DOG owners in a New Forest village are being urged to beware of toxic plants following the death of a much-loved pet.

Warning notices have been unveiled at Long Meadow in Barton on Sea following an incident involving water hemlock dropwort, dubbed Britain's most poisonous plant.

An 11-year-old shelpie called Kelsie was taken ill after coming into contact with the toxin in August last year.

New Forest Post:

Owner Janice Dennison spent hundreds of pounds on pills and emergency veterinary care but Kelsie's condition deteriorated and she was put down in December.

Janice said Kelsie lost an lot of weight towards the end of last year and on some days was "shaking all over".

Another dog became ill and nearly died after chomping on a hemlock root he found on the ground.

Now New Milton Town Council has installed warning notices at Long Meadow and two other sites with water running through them - Barton Common and Ballard Water Meadow.

The signs urge dog owners and walkers to be vigilant and contact their vet immediately if they suspect their pet has eaten something poisonous.

Cllr Geoffrey Blunden, told fellow members of the amenities committee: "We're trying to get the message across that dog owners and dog walkers need to be vigilant and look out for their dogs.

"We're limited with what we can do but if we see it (hemlock) in open water courses we will remove it."

New Forest Post:

Earlier this month a one-year-old labrador called Kimmy almost died after ingesting water hemlock after being exercised on the beach between Barton and Mudeford.

Kimmy’s owner Sarah Hammett, of Southampton, said: “We stopped at a café and she started to shiver. She did it again and again and I knew something was wrong.”

A Good Samaritan took Kimmy and her owner to the Priory Veterinary Hospital in Christchurch. She has since made a full recovery.

Dog owners in Barton are also being warned about Alabama rot, which can cause kidney failure and has killed several dogs in the Forest in recent years.

Notices say: "Alabama rot is usually contracted in woodland and muddy areas. There is no cure. Most dogs die within a week.

"You should check you dog thoroughly after walks and look out for sores and cuts on feet, legs, in the mouth, on the belly and between the toes.

"If you find anything take your dog to the vet immediately."