Beware of Sago Palms

Naturally found in tropical or subtropical environments, Sago Palms are used as outdoor and indoor plants.


If you have Sago Palms in or around your home, you must keep your dogs and cats away from them.

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, all parts of the Sago Palm are poisonous. The seeds are the most toxic part of the plant. They contain a toxic element known as cycasin. When ingested, severe liver failure in dogs may occur. If your dog ingests cycasin, acute gastrointestinal signs such as drooling, vomiting and diarrhea will occur within 15 minutes to several hours afterward. Two to three days later, severe liver failure may happen and signs of nervous system trouble will happen such as weakness, ataxia, seizures and tremors.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested part of a Sago Palm, there are some signs you need to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody or black-tarry stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst
  • No appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice

In order to save your pet’s life, it is very important that you call an animal poison control center immediately and/or take them to a veterinarian if they are experiencing any of these symptoms. Even when aggressive treatment is given, the survival rate of ingesting this poisonous plant is only 50%.

About the Sago Palm

Perhaps you aren’t sure if you have a Sago Palm in your yard. It is commonly used in landscaping. It is a hearty plant with spiked leaves, commonly found in Southern states. It is also becoming increasingly available at gardening retail stores across the country. Because of this, the ASPCA has recently seen a 200% increase in Sago Palm poisoning nationwide with 50% to 75% of these cases ending up with the death of the animal.

The Sago Palm goes by several other names that include: Cycads, Cycadaceae, Sago, Zamias, Macrozamia, Cycas Cirinalis, Japanese Cycad, Cycad Revolute, Coontie Plant, Zamia Pumila, Cardboard Palm and Zania Furfuracea.