A popular and common plant seen all over Southern California is toxic and potentially deadly for dogs.
"I love her so much. I love my dog so much and just not having her home and not knowing...," Cat Johnson told CBSLA about her pug puppy, Potato.
It's been touch and go for the dog after she collapsed while on a walk Friday in Corona del Mar.
"This is the pathway we normally go down for her regular walks,' Johnson said, " and right by this plant, she'll nip at whatever's on the ground that might look like food."
Johnson discovered that a sag palm is blooming just 100 yards from her apartment. The plant, as it turns out, is highly toxic for dogs. Tests run on Potato by the emergency hospital showed extremely high liver levels, consistent with sago palm poisoning, a danger that Johnson said she was unaware of.
"Our first reaction is, 'Oh my gosh, what did we do in the house? You know, the Advil, Tylenol, my art supplies. What did I miss here?' and, you know, once the toxicology report was ran, we gave them everything that was in the home none of those things could have caused the numbers that it did," Johnson said.
Dr. Scott Weldy at Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital said that dogs are ingesting things all the time, and added that there are many plants and flowers in neighborhoods and parks that are dangerous for animals. He said pet owners need to watch their pets like they would a young child.
"They see something shiny and they grab it and they first thing they do is put in their mouth or they put their hand in their mouth after they grab a hold of something and drop it. So, dogs are like that and puppies are really, really inquisitive."
It's believed that Potato ingested one of the sago palm's seeds. Through fundraising, friends and animal loves are helping Johnson pay for the expensive hospital bills.
"It's been a nightmare," she said.
Fortunately, Potato is getting better and could be home as soon as Thursday.
Some of the other plants and flowers that can be toxic to pets include tulips, daffodils, azaleas, hydrangea, oleander, bird of paradise, lilies and plumeria.
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