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Shocking images show horrific burns on dog's face – warning to owners over toxic plant


Winston, a flat-coated retriever, developed painful sores on his nose and left eye on a walk in Essex last month. The four-year-old dog started developing the wounds after sniffing around a suspected giant hogweed plant, which can cause blindness, painful burns and blisters if it comes into contact with dogs or humans.

His owner Barry O’Connell, 75, has urged pet owners to be vigilant and stay away from the plant, which is found throughout the UK.

He said: “Looking at him like this is like seeing a Rolls Royce breaking down.

“We live in a popular seaside area. You imagine letting your dog or children out and then they run into something like this and it’s game over.

“I just can’t understand why there aren’t any warning signs. Not to scare people but to educate them.”

Winston is an assistance dog for Barry, an ex-military dog handler from Clacton, Essex.

The pup has since been put on antibiotics and has a cone around his head to help his recovery.

Giant hogweed is a common cow parsley-like plant often found along hedgerows in the UK.

The weed’s harmful sap can have devastating effects when it comes into contact with animals and humans, and can cause blindness, burns, blisters and life-changing scars.

READ MORE: Touching photo of dog carried to safety by family escaping Ukraine war

It was first introduced to the UK in the 19th century. The plant can now be found throughout much of Britain, particularly river banks.

The sap can cause blistering that potentially lasts for years, according to the Woodland Trust.

The charity advises avoiding physical contact with the plant and seeking medical help if blisters do appear.



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