Something crazy happened on Friday that I never would have expected. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I definitely wasn’t aware of the following hazard.
Sago Palm Trees Can Kill Pets and Poison Children
I had no clue. Sago palm trees are very poisonous to pets, especially dogs. They’re actually poisonous to humans as well to some degree. Sago palm trees contain cycasin, a poison that attacks the liver.
If it isn’t caught very early the dog has a very small chance of surviving.
How Did I Find Out Sago Palm Trees Are Poisonous?
Friday evening my mom sent me a message on the computer that their brand new dog, Sadie, had vomited eight times in a very short time period. She was really worried and called an emergency vet. They told her to monitor her and to come in if it got any worse.
After the call my mom investigated to see if she could figure out why her dog was vomiting so much. That’s when she remembered… She had cut the lower branches off of a sago palm tree earlier in the day and some seeds had fallen on the ground.
She connected the dots and realized that what the dog must have been chewing on in the yard were these seeds! There are bigger plum-like seeds and smaller nut-like seeds. She remembered hearing something about sago palms being extremely poisonous and immediately took her new dog Sadie to the emergency vet.
It turns out the seeds are the most poisonous part of the plants and it is a very good thing she started vomiting the seeds up. If she hadn’t the prognosis could have been much worse. Luckily my mom got her to the emergency vet quickly and it seems like she’ll be okay.
The good news is it sounds like Sadie will be just fine or may only have minor liver issues going forward. The bad news is the crazy treatment and the insane emergency vet bill.
The Crazy Treatment
When the dog arrived at the vet she had stopped vomiting but she was severely dehydrated and barely functioning at all. The vet had to put Sadie on an IV and give her fluids, an anti-nausea medication to prevent further vomiting, run blood panels to determine liver enzyme levels and coat her stomach and intestines with a charcoal product to prevent further absorption of the poison from the sago palm tree.
Her liver enzyme levels were above normal but not crazy high like they could have been. The vet had to keep her overnight for observation and said he may need to keep her for a couple days depending on how her liver enzyme levels were doing in another 24 hours. During this whole time she was on IV fluids from being so dehydrated.
The next morning Sadie was barking and eating again. Her second blood test for liver enzyme levels had started to come down and the vet released Sadie about 24 hours after she had arrived. Ready to hear what the range for the bill was?
The Vet Bill
You know the vet bill was expensive. It was Friday evening and all of the normal vets were closed. The only one open was an expensive emergency vet. The vet bill for this crazy and very much needed treatment was going to be somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500!!!
That is why it is so important to have an emergency fund. I’d even go as far to say that if you have a pet you might want to have a separate pet emergency fund.
My parents treat their dogs like children. Even though they had only had Sadie for a week or two there was no question on whether or not to take her to the emergency vet. They did the right thing and because of this she’s still with us today.
My Request to You
If you have a pet, please go on Google or to your vet and find out what is poisonous to your animals. We have a dog and a pet bird and you’d be surprised some of the things that will kill them. We definitely don’t have any sago palm trees and will not be planting any in the future.
My bird is a very fragile animal as well. We can’t burn candles because it will clog his tiny lungs and suffocate him. We have to be careful with non-stick pans because if we heat them up too hot it will create a gas that will kill him instantly. We have to keep his cage at a particular temperature and keep him away from drafts or he’ll quickly get sick and die.
Animals are awesome and bring great joy into the lives of their owners. Please be a responsible owner and know what can kill your pets. We’re definitely looking into this after what happened to Sadie and we don’t want it to happen to anyone else or their pets.
Do you have a pet? Have you ever heard of crazy things that are poisonous to pets? Ever had a close call?