Clacton dog owner warns others about huge dangerous plants

A DEVASTATED dog owner warns others to watch out for a dangerous plant that’s leaving pooches in severe pain.

Barry O’Connell, 75, of Saxtsead Drive, Clacton took his service dog Winston for a walk in Holland Haven Country Park on Friday March 4.

He looked at Winston when they got home and noticed something different.

Barry said: ‘I let Winston out for his final toilet and when he came in I saw blood on the side of his muzzle so I cleaned him up and checked him for any puncture wounds , but there was none.

Winston is resting after suffering severe burns

“In the morning, another wound opened in his left eye and the one on his muzzle had spread.”

Barry researched and quickly found other dogs with injuries similar to Winston, some nearby in Manningtree and Dedham.

The owners of these dogs have suggested that their wounds came from giant hogweed plants.

Barry then called Kinfaun Vets to explain the situation, the vet prescribed Winston antibiotics which started to work but also made him “lethargic”.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Poor pooch feels 'lethargic' during recoveryPoor pooch feels ‘lethargic’ during recovery

Barry added: “As Winston is a service dog he is in great shape but watching him now is like seeing a Rolls Royce break down.”

“It’s going to be a long road for him now and we have to be especially careful in the summer because of the blisters on his muzzle.

“Kinfauns Vet in Little Clacton have been absolutely superb with me and I can’t thank them enough.”

This situation is particularly painful for Barry due to the bond he shares with Winston.

They were paired in 2018 and have been inseparable ever since.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Winston and Barry share a hugWinston and Barry share a hug

Barry said: “To be honest my PTSD has gotten too intense, I’m absolutely devastated.

“I still feel inside that I’m to blame for this even though people try to convince me otherwise.”

“My wife is my rock but Winston is my soul and my body, he cares about me like nothing in the world.”

Now Barry wants to raise awareness about this danger so that other dog owners don’t go through such pain.

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