Sago palms can often be seen in the yards of residents here in the lowcountry. What most people don’t know is that this commonly seen plant is deadly to pets, including a local resident until his 11 month old Japanese Chin puppy Echo died after she came into contact with sago palm seeds. The cause of death was liver failure after months of battling severe liver poisoning after coming into contact with the plant.
Although this plant is highly toxic to animals and can be purchased at many stores in the Charleston area, they are not required to have warning labels for pet’s safety. The first tell tale signs of concern after coming into contact with the plant are vomiting and increased thirst.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has compiled a complete list of poisonous foods and plants. While some results may be common knowledge, many may surprise pet owners.
Common flowers found in many gardens like tulips and azaleas are toxic to dogs and can cause diarrhea, vomiting and even cardiac failure. Daisies, if eaten by a dog, can cause hypersalivation, incoordination, dermatitis as well as vomiting and diarrhea. Some other popular flowers on the list of toxic plants according to the ASPCA are autumn crocus, amaryllis, calla lily, carnation, chamomile, daffodil, dahlia, iris, kalanchoe, morning glory, mum and more.
Palms commonly seen in the lowcountry including the sago palm can cause bruising, liver failure and even death as even as little as 1-2 seeds can be fatal to a dog. Some other common indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic to dogs include aloe, chive, english ivy, eucaltyptus, fern palm, holly, locust, dieffenbachia, oleander, cyclamen and many others.
While plants are definitely a concern for pet owners, another major concern is which human foods are dog friendly. Sometimes feeding the dog a few scraps from the table can do more harm than good. Many common foods should be kept away from your pet including alcohol, avocados, caffeine, nuts of any kind, milk and dairy, onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, salty snack foods and salt altogether.
Too many salty snack foods like chips, pretzels and popcorn can cause your dog tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. Grapes and raisins contain a toxic substance that can cause your dog kidney failure. Feeding a dog nuts of any kind can potentially cause pancreatitis and feeding them Macadamia nuts can cause tremors and hyperthermia.
While this might seem like a long list of hazardous things for dogs to eat, keeping a watchful eye on your pet and keeping yourself educated on your dogs health is important as a pet owner. Being aware of things that can be hazardous for your dog’s health can prevent a tragedy like Echo’s from happening. For a full list of hazardous plants and foods visit the ASPCA’s website www.aspca.org. If your pet has eaten something you may believe to be harmful or hazardous to them, immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426- 4435.