Beachside Veterinary Clinic Nurse Ali Shield with Smiggle.
Beachside Veterinary Clinic Nurse Ali Shield with Smiggle.

Horror dog mauling on Coast beach

SMIGGLE, the silky terrier-cross, remains in intensive care after a dog literally ripped her chest open in a dog fight on Peregian Beach on Sunday afternoon.

Coolum vet, Dr Daniel Capps, from Beachside Veterinary Surgery said the six-year-old dog was rushed into his surgery with an "open sucking chest wound".

"The one side of her chest was open to air, I could see her heart," Dr Capps said.

She was "just conscious" as Dr Capps started emergency surgery.

Her owner, Rob Foulds described how the horrific incident occurred on a dog off-leash stretch of beach.

Mr Foulds said he was having a swim, while his wife was chatting to friends as Smiggle and their other smaller dog played on the beach.


Smiggle before being attacked by a dog.
Smiggle before being attacked by a dog. Rob Foulds

"The other dog approached from nowhere," Mr Foulds said.

"The dog tried to herd (Smiggle) into the water and then it just latched on."

Mr Foulds said the owners of the dog, which he believed was an English bull terrier, weren't far away as the incident unfolded.

"The were quite casually calling it back to them. They were saying things like 'come on, don't hurt the little dog'."

Thankfully Mr Foulds friend was a "lifesaver" as she managed to "prize the dogs jaws apart".

"It was just about to start shaking (Smiggle). Once that happened it would have been game over.

"She has puncture wounds all over her hands from the dog, she has been to the doctors and is also not in a good one."

Then Mr Foulds "saw the blood".

He rushed to pick up Smiggle and put pressure on the bleeding wound.

"She was in so much pain. I got her out the water and got hold of her."

Someone on the beach had Dr Capps after hours emergency number and he was able to rush to the surgery to save Smiggle in time.

"He arrived there three minutes after we did," Mr Foulds said.

He said the council had been notified.

"Our dogs are really small, they love the beach," he said.

Dr Capps warned people an injury from a dog attack could be far worse than it appeared on the surface.

"Sometimes the trauma can't be seen on the surface of the skin.

"There is often tearing and damage to the muscle layers and infection follows.

"Dogs grab on and their four big teeth and go through the skin. Then there can he a horrific episode of tearing, and throwing.

"All the damage occurs underneath, it may look minor, but there is a lot of damage."

He provided the Daily with a YouTube video showing what looked to be a fairly mild attack, but would have had severe consequences because the dog had been shaking the others dog's head with its jaws.

He said dog owners could "stick a finger in a dog's eye" to break up a fight.

However, he said he didn't "think it was any good advice to try and break them up".

"You have to protect yourself, or it will turn and go for you."

Smiggle remained in intensive care and would be there "for days".

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