Warn­ing af­ter dog is burned by hog­weed.

Dog re­turns from river­side walk with scabs need­ing treat­ment from vet

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Jamie buchan jabuchan@the­courier.co.uk

A dog owner has warned of the dan­gers of gi­ant hog­weed grow­ing wild in Perthshire af­ter her pet was left badly burnt dur­ing a river­side walk.

Leonie Leaver said her staffie-cross Katana, re­turned with hor­rific scabs on her chin af­ter run­ning through the toxic weed in the city’s North Muirton area.

Ms Leaver, 34, said huge patches of hog­weed had ap­peared in fields near her home in the Gis­lay Place area and at Woody Is­land.

She re­ported the problem to Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil of­fi­cers, who told her they were un­able to help be­cause the weed is grow­ing on pri­vately-owned ground.

Now she is warn­ing oth­ers to be ex­tra vig­i­lant.

“Katana is on the mend,” she said. “Her chin is still re­ally scabby, but she’s started eat­ing again and is play­ing with the other dogs.”

Vets said she will need at least two weeks of treat­ment, in­clud­ing daily med­i­ca­tion and oint­ment, be­fore she re­cov­ers.

“Katana has sen­si­tive skin, so it’s not un­usual for her to come back with a wee rash be­cause she’s been in the wa­ter too long or she’s brushed up against some­thing,” said Ms Leaver.

“Nor­mally, a day or two of oint­ment and it sorts it­self out, but this just kept get­ting worse and worse.”

She said: “Then I re­mem­bered that some­one I knew had burnt their hand with hog­weed a few years ago and that had the same ef­fect.”

Ms Leaver said: “We al­ways walk down to­wards the river and we’ve never had any prob­lems like this. I grew up in North Muirton as a kid, but it’s never been like this. It’s get­ting ridicu­lous now.”

She said: “The coun­cil said there wasn’t much they could do be­cause it isn’t their land.

“But there’s not even warn­ing signs to let peo­ple know the plant is there. It’s re­ally wor­ry­ing be­cause there are al­ways chil­dren play­ing down there in their shorts and T-shirts.”

A coun­cil spokes­woman said: “We’re very sorry to hear about Ms Leaver’s dog.

“Con­tact with gi­ant hog­weed should be avoided wher­ever pos­si­ble, as the sap con­tains chem­i­cals that can cause pho­to­sen­si­tiv­ity and lead to skin blis­ter­ing, pig­men­ta­tion and scar­ring.”

She said: “We can take ac­tion if the hog­weed is on our land, and peo­ple can re­port this to us by calling 01738 476476 or email­ing en­quiries@pkc.gov.uk with the de­tails of where the weed is.

“How­ever, if it’s on pri­vately owned land, the re­spon­si­bil­ity for deal­ing with it lies with the landowner.”

Ad­vice on how to re­port hog­weed is avail­able on the coun­cil’s web­site.

It’s re­ally wor­ry­ing be­cause there are al­ways chil­dren play­ing down there in their shorts and T-shirts

Pic­ture: An­gus Find­lay.

Leonie Leaver with her daugh­ter Cali, 7, and dog Katana, who suf­fered burn in­juries from gi­ant hog­weed.

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