Cycads Poisoning in Dogs


What is Cycads Poisoning?

Cycads come in numerous sizes and shapes, however all look like a palm tree and fern integrated. These kinds of plants usually have a big trunk with leaves that are just at the top of the plant and look comparable to fern leaves. Although they appear like palm trees, they are unrelated, and are discovered all over the southwestern part of the world and into the southern United States. There are 2 primary toxic substances in cycads, which are Beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid which triggers vertigo, confusion, and liver damage, and cycasin, which triggers intestinal, hepatic, and neurological results.

Cycads are a group of hazardous plants with 3 households (Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae, and Zamiaceae) and numerous classes, orders, and suborders with over 100 types in each. For that reason, there are a big quantity of plants and trees that are thought about cycads, however all of them are hazardous to dogs, other animals, and even people if consumed. Some types of cycads are more hazardous than others, depending upon the quantity of the toxic substance in the plant and seeds. The seeds are the most hazardous, and simply 2 or 3 can be deadly if taken in, triggering liver failure, main nerve system damage, and intestinal inflammation. A few of the adverse effects are throwing up, jaundice, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and death.

Signs of Cycads Poisoning in Dogs

The indications of cycads poisoning in dogs might appear within minutes or it might take numerous days, and these signs can last from one to 9 days. The intensity of the signs depends upon the quantity and part of the cycads taken in, with the seeds being the most hazardous. The most frequently reported signs are:

Intestinal indications

  • Dark stools
  • Diarrhea (in some cases bloody)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Queasiness
  • Throwing Up


  • Weak Point
  • Anxiety
  • Failure to manage motion
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Convulsions


  • Stomach discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Irregular bleeding and clotting
  • Sleepiness
  • Dark urine
  • Regular urination
  • Inflamed abdominal area (fluid retention)
  • Jaundice (yellow tint to skin and eyes)
  • Liver failure
  • Death


Cycads have various types and types, however the most typical are:

  • Cardboard palm
  • Coontie palm
  • Fern palm
  • Sago palm
  • Zamia

Reasons For Cycads Poisoning in Dogs

  • B-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is a neurological irritant that can cross the blood/brain barrier; remaining there and triggering signs such as paralysis, muscle atrophy, and mental retardation  
  • Cycasin might trigger intestinal, hepatic, and neurological results

Medical Diagnosis of Cycads Poisoning in Dogs

Medical diagnosis of cycads poisoning can be made by the signs you have actually seen and what plant you think your canine has actually been consuming. If you are uncertain what your canine consumed, inform the vet what plants you have both within and outdoors your house. In many cases, your canine might have gotten ahold of a cycad, such as a coontie or cardboard palm tree, in another individual’s lawn or at the park, so the signs might be all the vet needs to go on. She will do a substantial health examination of your canine’s general skin and coat condition, essential data, breath noises, pulse oximetry, and a stomach palpation.

Stomach x-rays are essential to identify the degree of damage to the liver and an ultrasound to examine the stomach contents and try to find internal bleeding. In addition, an MRI or CT scan might be bought to get a more in-depth view of what is taking place. A total blood count and blood chemistry profile will be done to identify the levels of ammonia, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), liver enzymes, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin. Depending upon the test results, a coagulation profile might be required to examine clotting, prothrombin, and thromboplastin times.

Treatment of Cycads Poisoning in Dogs

Your canine’s treatment strategy depends upon the test results and present signs. Frequently, the vet will follow the procedure of decontamination, throwing up, fluids, medication, and observation.


To decontaminate your canine, the vet will wash away any plant product or residue from the mouth, nose, and eye location. Cleaning and washing the coat might likewise be required to get rid of the toxic substances.

Throwing Up

To motivate your canine to throw up, a peroxide option or ipecac will be offered. This will assist clear the stomach contents. Triggered charcoal will be administered to soak up any product that stays.

Fluid Treatment

An intravenous (IV) line will be begun on your canine to administer fluids and electrolytes. This assists flush the toxic substances through the kidneys and avoids dehydration. A blood transfusion might be done if there are indications of liver damage.


Once the stomach contents are gone, the vet will administer any medications that are required such as antiemetics, antiseizure drugs, and intestinal tract protectants. Prescription antibiotics might likewise be offered to avoid infection. 


The vet might keep your canine over night for observation, depending upon your family pet’s condition. This will provide the medical personnel the chance to supply encouraging treatment if required.

Healing of Cycads Poisoning in Dogs

If treatment was offered within a couple of hours of intake, your canine has a great chance of survival. Nevertheless, if the signs began prior to treatment and the liver is impacted, the diagnosis is secured, and the opportunity of survival has to do with 50-50. To make certain this does not take place once again, make certain to rid your house and lawn of any kind of cycads in addition to any other dangerous plant.

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