It has come to our attention that many home improvement stores are selling a houseplant that can cause serious poisoning in pets and children. The plant is called the “Sago Palm” or “Cycad”. It is also referred to as “The Oldest Known Plant”. It is used in outdoor landscaping in Southern States, but can only survive as a houseplant in the North. All of this plant, including the seeds and root ball are toxic. Signs of illness first appear about 12 hours after ingestion and include gastrointestinal sign such as vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. The toxins in the plant lead to severe liver failure with progressive weakness, jaundice, bruising and bleeding and other signs of liver failure that lead to death. It is estimated that 75-80% of animals ingesting this plant will die in spite of aggressive medical treatment. If you have one of these plants in your home you will want to be sure to keep it away from pets and children, preferably by disposing of it safely in a covered trash can or “rehome” it with someone who does not have pets or young children in the household.
Courtesy of Burnt Hills Veterinary Hospital http://www.burnthillsvethosp.com/
For photos and information about the Sago, visit: http://www.rhapisgardens.com/sagos/