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Man wants to raise awareness after dog dies through contact with UK’s ‘most dangerous plant’ on walk

today1 July 2022

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A dog owner wants to raise awareness of the UK’s ‘most dangerous plant’ after his dog died from coming into contact with it. The man was walking his dog in a park when she came into contact with the plant.

Stuart Good, 61, was walking his dog Ella with his friend Clive Ransom in a park when Ella suddenly yelped out in pain and ran out from the undergrowth but it wasn’t until they were home that Stuart noticed a blister on her.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the wound was ‘the size of a pound coin’. The blister was under the Staffordshire Bull Terrie’s leg and continued to double in size.

Read more: Giant Hogweed: Son left with severe burns from ‘UK’s most dangerous plant’

Clive, 49, drove Stuart and Ella to the vets in Birkenhead where they were told her injuries were caused by giant hogweed – which is dubbed as “Britain’s most dangerous plant.” Clive and Stuart now want to warn other dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead and stick to the paths when walking in the park.

Clive told the ECHO: “She went in the undergrowth and let out a little yelp. She shot out as if something had spooked her and let out a little yelp. We carried on the walk and then I went back to my place, Stuart went back to his place, then he phoned me up and said “I’ve just seen a blister on Ella and she’s trying to scratch it.'” She came out of the bushes yelping, we didn’t know what it was and she had a little blister about the size of a £1 coin under her front leg and that then developed.



Giant Hogweed - What to look for
Giant Hogweed is an enormous cow parsley-like plant that can cause burns to dogs and humans.

“The next day it was double the size and the next day it was double the size again. I said “right that’s it'” because Stuart doesn’t drive I took him to the vets.

“That was when they said three days later – “that’s definitely giant hogweed, we can prescribe pain killers but there’s no cure for this. We’re just going to have to wait – you’ll know when the time is right, and that’s when the pain becomes too much for Ella and we have to say goodbye.'”

Giant hogweed is an enormous cow parsley-like plant that can cause burns to dogs and humans. The sap is one of the most notable parts of the plant, with its thick green stem having patches of purple and white hairs on it. If the sap gets onto your skin and it’s then exposed to the sun, it can cause huge blisters which can then recur over months and even years.

In the weeks after Ella first went to the vets, Clive said the blister continued to get bigger “to the point where it was half of her side as one great big open wound. It was that bad it was weeping and bleeding.

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“Stuart had to throw his bedding away. He loved the dog so much he had her in bed with him to keep her comfortable. It was devastating for him.”

On Monday, May 30, Stuart made the difficult decision to have 13-year-old Ella put down. He now wants to warn other people about the dangers giant hogweed can pose to pets.

A spokesperson for the Land Trust said: “The Land Trust has been made aware of an unfortunate incident involving a dog and has reached out to the individual for more information. We are not aware of any Giant Hogweed, which can be dangerous, at Port Sunlight River Park.

“We do have Common Hogweed which is a common native plant and is often confused for Giant Hogweed – which is a non-native invasive species. Common Hogweed does not cause any issues to the public or their pets and can often be found in our parks in meadows, woodland, along hedgerows, verges and roadsides.

“Health and safety at our parks is extremely important to the Land Trust. Our rangers do regular, scheduled checks and maintenance to keep our parks safe for visitors. This includes mowing grassed areas adjacent to the paths keeping them short for visitors and their pet.

“We also have signs on site that state dog owners should keep their dogs on a lead and stick to the paths to help preserve ground nesting birds and to be respectful of the site and other visitors. Our site ranger is generally on site Monday – Friday and will continue to do regular health and safety checks of the park, along with our volunteers, and also speaking to any visitors about their concerns.

“If members of the public have anything they would like to discuss with our ranger, please email mail@thelandtrust.org.uk and one of our team can help.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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