Warning to dog owners over lethal plant washing up on Cornish beaches

Golden retriever was lucky to survive after eating hemlock roots at Godrevy in Cornwall <i>(Image: Submitted)</i>
Golden retriever was lucky to survive after eating hemlock roots at Godrevy in Cornwall (Image: Submitted)

Dog owners are being warned to keep their pets away from a lethal plant being washed up on the Cornish coast, which has cost at least one dog its life and almost claimed a second this week.

Six-month-old golden retriever Obie was one of the lucky ones who reached the vet in time.

He began eating something that had washed up on the beach at Godrevy, on the north coast, which looked at first glance like a bunch of parsnips, or white carrots – but was in fact hemlock roots.

After an emergency trip to the vets to induce vomiting, thankfully Obie is now fine again – but the vet told his owners that another dog brought into the practice just two weeks earlier was not so lucky.

Now the message is being shared on Facebook for pet owners to keep dogs well away from the plants – and ensure fast action should the worst happen.

Barry White, who is friends with Obie’s owners, wrote on Thursday: “This is what happened to a good friend of mine today at Godrevy, so just a warning and to be vigilant.

“Obie is a six-month-old golden retriever. He is well and back home now after an expensive visit to the vets.

“The vet said that he had a dog die two weeks ago as the owners didn't get him to them in time.”

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He went on to add: “Be careful of hemlock on the beach! Obie has just picked some up at Godrevy and eaten it, so Marty's had to take him straight to the vets to make him throw it up.

“It's been washing up constantly the last few months along this coast. We've picked so much up and thrown it away but we'll be staying clear of Godrevy for a while now until it clears up more.”

Hemlock is a highly toxic plant that can kill dogs and other animals - and even people - if ingested.

“It has a sweet scent similar to carrots, so is really attractive to dogs,” added Barry.