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Plastic surgery for girl, 7, savaged by dog at village fun day

By Central Somerset Gazette  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Seven-year-old Chloe Smith, bitten on the face by a dog

Seven-year-old Chloe Smith, bitten on the face by a dog

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A seven-year-old girl has had to have plastic surgery after she was savaged by a dog at a village fun day.

Chloe Smith had been enjoying herself at Keinton Mandeville and went to pet the dog, which was tied up next to a bouncy castle.

The dog lunged at her and tore a piece of flesh out of her mouth. Chloe has had to have two operations to repair her wounds.

She was rushed to Yeovil District Hospital by her parents immediately after the attack and taken to Frenchay hospital in Bristol for plastic surgery later that night.

Chloe’s mum, Nurgul Smith of Keinton Mandeville, said: “All of a sudden I heard screaming and Chloe appeared covered in blood. My first thought was that something had happened on the bouncy castle.

“I was shaking. All Chloe could say was ‘dog’. The other children with her said a dog had bitten her face. She was bitten on the top and bottom lip and had scratches on her face.

“We took her straight to A&E in Yeovil and got there about 6.30pm. We waited an hour or more before they even cleaned her face.

“She was seen by a doctor at around 7.30pm who said her top lip needed plastic surgery which couldn’t be done in Yeovil.

“He made her an appointment at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol that night. We came home and my husband took her to Frenchay that night while I stayed at home with our four-year-old son.

“Chloe was given intravenous antibiotics and needed a general anaesthetic before surgery the following morning. I got to the hospital at 6.30am and she went into theatre at around 9.30am. She was in for about an hour while they put sutures in her lip.

“Within a couple of days the bruising disappeared and the swelling went down but she still can’t eat properly and has to drink through a straw.

“The surgeon said there will be a scar but they can operate again in a couple of years.”

Choe’s mum added: “She is affected more psychologically. She can’t sleep and is terrified of closing her eyes. She keeps getting flashbacks.

“Chloe’s younger brother Jake was close by when the dog attacked her and saw it all. He keeps waking up at night screaming too.

“Chloe said she had to push the dog really hard to get it off her face. We’re lucky it was not worse. I am really surprised they didn’t put the dog down.

“The police told my husband there was nothing they could do as the dog was tied up and the injuries were not more serious. They said they would come and see us but never did.

“The dog’s owner came to see us and apologised. He said he was really shocked and hadn’t thought his dog capable of biting someone.” The dog was a Springer Spaniel cross.

Mrs Smith said: “It was a really hot day and the owner had left his dog tied to the fence from around 2pm until 5.15pm when it bit Chloe.

“My daughter loves dogs. She had stroked it earlier in the afternoon and I warned her to be careful.”

A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset police said: “Police were informed about a seven-year-old girl being bitten in the face by a dog in Keinton Mandeville on Saturday, September 8 at around 9.50pm.

“The girl was taken to hospital but her injuries were not life threatening or changing. Inquiries were conducted and both the dog owner and the child’s parents have been spoken to.

“The dog was not a banned or dangerous breed and it was established that no criminal offences had been committed.”

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