Dog Dies After Being Stung By Britain's 'Most Dangerous' Plant
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Liverpool Echo/Shutterstock
A dog has sadly died after being stung from a deadly plant while out on a walk.
Stuart Good, 61, was walking his dog – Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ella – with his friend Clive Ransom in Port Sunlight River Park, in Wirral last month, when he noticed her yelping in pain.
When they returned home, Stuart realised Ella had a blister which was doubling in size.
The blister continued to grow, and after rushing Ella, 13, to the vets a couple of days later, they were told Ella's injuries were caused by giant hogweed, also referred to as 'Britain's most dangerous plant'.
"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," Clive told the ECHO.
"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.'"
Over the following weeks, the blister continued to rapidly grow, with Clive explaining: "It was half of her side as one great big open wound. It was that bad it was weeping and bleeding.
"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 30 May, Stuart made the devastating decision to have Ella put down. Now, he wants to warn others about the dangerous plant.
Giant hogweed is a large plant that can cause burns if it comes into contact with skin. The sap from the plant can cause blisters which can continue to re-occur - sometimes for years.
A spokesperson for the Land Trust told the ECHO: "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 [email protected] and one of our team can help."