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09 August 2015
An interesting look at acupuncture.

Pet Wellness Worx

24 September 2015
Although we think of hip dysplasia (HD) as a "large breed problem", a small dog - the Pug - is right at the top of the OFA rankings.
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5 January 2016
I am popping this email through to your team in the hope that some media attention could be brought to the debate of Cycad poisoning and hopefully some light can be shed on the harm that is coming to our precious animals –right under our noses. Cycad poisoning  is something that was completely foreign to me until recently when we lost our baby boy dog. South Africa is a nation of animal lovers and I am hoping that my story may spark some discussion.

My story was featured on Talk Radio 702 and Cape Talk discussing the same matter.

My husband and I recently lost our 4 year old German Shepherd boy dog Leo, who was like a child to us.

We rushed him to the animal hospital after he refused to eat and threw up a greenish substance.

In my mind I am thinking he might have swallowed some kind of small garden creature or just had an upset stomach.

At the animal hospital, our boy was placed on drips and the vet told us from the initial diagnosis – it looked like Cycad poisoning, and do we have any plants in our garden that look like this: *she showed us a cycad plant*.

We had one full grown plant which we inherited when we purchased our house 5 years ago, and my husband had recently bought two mini cycads that he planted.

The vet then dropped a bombshell: Our boy likely had Cycad poisoning from ingesting a part of the plant, and had a 50% chance of survival. We left the hospital in shock – our normally strong and healthy boy was in High Care and fighting for his life!

Our aim was to return back the next day, and we were keeping the hope that Leo would pull through. We got the call at around 7am the next morning saying our Leo had lost his fight. The poison had spread to his other organs and he died a few minutes ago.

My husband and I are still devastated as the doggy meant the world to us, and was like losing a child.

My devastation has now turned to anger as we asked for a full autopsy report which confirmed that it was in fact Cycad poisoning. I had absolutely had no idea that this plant was toxic at all – not to mention that it would kill my precious boy.

I have made contact with the Cycad Society, who are yet to respond to my concerns and questions.

I am now making contact with the media as well and shedding light on what has happened to our pet, as I believe much more can be done to help our animals. These plants are simply being sold to the public with no awareness and no toxic label warning about the harmful effects on dogs and according to my research – children and people.

Your assistance in creating awareness on this topic would be much appreciated. The vet has categorically stated that there are many incidents such as these throughout Johannesburg,  and having spoken to colleagues at work, this has happened to a number of them too.


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