04-2014 April

Toxic Palms
tocic-plant-4-2014
Dog owners take note of the Sago Palm, a highly toxic palm which is commonly planted in Southern Nevada. The Sago Palm is a small decorative palm that has a pineapple like base, found in backyard landscaping and sold a household Bonsai plants.

The plant contains cycasin, which is found in all parts of the plant, but the seeds (nuts) are especially toxic, and just a few can be problematic. Toxicity occurs within 24 hours of ingestion and rapidly leads to liver failure.

Symptoms of Sago Palm Toxicity Include: depression, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, bleeding disorders, seizures, and death.

Due to the serious toxic threat of Sago Palms, dog owners should never have Sago Palms in the backyard, or anywhere their dog has free access unattended.

For more information visit Pet Poison Helpline- Sago Palm

Ask Dr. Debbie

Q: Charlie, my 6 year old Bichon Frise is scooting his behind on the carpet. I went to the vet, had his anal sacs emptied and a fecal test done, which was negative. Charlie still is dragging his rear on carpet and even on the sidewalk. I heard about a surgery to remove his anal sacs- would this stop the scooting?

A: Maybe, and maybe not. There are many reasons why dogs do that infamous “Bootie Scoot”. Surgical removal of anal sacs, also known as an anal sacculectomy, may be advised for pets with chronic anal sac issues or abscesses, but I wouldn’t make a hasty decision on surgery. Anal sacculectomy will not stop scooting if the itching is due to other causes.

If your vet suspects anal sac inflammation or low grade infection, treatment with oral antibiotics and anal sac flush may be in order before considering surgery. I find many dogs with low grade anal sac infections improve with flushing and infusing the anal sacs with a slow release antibiotic, combined with oral antibiotic therapy.

If your dog’s scooting hasn’t improved after anal sac expressions, then I’d look at other causes for anal itchiness such as intestinal parasites, diarrhea, food allergies, seasonal allergies, or even infections in skin around anus or vaginal areas.

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