The Dangers of the Sago Palm

April 29, 2021

a black cat with a white patch on their chest

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) receives thousands of calls every year relating to pets ingesting plants, but this year, there has been a massive spike in cases relating to the Sago Palm, an extremely toxic plant for our furry friends. With the significant increase in cases over the last year, we have seen more and more calls coming from states all over the country.

The Sago Palm, or Cycas Revoluta, is a stocky, spike-leaved plant commonly seen in landscaping, largely in Southern states, but still seen nationwide. If an animal ingests any portion of the Sago Palm, studies have shown that up to 50% of ingestion cases are fatal. However, chances of survival increase with early intervention. 

What You Need to Know

sago palm

The entire plant is toxic (this includes the seeds and fronds), so it’s best not to keep these around pets if possible. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet may have ingested the plant. 

Some clinical signs of Sago Palm toxicity to watch out for: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Bloody stool
  • Jaundice 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Bruising

Sago Palms can also cause Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, blood clotting disorders, liver damage or failure, and death can occur without immediate treatment.

Additionally, Cardboard Palms, or Zamia furfuracea, are a close relative of the Sago Palm and are now popping up in gardening stores. These plants carry the same toxicity risks, so we are urging pet parents to be cautious. 

For more information on toxic plants, see the full list

If you think your pet may have ingested ANY portion of the Sago Palm plant, or any other toxic substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.