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Posted on 03-22-2016

March 20-26th is National Animal Poison Prevention Week

Here at Corpus Christi Animal Clinic we would like to focus this week on some of the poisons that can harm your pet(s). We will start with Dr. Hughes' #1 poison alert;

The Sago Palm Tree

Do you have a sago palm in your yard? Sago palm trees are very common in south Texas. The trees thrive in tropical conditions.
Dr. Hughes wants you to know that all parts of this tree contains a deadly toxin called "cycasin". The seeds are usually what an animal will come in contact with. This toxin, "cycasin" if ingested will cause severe irreversible liver failure.
How do you know if your pet has ingested one of these seeds? You probably won't, unless you see them chewing on it or they bring you the seed to play fetch. this plant does not taste bad; therefore, the animal will not be deterred by the taste.
What are some of the early signs that your pet might have ingested this toxin? The symptoms are similar to a regular tummy upset. Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite can occur within 15 mins. to several hours after ingestion. Medical Attention should be sought immediately if you think your pet(s) might have come into contact with this toxin. Late symptoms involve the central nervous system due to the liver failure. Tremors (shaking) and even seizures will occur. The whites of the eyes and even the gums can look yellow (jaundice).
Unfortunately, there is not an antidote for the toxin "cycasin". So what should you do?
Prevention is key! Look around your yard. This is what a sago palm tree looks like. The seeds are not shown in this picture, but they look like a large bright orange nut. If you find a seed in your yard that you are unsure of feel free to come by Corpus Christi Animal Clinic at 1010 Ohio Ave. Corpus Christi, TX. We are here Monday - Friday 7:30a - 5:30p and Saturday 8a-12p. 
Dr. Hughes recommends that you remove all the sago palm trees from your yard (do not let your pets chew on the tree as you remove it, even the roots are toxic). Tell your family, friends and neighbors about this deadly tree, they probably don't know about it either.

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