Giant Hogweed might look magnificent towering up to fifteen feet tall, but this giant plant can have terrible consequences if your dog so much as sniffs around it. The sap from this plant is highly toxic and causes a severe photosensitivity to sunlight. The stems and foliage contain the highest concentration of the toxin, which is why just brushing past it or sniffing around it can cause a horrific reaction. Once your dog has come into contact with the plant the skin tissue starts to die and swelling begins. It’s not until the area is exposed to sunlight that the full effect of this plant becomes apparent, causing painful blisters and even blindness if sap has come into contact with the eyes. In the first few hours following exposure the affected skin becomes red and itchy, progressing to a blistering rash. Your dog can remain sensitive to light for years to come. It is equally as toxic to humans so don’t take any risks around this plant.
If you think your dog may have come into contact with Giant Hogweed, or are concerned at all about their health following a walk, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Giant Hogweed is present around the Overstrand/Northrepps allotments area – alongside the paths which border Northrepps common, adjacent to the radio station. Please be vigilant and keep your dog away from these plants, one sniff is all it takes…..