A Shetland pony was left with a seven-inch wound to his face after being attacked by a dog.
13-year-old mare Karenza was being walked out in hand on Crosby Beach, Liverpool, on 8 August when the incident took place.
A dog ran up barking, causing the mare to run away.
“As she fled the dog followed and latched on to her face,” Karenza’s owner, Becky Hepworth, told H&H.
The large wound, measuring around seven inches long, was cleaned by a vet and sealed using 22 staples.
“Within 24 hours of the incident, we required further veterinary treatment as she was not eating due to losing a large part of the muscle which is used to open and close her mouth and to chew food,” said Becky.
Karenza was taken to Leahurst Equine Hospital for 24-hour care.
The vet took x-rays and ultrasound scans and found that the mare’s salivary gland had been bitten, causing saliva to excrete from the wound instead of using the usual tract towards her mouth.
Karenza’s treatment is ongoing and injections are being administered to her salivary gland to stop it from excreting saliva.
“My spending for her care and treatment is now within the thousands,” said Becky.
Becky spoke to the owner of the dog withing an hour of the attack, as her friend had been handling Karenza at the time of the accident.
“He agreed to both myself and my friend that he would cover the cost required for her treatment,” said Becky.
“But he turned his phone off within 24 hours of the attack and currently remains non-contactable.”
Merseyside police has been made aware of the incident.
“At around 3.30pm, a 14-year-old girl was walking a black Shetland pony along Crosby marina, when the pony was bitten by a dog, described as an American bulldog,” said a police spokesman.
“The pony has since been treated for serious facial injuries and may be required to undergo surgery. The girl was uninjured but shaken by the ordeal.
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“The owner of the dog, who was in the company of two small children at the time of the incident, gave his number to the victim, however both the victim and the police have not been able to make contact with him.”
A police spokesman added that the investigation was ongoing and continued attempts are being made to identify and trace the owner of the dog.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information about it are urged to contact Merseyside Police via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.