Yew is extremely toxic for dogs

Taxus baccata extremely toxic

The yew is an evergreen conifer that is also very often used as a hedge or shrub in gardens. The bark of the trunk is characteristically fibrous, its needles are mostly dark green. While the flowers are inconspicuous, the bright red, pea-sized berries, which have an opening on one side, shine.

All parts of the European yew are poisonous. However, the needles and chewed seeds are very poisonous. Extreme caution is advised here, especially in autumn and winter.

Yew is also known as:
  • common yew
  • English yew
  • European yew
Yew with red fruit

What should I do if my dog ate Yew?

How toxic is Yew?

Toxicity:extremely toxic (extremely toxic)
Toxic parts:The whole plant is poisonous, but the needles and chewed seeds are particularly poisonous. Extreme caution is advised in autumn and winter.
Toxic time:winter, spring, summer, autumn
If your dog shows symptoms of poisoning, it is always an emergency! Time is critical for your dog's life. You should immediately call your vet or the animal emergency services and make sure that a vet is on site and then go there immediately. For the treatment, it helps the vet a lot to know what your dog has ingested.

Occurrence Yew

Plant species:tree
Occurrence:Gardens, Parks, Forests
Flowering time:winter, spring
Fruit ripening:summer, autumn


The following symptoms may occur in case of poisoning with yew:

  • restlessness
  • tremor
  • muscle cramps
  • depression
  • coma

In very severe cases, the following symptoms also occur:

  • shortness of breath
  • red and later bluish mucous membranes
  • racing heart
  • death due to respiratory paralysis


The vet will always try to remove the ingested poison from the body and alleviate the specific symptoms of poisoning.

There are different methods to remove the poison from the body:

1. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL: Activated charcoal can absorb toxins. If possible, it should be administered within 2 hours after ingestion of the poison, so that the toxin does not enter the bloodstream.
2. LAXATIVES: The vet may combine the administration of activated charcoal with a laxative.
3. VOMITING: The vet can also induce vomiting using medication to remove the toxin from the body. 

To alleviate the symptoms of poisoning, the vet can administer infusions and medication to stabilise the heart and against muscle spasms.

More information on dog poisonings can be found here: 

Preventing, identifying and treating poisoning in dogs

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