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.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, (horses).


[etiology.gif] Etiology
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.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
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 dog.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
Alimentary effects

Neurological effects
(Only in cases where large quantities have been ingested):


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific:gastroenteritis.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only: