Another Sago Palm and pets question

toffee-el(Z8b Sunset Z13 Elev 4650ft)October 19, 2012

I recently bought two 15g sago palms from Lowes and re-potted them into big clay pots with 22" opening and about 26" height.

Everything that I read online pointed to dogs eating or chewing on the roots or seed that led to poisoning. What about the fronds? Do dogs eat or chew on fronts? As I don't think my dog can get to the roots and I have to make sure the seeds are removed.

Is it relative safe for my golden retriever? As the pots are heavy and he will have a difficult time getting to the roots.

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I have 2 cats that were nibbling on my windmill palm frond and some yuccas I kept indoors. They got very sick over the summer , diarrhea, vomiting. Thought it was something , a virus , turns out leaves on those trees are toxic. I put everything in the yard and away from the cats. Took about 2 weeks and anti biotics and they r now fine. Best bet , keep them away from pets

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 6:19PM
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toffee-el(Z8b Sunset Z13 Elev 4650ft)

I had lots of plants with poisonous parts like brugmansia, Orleander etc., but pets normally won't touch them. Does Sago palm smell yummy to them or something? Why do they go after them?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:02PM
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I think it's an individual characteristic of the animal. Some are prone to chewing anything, some don't. We have lots of Cycads growing naturally here and they're frequently producing lots of seed. Just about everyone has dogs and no one has any problems. There's nothing in the cycad per se that will attract the dog. Just what the dog does to pass the time or kill the boredom.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 12:47AM
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I wonder sometimes about cause and effect. Does the animal get sick because it chews on a leaf or does a sick animal tend to do things like chewing on leaves--perhaps to induce vomiting. I have numerous toxic plants over the years and never lost an animal due to botanical poisoning. I notice that wild animals never munch on palms and certain plants outside (bamboo, ornamental grasses, among others). Indoors, I have seen them nibble on dracaena or Chamaedoreas but cycad leaves, never. I have read too that the cycad seeds are toxic but mine are not in bloom, neither do they come into the house. When I used to overwinter in the house, cats would not go near them let alone chew on them. Also, I dd not research Yucca, but Windmill palm leaves are listed specifically as non-toxic to cats and dogs. I would suggest that people who do have pets, grow some green stuff just for their furry friends (indoor catnip, alfalfa grass, common grass, etc.), then they may not turn to the houseplants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Windmill palms and toxicity

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 8:02AM
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As a veterinarian I see my share of plant toxicoses, and by far the most common is dogs eating this plant... and sadly often with dire consequences. In my opinion cycads are potentially the most dangerous plants to plant in your yard from a toxic-to-dogs point of view... the reason is not because they are the most toxic plants around... not even close... but they do NOT taste bad. in fact, their fruits, which are the most toxic part of the plant, actually taste sweet. I had a puppy in just today that ate all the fruits off a Sago Palm and thankfully vomited most of them up... still needs to be hospitalized and have its liver enzymes monitored. This not-tasting-bad thing is the big problem with cycads... Oleander, Azaleas, Castor Bean etc. are far more toxic, but few dogs are dumb enough to eat things that taste so bad. But sometimes dogs will go crazy and just eat about anything, no matter how bad it tastes (I had a Boston Terrier patient that ate an entire Diffenbachia- not only a horrible tasting plant, but full of painful oxalates... still, it went crazy, ate the hole thing, and died... and Diffenbachias are not known as a super toxic plant).

I have tons of cycads in the yard, and occasionally one of my dogs will chew on a leaf, but they have lots of toys that taste better or are more fun to chew on, so I don't get any toxic incidences... I do NOT however let a Sago Palm or Zamia fruit (chop those parts off right away).

in terms of danger, however, my spiny plants are more dangerous so I have to keep the dogs from the cacti and spiny agaves.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 2:09PM
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