TitleFatal yew (Taxus sp) poisoning in Willamette Valley, Oregon, horses.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsCope, RB, Camp, C, Löhr, CV
JournalVeterinary and human toxicology
Date Published2004 Oct

Despite the well-founded reputation of plants of the genus Taxus as being amongst the most toxic plants for domestic livestock in the US, there are surprisingly few published case reports of yew poisoning in horses. This report documents 2 acute fatalities in horses in the central Willamette Valley, OR associated with the consumption of Taxus sp. The predominant features of the intoxication were peracute death, with no signs of struggling or convulsions, in otherwise fit and well managed adult horses. The most significant gross necropsy findings were limited to pulmonary congestion and hemorrhage, suggestive of acute circulatory disturbance. A diagnosis of Taxus sp poisoning was confirmed on the basis of a history of potential exposure, by the identification of yew leaves in the gastric contents of the horses, and by the subsequent identification of yew clippings in the pasture. The literature relevant to Taxus sp poisoning in horses is reviewed.