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YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species
YEW, JAPANESE YEW -  Taxus species

Taxus species

YEW, JAPANESE YEW

Distinguishing features
Yews are evergreen trees and shurbs that have flat, needle-like leaves , about 1 inch long. They grow in opposite pairs along twigs. A distinguishing feature of the yew is the red fleshy berry that forms a cup around a black seed.
Description
These plants are landscape shrubs with small, narrow, strap-like evergreen leaves that are two-ranked along the stem. The leaves taper bluntly to a point. The fleshy fruit (known as an aril) turns red when ripe.
Exposure
Animals gain access when trimmed hedges or shrubs are carelessly cast into pastures or when animals escape into landscaped areas.
Toxic principle
Taxine alkaloids (A and B) are believed to inhibit depolarization in the heart. The whole plant, except for the red aril (fruit), is toxic.
Toxicity
This plant is highly toxic to herbivores. As little as 6-8 ounces of fresh yew may kill an adult cow or horse.
Diagnosis
Acute onset and sudden death are common. Often animals are found dead with no premonitory signs.
Clinical signs
trembling, muscle weakness, dyspnea, and collapse are cardinal clinical signs. Arrhythmia, bradycardia, and diastolic heart block appear to be the cause of death.
Laboratory diagnosis
some laboratories can detect yew alkaloids in appropriate samples such as rumen contents.
Lesions
Diagnosis often depends on finding evidence of yew leaves in the rumen or stomach contents.
Treatment
  • assisted respiratory and vascular support may be helpful
  • detoxification measures, including activated charcoal and catharsis, should be promptly taken
  • atropine may be helpful to combat the cardio-depressant effect of taxine, but must be given early in the course of the disease.

Read more in the Poisonous Plants of Pennsylvania Publication

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