Winston, a four-year-old flat-coated retriever, developed painful burns on his nose and left eye after sniffing around a suspected giant hogweed plant while out walking earlier this month. He is an assistance dog for his owner Barry O’Connell, 75, who has been left devastated.
Mr O’Connell from Clacton, Essex, is now urging other dog owners to be vigilant about the plant, which is found throughout the UK.
Winston has been put on antibiotics and needs to wear a cone around his head while his injuries heal.
Barry, an ex-military dog handler, said: “Looking at him like this is like seeing a Rolls Royce breaking down.
The sap of the plant can cause burns to dogs and humans, with blistering potentially lasting for years, according to the Woodland Trust.
The charity advises avoiding physical contact with the plant where possible.