered in mud!

Did I mention how much she loves her food?  She used to sleep by it!

She grew bigger and bigger. She learned how to swim and fetch!

About a month ago, Piper pulled one of my potted plants out of the greenhouse.  It was a Sago Palm.

I didn't realize it was toxic to dogs! She played with it often. She also dug up my other plants and shrubs to play with. This weekend, we were doing yard work and I decided to leave the dead palm in the yard so Piper would play with it instead of digging up even more plants. It was a horrible mistake!

Monday evening, my Hubby took her to our land to run off some energy. When he came home he asked if Piper had gotten into Haus' dog food because she had vomitted. I knew she hadn't because I had put his food away. Piper seemed fine and we didn't give anymore thought to it.

Tuesday morning I let Piper into the backyard after her breakfast. About an hour later I noticed she was vomitting in the backyard. I brought her in the house and hosed down the yard where she had been sick because I think it is gross when dogs eat their own vomit!  When I came back in the house, she had vomitted twice more. Back outside she goes so I could clean the floor and she got sick again.  At this point I recognize some of the sago palm in the vomit and do a quick internet search.

This is what I found:  It scared me; bigtime! I called my Hubby then rushed Piper to the vet.

The vet has had her on I.V. fluids to try to flush the toxins out of her system. She is also being given medicine to help protect her liver. Her initial blood work shows no liver damage. Unfortunately, the damage may not show up for 4 days. I've read reports that sometimes the damage doesn't show up for a month!

We went to visit her this morning.  I'm happy to report that so far, the vet is optimistic that she will be ok. She was really happy to see us and very animated. She has an I.V. port in her leg that she has chewed off more than once. It is covered in the pink tape. 

I am really fighting the guilt of letting her keep her sago palm chew toy. This was completely my fault and is putting a huge financial strain on my family.  Please, if you have a pet or know someone that does, let them know about the dangers of this plant!  Hopefully I will be posting a follow up in a month that Piper is her normal, hyper, crazy self.


  1. Oh No! How scary! Piper will be in my prayers tonight. And you need to let yourself off the hook. I've never heard that sago palms were toxic. It seems pretty obscure, and you were on the ball enough to recognize it in her vomit. Thanks for getting the word out.

  2. Gigi, I found you on Molly Susan Strong's blog for the chalk paint giveaway. Michelle is doing a giveaway for a class on my blog. Since you live in Texas, I thought you might want to enter.

  3. i had some similar problem with my dog too. you don't have to feel guilty!
    this is a list from the aspca which pretty much complete.
    especially when there are puppies around (hyper puppies!!!)
    my dog doesn't eat normally plants, but the one time she did, it was an emergency :(
    hope this can help!
    also, since you're in texas... don't let your dog eat grass or swim in a stagnant water pond. i learned the hardest way possible.
    there is a tropical disease which is spreading like crazy called pythiosis that is almost always deadly.
    check this fb group:
    i don't want to create alarmism, just awareness
    sorry if it is too much information :)


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