A pet pooch had its nose flesh scorched off by the sun after a brush with Britain’s most dangerous plant.
The dog’s owner Ang Brown, 64, was devastated when her six-year-old kelpie Byron was left with angry red blisters and the skin falling off after a momentary encounter with giant hogweed.
Now Ang is urging other animal owners to be ‘hogweed aware’ of the plant which releases sap that stops the skin from protecting itself against the sun’s rays.
She said: “I cannot tell you exactly how long he was in contact with the plant but our best guess would have been seconds, as he tends to put his head in undergrowth and long grass.
“It became apparent probably the following day as I noticed small blisters on his nose.
“The injury progressed quite rapidly as the blisters grew bigger.
“The worst it got was he had big red blisters, and the skin came off and made his nose look incredibly sore.”
Byron fell victim to the painful injuries after a few seconds in contact with the plant while walking along an overgrown bridleway in the Somerset village of Compton Dundon.
Vets prescribed Byron penicillin to combat infection and a course of antibiotics to clear his nose and ears and fortunately he should make a full recovery.
Speaking of Byron’s condition, Ang explained: “If not he will have to have sunblock on his nose whenever he goes out, as hogweed burns can make skin very photosensitive.”
She added: “I would say to other dog owners try to be vigilant and be hogweed aware.”
“I consider myself to be very lucky – I realised what had happened as soon as I saw the blisters.
“The hedgerows and lanes are not being cut as regularly as they were and this is where this plant grows.”
And other places have also reported the invasive species even burning children and it’s common along water stretches.
In recent months there have been numerous cases of children being burned by hogweed, which is especially common along waterways.
Mike Duddy, of the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, said in 2015 that the giant hogweed was ‘without a shadow of a doubt, the most dangerous plant in Britain’.
Meanwhile, the Woodland Trust advises if exposed to thoroughly wash the area that made contact and keep it out of sunlight for a few days, the Woodland Trust advises.
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