Monday, September 26, 2016

A danger right outside your door...

We debated writing this post, but in case it can help prevent another dog or animal from getting sick, we decided to share what happened to us last weekend.  Since we were very lucky, we wanted to tell you about an innocent looking Evergreen tree called a Yew.

Photo from

Many people, especially those living throughout the Northeast, have these trees either in their own yards, or in their neighborhoods.  They are very popular and used in landscaping, but they are also very poisonous.  We had a Yew in our yard, it had been there long before we moved in 20 years ago.  And in all the years we lived here, not one of our dogs ever bothered with this tree....until last weekend.

Sophie, the picture of innocence

Maizie, so sweet, and so naughty!
Yes, our two four month old puppies decided to try sampling the berries from the Yew tree.  Our first indication that something was wrong, was when Sophie vomited and we spotted the berries and seeds.  Within minutes she was staggering, and a seizure quickly followed.  Terrified, we rushed them to the animal hospital, where the staff induced vomiting in both puppies.  They treated them with charcoal, and then IV medicine and fluids overnight.  

I have never been so scared, this definitely could have ended in tragedy.  So if you have this tree in your yard, you should quickly take a chainsaw to it!  We have removed it from our yard, and we have scoured our yard for any other possibly poisonous plants.  So please, double check your yards and your neighbors' yards, you never know what dangers may be right outside your door!

Maizie never showed any signs or symptoms, so we would have never known she had eaten any of the berries without Sophie getting sick.  We brought Maizie to the animal hospital too, because with these two puppies, what one does so does the other!  Happily, they are both doing just fine, and up to their usual antics!  But we have had many friends tell us they also had these trees in their yards and they never knew the danger.  And sadly, one friend told us that her horse died after eating a branch from a Yew tree, so we felt it was very important to share this with all of you.  Please be careful everyone!


  1. Glad to hear you both recovered from what sounds like a very scary experience. Milo & Jet

  2. Oh goodness! Thank dog they are both all right. I remember those trees from when I was young and living in NJ. We were told as young kids the berries were poisonous but I did not realize they were poisonous to dogs as well. Good thing you got rid of it!

  3. OMD! How scary! So sorry you had to go through that, but so glad the pups are OK. We have been through something similar with a poisoness plant that we didn't know was dangerous. Very scary.

    Thank you for sharing. They are both so adorable!

    p.s. we are not one pack quite yet. Hope to work on it this coming fall and winter. We'll share our progress.

  4. That must have been so scary for you and the pups. Thanks so much for sharing this important information!

  5. Oh my goodness how scary! Glad everything is ok. Mom had the bushes growing up in NJ
    Lily & Edward

  6. So very thankful for this information! Also, so thankful that Maize and Sophie are fine. We must be on guard with our beloved companions to keep them safe.
    Noreen and Hunter

  7. OMD, that just must've been soooo frightening!!! I am so glads you are both okay...we don't have those here, butts we have lots of poisonous plants that grow naturally or in peeps front yards, that everyone should be aware of.
    Thanks for the heads up, and glads everyone is okay!
    Ruby ♥

  8. OMGoodness! Happily, Mom and I do not have that naughty tree by our house. Thank goodness that story had a happy ending. Well done rushing to the vet.

    Love and licks,

  9. oh wow, I had no clue that this berries can be so dangerous... we have this trees here everywhere, fortunately we never saw berries, because they get always a cut ... but we will look closer now to avoid areas with this trees... thanks for a very important post!!!

  10. What a frightening and scary experience--so glad that the pups are fine now. That's good info--thanks for sharing it.

  11. We did not know about the toxicity of these berries. Yikes! Thanks for sharing.
    P.S. We posted a comment on another post and thought it was going to a different post. It was how cue you guys are and not appropriate for dangers to your dogs. Feel free to ashcan it. Mom promises to be more careful where she posts. *Sigh-uprights-can't live with them, can't live without 'em* 🙃
    Your fur-iend,
    Sam 🐾

  12. We are so happy that both pups are doing well.

  13. That was a close call, we're glad you're okay! (We have many yews in the forest, but none close by. We will be very careful, thank you for the warning!)


  14. I can't even imagine how scared you must've been! I never knew the yew was poisonous. Since I have an indoor only cat, I don't worry much about what's in the yard ... but I do know I can't keep any plants inside. With all the chaos of moving in, I didn't check the toxicity of the the azalea I got as a housewarming gift ... and the next morning the entire plant was gone ... just a pile of dirt and the pot remained. I got incredibly lucky though because Bear Cat didn't show any symptoms ... I thought nothing of it until a couple years later when I was going over the ASPCA's list of dangerous plants. But I learned my lesson!

  15. I am SO glad this turned out OK for them - that had to have been so scary! I wrote a series of posts about safe gardening for dogs. When we moved to a new house back in early spring there were plants everywhere in the yard that I didn't know the safety for the dogs of. Luckily yews weren't one of them, but there were others that could make them sick, and I had to remove or fence them off.

  16. I'm glad the story has a happy ending! Thanks for sharing--I'm sure you've helped other people protect their pups. When I first got my Barley girl, she got into sugar-free gum and I'd just seen a story on the news about a dog who died after doing that, so I was able to get her to the vet before anything awful happened--I'm a HUGE supporter of sharing stories like this because of that!

  17. I'm just SO glad that someone was home and you reacted so quickly. Little puppies are so curious, but we can't forget that older dogs can do things like this too.

    Thanks for sharing this, I'm glad it turned out well for you.

  18. My parents have Yew trees in their yard and growing up we learned early on they were poisonous, but my husband had no idea what they were! this is such an important message to get out to pet owners, especially ones who move to the North East US.

  19. Yikes, that is awful and so scary! Thankfully, we don't have those trees here. Glad they are alright.