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Giant hogweed warning...

9 October 2015

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) have advised people to be on the lookout for hogweed, also known as giant hogweed, giant cow parsley, giant cow parsnip, hogsbane and keck.

There have been reports of some severe skin reactions in humans, dogs and horses after coming into contact with this plant, which contains toxic sap.


Hogweed, also known as giant hogweed, cow parsnip, hogweed and keck.


The plant likes to live around water, grassy areas and open woodland. It is thought to be spreading in the UK and Ireland.

The plant contains chemicals that make the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight. Brushing against it can lead to significant skin damage. Common symptoms include mouth and skin ulcers or blisters, also skin inflammation, swelling and vomiting. Symptoms can develop within a few hours.

Treatment involves washing the area with soap and water and limiting sunlight exposure as well as other supportive care which may be given by your vet. If your pet comes into contact with this plant wash the area immediately and contact your vet for advice.