Dog Owner Issues Giant Hogweed Warning After Dog’s Head Doubles in Size

One dog owner has issued a giant hogweed warning after her dog’s head doubled in…

One dog owner has issued a giant hogweed warning after her dog’s head doubled in size after he came into contact with the toxic white plant.

Emma Ferrier, from Prestonpans in East Lothian, said her two-year-old Working Cocker Spaniel Hector went into anaphylactic shock after he was foraging in long grass. After he fell unwell, his face began to swell up and he was quickly rushed to the vets for treatment.

“Hector was on a walk on a long lead with my step-dad just near to Seton Sands Holiday Park in Port Seton when, as usual, he ran headfirst into the long grass in a field,” Emma told the Daily Record.

“He has been in there on countless occasions but this time it was very different. As soon as he came out he just didn’t look right and he was pawing furiously at his face. After a few minutes his face was almost twice its normal size and he went into anaphylactic shock and spent all afternoon in the vets on an IV drip.”

Emma Ferrier

Thankfully Hector quickly recovered, but the vets told Emma that her pup had come into contact with something toxic hiding in the grass.

“It is hard to pinpoint the actual cause but I’ve been up to the field to have a look and there is a lot giant hogweed in there,” Emma added. “I hadn’t noticed it before and I believe the recent hot weather has really brought it on.”

giant hogweed

Giant hogweed

LucentiusGetty Images

Known as ‘Britain’s most dangerous plant’, giant hogweed might look harmless, but the plant harbours toxic sap on its stems — and can be extremely dangerous when it comes into contact with bare skin.

Giant hogweed was first introduced to the UK in the 1980s as an ornamental plant, but quickly spread across the country. As well as being very invasive, it can lead to skin inflammation and blisters, with a reaction to the plant happening around 15 minutes after first coming into contact with it.

Keep an eye open when out on walks to ensure young children and dogs don’t come into contact with the plant. If you, like Emma, spot your dog has come into contact with the plant, head to your local vet straight away.

“I just hope other dog owners, not just in this area, are vigilant against their pets coming into contact with that plant as it could prove fatal if not treated right away.”

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