Sago Palm plant kills 2 family dogs; grieving owner warns others

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A Savannah family is experiencing a pet owner’s greatest heartbreak as they recently lost two of three of their beloved dogs, Nina and Caney suddenly and unexpectedly due to a common plant.

Last Friday, Erin Sensing noticed all of her dogs were vomiting and not as energetic as usual.
By the end of the night, two of her dogs were dead, and one was in critical condition. The dogs had ingested a Sago Palm from her backyard which is a popular plant in Coastal Georgia that is toxic to animals and people.

“I was terrified. I was so scared. Because they don’t act like that at all. They are usually happy and playful. But, I went to the backyard and one dog is lying curled up and the other is stuck on the concrete unable to move,” said Sensing.

Fronds from a sago palm extend out from the center at the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. (Photo By Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

The Sago is a common sight on outdoor landscapes throughout the country, but some may not know that it poses a serious threat to our pets. Experts say that even ingesting a small amount of the plant can have life-threatening effects.

Carla McCorvey is the owner of Case Veterinary Hospital. She gave some tips to help others prevent this in the future.

“The first signs you may notice are vomiting and diarrhea. Seek medical attention immediately. Try to decontaminate and induce vomiting so very little is actually absorbed,” said McCorvey

While she’s still grieving about the tragic deaths of Nina and Caney, Sensing is thankful that the hospital was able to save her youngest dog, Franklin.


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