The Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) is a decorative plant that you might want to think twice before you bring home if you want your pets to live. This plant is native to Southern Japan.
The plant is a cycad, which is a group of palm-like plants producing both seeds and cones. You can find this plant for sale by retailers across the United States.
Characteristics of the Sago Palm
The Sago Palm is pretty symmetrical and carries a crown of dark, shiny leaves on a thick trunk. The plant has a diameter of about 20 cm (7.9 inches).
The trunk is actually very low in young plants but grows bigger with age. The plant grows very slowly, however, and takes 50 to 100 years to grow into 20 feet of trunk.
If you were to touch the leaves, you notice that they are semi-glossy. In reproductive age, these leaves can be 50-150 cm long. The Sago Palm is propagated by seeds or by cloning the basal offsets.
Toxicity for Pets
The level of intoxication by a Sago Palm is severe to pets. All parts of this plant are highly toxic. But when it comes to poisoning, the seeds are definitely the kings. Ingesting one seed of the plant can kill a cat or a small dog.
The principal toxic agent of this plant is called cycasin. This is a neurotoxic glycoside and a carcinogen. This makes it the most toxic of the houseplants. It is highly lethal for your dog and/or cat.
The plant poses a risk not only to your pets but to little children as well. In the landscape, farm animals are at a higher risk of being poisoned by sago palm.
Symptoms of Intoxication
Symptoms begin to appear within minutes to several hours of ingestion. Survival rates are low with this one. If your pet receives rapid emergency treatment, it can fully recover from the toxin.
Some of the symptoms your dog or cat may experience are:
- Vomiting in dog and cat
- Diarrhea in dog and cat
- Loss of appetite
- Drooling in dog and cat
- Seizures in dog and cat
- Black bloody stools
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