Puppy Dies After Eating Popular Houseplant

Ingesting parts of sago palm plant proves fatal for a Labrador Retriever-mix puppy.

Posted: May 5, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

Just months after Amber, a Labrador Retriever-mix puppy, was adopted by the Woytek family from the Houston SPCA, she was rushed to a nearby emergency clinic after showing signs of illness. Laurie Woytek discovered that the puppy had eaten parts of sago palm plant, a common houseplant that is highly toxic to dogs and cats.

According to the ASPCA, there has been an increase in sago palm and cycad poisoning since 2003, with 50 to 75 percent of those ingestions resulting in fatalities. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and signs of illness include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, seizures and liver failure.

After a few days in the clinic, the veterinarian informed the Woyteks that Amber developed jaundice and liver failure. The Woyteks took Amber to her regular veterinarian – along the way, she suffered seizures in the car – to discuss options.

“We ultimately made the very difficult, yet humane decision to let her go,” Woytek says.

In light of the puppy’s death, the ASPCA reminds all dog owners to be aware of poisonous plants and other household substances that pose danger to dogs.


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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

5/5/2009 10:16:03 PM

Puppies really have to be watched. It's so sad.

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sk   nh, CT

5/5/2009 8:54:57 PM


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karen   little rock, AR

5/5/2009 6:15:10 PM

My heart breaks for the puppy.I never heard of this plant causes harm.Thank you

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Julie   Lewiston, ME

5/5/2009 3:15:07 PM

I will not keep any plants in the house or at least within reach.

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