Ilex aquifohum (common holly, spring holly). A member of the plant family AQUIFOLIACEAE.
Evergreen shrub or tree with deep green, prickly indented leaves with yellow-green
flowers. Fruit ripen into attractive red berries. Common wild plants, much used in
parks and gardens. Many cultivars exist.
Animals most affected
Ingestion of berries by dogs, in particular around Christmas time when holly is used
traditionally to decorate homes. Ingestion of branches by horses in fields.
The leaves contain ilicine, ilexanthin, ilex acid, and tannins; the berries contain
both emetic and purgative substances.
Toxic doses not known: approximately 20 berries may be capable of killing a large
vomiting, severe diarrhoea.
(Only in cases where large quantities have been ingested):
coma and death.
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:
if necessary, anti-emetics (e.g. metoclopramide l~3 mg/kg im);
infusions of sodium chloride, isotonic glucose;