As the Advertiser previously reported, one animal died within 20 minutes of consuming Hemlock Water Dropwort, thought to be one of the deadliest plants in Britain.

Following recent storms high tides have exposed the danger along UK rivers and beaches prompting an animal welfare charity to urge dog walkers to take care along the coastal shores.

John Robins, secretary at the local Animal Concern Advice Line (ACAL) based in Dumbarton, said he has found dozens of the plants on the beach at Cardross and it is very likely that other beaches, riverbanks, and loch sides will also be contaminated.

Mr Robins said: “Hemlock Water Dropwort is extremely poisonous and it is vital that dog and horse owners do not let their animals eat this plant.

“If you have a dog which picks up and chews things when out for a walk it would make sense to avoid waterside areas where this plant grows. If a dog does eat this plant the owner should get their pet to a vet immediately.” The plant grows along river and loch banks and at the high water mark on beaches. The green tops of the plants looks like celery or wild parsley.

It is thought that dogs which are given carrots as snacks may be more at risk as the roots of Hemlock Water Dropwort look like parsnips or carrots.

Heavy rain, river spates and exceptionally high tides have eroded soil exposing the toxic roots and washed plants out of the ground. The roots have been washed up on beaches and river banks in areas popular with dog walkers.