Known As: All varieties: for example, American Yew,
English Yew, Japanese Yew, Ornamental Yew.
Latin Name: Taxus family
Description: Woody perennials with flat 1/2-1 inch long evergreen
leaves that are a lighter green on the underside and broader than pine
needles. The "berry" is small, juicy, and bright scarlet, with a hole in
the end which makes it look cup-like.
Poisonous Parts: Extremely toxic, death is likely. The
toxin is taxine, a mixture of alkaloids, that slow down cardiac conduction.
As little as 0.1 to 0.5% of the fresh plant per body weight is lethal.
Death is due to cardiac and/or respiratory collapse.
Symptoms: May produce vomiting, drooling, abdominal pain, swelling
around the mouth, difficulty breathing, and in some cases diarrhea. Sudden
death is the typical sign. Occasionally: breathing problems, trembling,
weakness, heart problems,
Treatment: Unless your cat is unconscious or having convulsions,
induce vomiting and initiate procedures to delay
absorption and speed elimination. Get immediate
veterinary assistance, cardiac drug therapy may be attempted however success
is extremely unlikely.