Yew – Toxic Plant of the Week


Welcome to the last edition of the a-z of plants that hate your horse (for now) we’ve hit the end of the road. Today’s plant is one that evokes images of snowy woods & holiday cheer, Yew an interesting looking plant, with a sharp bite.

A Little About Yew

Taxus species is also called Yew. This is an evergreen shrub with flat, needle-like leaves 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. Berries are red or yellow, soft & have a hole where the seed is visible.

How Dangerous Is It?

While not often found in grazing areas, horses should be kept well away. A handful of any part is enough to kill a full grown horse. Yew contains taxine, an alkaloid that that depresses the heart muscle & can cause sudden death.

All parts of this plant are toxic (with highest concentration in the leaves) & can be fatal to equines.


What To Look For

You know your animal the best, so you should know when something is amiss. Yew toxicity symptoms include loss of coordination, trembling & collapse. Sudden death can occur without any showing signs when animal is moved / exercised.

Learn More

Be sure to check out the Yew page to learn more about the plant & while you are at it why not check out more toxic plants?

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*It should be noted that we’re not veterinarians. This information is written specifically for horses & should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.