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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12472
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My 5 lb Yorkie may have eaten a holly berry

Customer Question

My 5 lb Yorkie may have eaten a holly berry
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

According to the ASPCA:

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for:

  • Lip smacking
  • Drooling
  • Head shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetance

Certain types of yuletide plants (e.g., mistletoe, rosemary, holly berries, etc.) can be toxic to pets. Varieties of English, Japanese, and Chinese Holly contain toxic saponins. When Christmas or English holly is ingested, it can result in severe gastrointestinal upset (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea) thanks to the spiny leaves and the potentially toxic substances (including saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens). If ingested, most pets lip smack, drool, and head shake excessively due to the mechanical injury from the spiny leaves.

To be on the safe side, keep your yuletide plants out of reach of your dogs and cats during the holidays. If you suspect your pet has ingested holly, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline for treatment recommendations.

Poison type: Plants

Alternate names: Ilex, English holly, Chinese holly, Japanese holly, saponins

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

So it will cause gastrointestinal upset but will otherwise not be toxic to organ function.

To be on the safe side and if your dog ingested this within the last hour then you can induce vomiting with 3% hydrogen peroxide 1 tsp per ten pounds then walk around to mix it in the stomach and agitate the lining. If no vomiting within 10-15 minutes it can be repeated once only in hopes of inducing vomiting.

Otherwise I would advise:
- Pepcid (famotidine) 10 mg 1/8 tablet every 12 hours x 3 days
- Bland diet for 24 hours of white rice and lean boiled meat such as chicken to help settle her stomach
- Leash walks to help move the berry through more readily, 15+ minutes two to three times daily
- If there is vomiting then please remove all food/ water for 12 hours and contact your veterinarian in the morning

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both or if I can clarify any additional points

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION at the top of your screen (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Another site lists that leaves and berries are low toxicity...please let me know any additional questions I can assist with today

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlier

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!

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