Pretty | Lethal | Centre for Veterinary Education

Pretty | Lethal

by Lis Churchward

Cycads – Sago 'palm' seeds from the cycad family.

Recognise these…? More importantly, did you know they were highly toxic?

This beautiful image is a close-up of seeds from the Sago cycad, often mistakenly referred to as a palm. If you didn’t recognise this image, there are probably 2 reasons:

  1. You’re not familiar with the plant and its seeds, or

  2. You didn’t see this image in the eBook.

If option 1, you didn’t recognise these seeds, don’t worry – you’re not alone

The aim of Amy Lam’s C&T was to warn vets about this plant which is becoming increasingly popular; correspondingly, there has been an increase in poisoning cases with the Small Animal Specialist Hospital treating at least 10 cases in the last 6 months. A small pretty plant, its seeds are highly attractive to dogs – and also highly toxic. Although other parts of the plant have toxic capacities, it’s the seeds that have proven to be most attractive and dangerous to dogs which suffer acute liver failure after ingesting them.


If option 2, you missed reading the March C&T (Issue 286) eBook, that’s a concern, because:-

  • Either we don’t have an email address for you, or it’s incorrect (meaning you did not receive the email containing the eBook link)

  • You are missing out on an important Member benefit – the eBook version of the C&T Series which complements the print version

Additional features available in the C&T Series eBooks

  • Videos: The opportunity to watch the CVE’s recent South Africa Field trip (page 10) and Sarah Heath’s talk at the CVE Behavioural Course in February, entitled ‘Handling Cats in Practice – A Welfare Consideration’ (page 19)

  • Enhanced visuals: The opportunity to view images and radiographs in full screen – see below:-

  • Downloads: The opportunity to access previously published C&Ts and valuable information e.g. The Sago ‘Palm’ Seeds C&T had links to 9 other articles on poisons (see sample below).

Enter the draw to win!

To encourage members to read the eBook, we are holding a draw. To enter, click on the link embedded in the email sent to you* (see above), download it to your computer and read it to find an easy question embedded in the inside pages. Email your answer to no later than 30 April 2017. The winner will be notified by Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Find out more about CVE Membership and the unique quarterly C&T Series

*If you didn’t receive an email, please contact us on or call (02) 9351 7979.




Engagement Communications Specialist

Lis celebrated 25 years working for the CVE in July 2016. Building a strong CVE professional community has long been a key focus, to which end she completed a Masters of Marketing at the University of Sydney in 2016. Her capstone consulting project was based around surveying veterinarians in Australia and overseas to discover how they experienced the CVE both as a membership organisation and participants in continuing professional development. Lis was awarded the Australian Marketing Institute Prize for Best Consulting Project in 2016 for the most outstanding research project in her graduating class. The vast volume of data generated in this research project is being used to assist the CVE to adapt, improve and innovate to ensure that membership remains as relevant and as accessible today as when Tom Hungerford and colleagues first established the CVE in 1965.