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Yew

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows, Birds

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe

Common signs to watch for:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

This common evergreen (meaning the plant stays green all year round) is extremely poisonous to all species (e.g., dogs, cats, horses, cattle, humans, etc.). All parts of the plant (including the succulent, red berries) are very poisonous, as they contain taxines. There are several variety of plants in the Taxus spp., including the Japanese Yew and English Yew. When ingested by dogs and cats, clinical signs of drooling, vomiting, weakness, difficulty breathing, life-threatening changes in heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, coma and death may be seen. Recently, florists have started to use Japanese Yew to make wreaths for the holidays. As horses are very susceptible to yew poisoning, make sure not to have this around the barn or pasture!

Poison type: Plants

Scientific name: Taxus spp.

Alternate names: Taxus, Japanese yew, English yew, Chinese yew, tree of death, evergreen, taxine