Heartbroken woman issues warning to dog owners after her French bulldog Lily died in her arms having eaten toxic sago palm house plant

A woman left heartbroken by the tragic death of her French bulldog who died in her arms having eating the poisonous sago palm house plant has issued a warning to pet owners. 

Kate Wagner, from Wisconsin, says her ‘sweet baby’ Lily ate the toxic leaves from the plant before she was rushed to an emergency vet in a race against time to save her life. 

In a post shared on Facebook, Kate said she had ‘no idea’ that the 6-inch plant she purchased from a garden center last summer would become her ‘nightmare’.

She said the felt ‘compelled’ to share her story as she urged pet owners to be more vigilant when buying house plants. 

Lily the French Bulldog is pictured above with her feeding tube. She died nearly three weeks after ingesting the toxic of leaves of a sago palm tree

Lily spent the next three weeks on a feeding tube and strict medication schedule as her owners and veterinary staff battled in vain to keep her alive, but she tragically died this weekend. 

Kate said Lily’s medication schedule lasted from 7AM to 12AM every single day and that there were ‘many tears shed, dollars spent, and guilt felt… all because of a $5 plant.’

She claims to have seen the plant for sale on shelves at major supermarkets including Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot without any warning label attached to it. 

Kate said that Lily died after she ‘fought hard, loved hard, and gave us a couple butt wiggles’ but her body ‘couldn’t fight any longer’.    

A post shared by owner Kate Wagner shows her syringing Lily with medication in a bid to save her life
A post shared by owner Kate Wagner shows her syringing Lily with medication in a bid to save her life
All parts of the saga plant are toxic. Owner Kate Wagner says she has seen the plant for sale on shelves at major supermarkets (file photo)
All parts of the saga plant are toxic. Owner Kate Wagner says she has seen the plant for sale on shelves at major supermarkets (file photo)

Symptoms of sago palm poisoning in dogs 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Blood in feces 
  • Nose bleeds
  • Lethargy 
  • Yellow coloration of skin and gums 
  • Abdominal fluid and pain
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Bruising 
  • Paralysis and seizures  

House plants that are dangerous for dogs 

  • Lilies 
  • Alocasia 
  • Aloe vera
  • Corn plant  
  • Cyclamen 
  • Ivy 
  • Jade 
  • Dumb cane 
  • ZZ Plant
  • Desert rose 
  • Asparagus fern 

The sago palm is originally found in tropical conditions but in recent years has become popular as a bonsai-style houseplant. 

All parts of the plant including its trunk, roots, leaves, and small berry-like seeds contain the highly toxic cycasin, which can cause severe liver failure in both cats and dogs.   

Ingesting the toxin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and failure of the central nervous system within just 15 minutes of consumption. 

Pet helplines say the survival rate after ingesting cycasin is just 50 per cent and that smaller dogs will suffer more damage more quickly because of their size.  

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