A dog owner is warning others to be careful after her two-year-old cocker spaniel’s face swelled up when he touched giant hogweed leaves in a field in East Lothian.
Hector was rushed to the vets after going into anaphylactic shock and spent five hours there receiving treatment, with owner Emma Ferrier telling the Daily Record:
“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.
“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.
“My stepdad was panicking a bit but fortunately he rushed Hector to a vet in nearby Tranent where they said he has definitely come into contact with something toxic.
“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 of giant hogweed in there.
“I hadn’t noticed it before and I believe the recent hot weather has really brought it on.
“Fortunately we got Hector to the vets in time and he is now recovering from his ordeal at home with antihistamine medication.
“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.”
Hogweed is commonly found in the UK, and can be found on hedgerows, verges, grassland and waste ground, according to The Wildlife Trusts.
It displays large white flowers in summer, and has hollow, hairy stems.