Every fur parent’s biggest heartbreak is the death of their beloved pet. And for a couple named Stephanie and Tony Evans, the pain is worse, as their canine’s passing had been unexpected and sudden. Now, the Evanses would like to share with other pet owners the danger of the sago palm, which caused the death of their beloved furry pals.
Stephanie and Tony are from Western Springs, Illinois. They recently bought a Callewassie Island vacation home in South Carolina, so in March, they traveled down south together with their dogs, Maisy and Murphy, so they could set up their new abode and bask in the warm weather.
On April 3, they enjoyed some time in their yard when Stephanie saw their canines chewing on what appeared to be crab apples while they were out on the lawn. However, half an hour later, both of them began to vomit. Frantic about the situation, Stephanie reached out for help from the Coastal Vet Critical Care because Maisy and Murphy wouldn’t stop vomiting.
In an interview with People, she mentioned describing the seed to the vet. Then, she was asked to bring the samples to them as soon as possible. They suspected that it might be the poisonous sago palm seed.
The Evanses, who were native to Illinois, were privy as to the nature of the plant. According to Better Homes & Gardens information, the sago palm is, in fact, not a palm but a prehistoric cycad plant. This is commonly sold as an indoor plant or otherwise planted outdoors in warmer climates, such as the states in the southeastern portions of the United States.
Regrettably, these plants and their seeds are also toxic and detrimental when ingested by humans and animals such as cats, dogs, and horses. According to ASPCA, sago palm ingestion symptoms in animals include vomiting and tells owners to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible when their pets have swallowed any part of the plant.
The couple immediately responded to their dogs’ medical emergency. After getting in touch with the Coastal Vet Critical Care, they rushed both of them to the center, where the canines received the appropriate treatment to fight the toxic plants two hours after they ingested the seeds.
Stephanie recounts the moments that came after they arrived at the hospital. She said she thought most of the poison they ingested would not have been absorbed when their pets already threw up most of them. The animal hospital did everything they can to assist them, which included charcoal and many IV medications.
Unfortunately, despite their quick action, the toxins rapidly made their way into the canines’ systems. The vet had to inform them that Maisy wouldn’t make it once they arrived at the hospital.
Of Maisy’s fate, Stephanie describes the incident to be awful. A day before she ingested the plant, their canines had been happy, healthy Boxers who loved napping and exercising. And even though Maisy didn’t pull through, they still had hope that Murphy would make it.
Stephanie shared that the vet informed them that Murphy was doing well enough for him to come home. The vet advised them that a change of scenery would be beneficial, so they decided to drive back to Illinois. However, despite being back home, Murphy became lethargic and depressed because Maisy was no longer beside him.
This caused a stall in his recovery, so the Evanses took him to a local vet. Unfortunately, they also discovered that the sago palm seeds were already causing his liver failure. Soon enough, the poison in his system won. This made them decide to put Murphy down because he got very sick.
After everything they’ve been through, the Evanses are reaching out to other fur parents regarding the toxic plant responsible for the death of their pets. It turns out that several pet owners, particularly those living in South Carolina, are also aware of just how dangerous the sago palm could be.
According to Stephanie, she believes it is now her mission to create awareness to other people about the dangers of this plant in honor of her late dogs. She said that some are not educated enough about the hazards of the plant–even worse when a child encounters the same thing that happened to her canines. She wonders why the sago palm is sold and planted in many yards and sometimes even planted indoors.
Currently, the couple uses social media to share their story by using the hashtag #MaisyNMurphysMission for their awareness campaign. Their posts have garnered 12,000 shares–an optimistic sign that their undertakings are getting traction and possibly saving other canines’ lives.
Stephanie says she firmly believes that things happen for a reason, and a silver lining awaits every dreadful situation. In their case, the silver lining comes in the form of helping prevent the same thing from happening to other families. She added that Maisy and Murphy had been such a huge part of theirs, and their passing has caused them so much hurt–which is why she decided that sharing their story would be helpful.
Source: Stephanie Smith Evans / Facebook