- CRITTER TALK
A teenage girl was savagely attacked by her own German Shepherd after the puppy ‘suddenly flipped’, tearing off part of her face.
Iona Manson from Birmingham, needed two hours of facial reconstruction surgery and more than 50 stitches after the mauling, which tore a chunk out of her nose.
And the 13-year-old, who had raised Fidden since he was nine days old, is still mystified why her 13-month-old pet suddenly attacked her.
Remarkably plastic surgeons managed to piece together Iona’s face and today the teenager has barely a scratch to remind of her of the terrifying attack.
But her mother Mhairi Manson, 39, said she was still struggling to sleep after witnessing the ferocious incident.
‘It was horrific,’ said the former ambulance worker. ‘Iona just bent down to give him his plate of food and he just went for her.
‘He just flipped, even afterwards when we put him in a cage he growled and barked angrily every time one of us went near him, something had changed in his mind.
‘When he got off Iona there was so much blood in Iona’s eyes that she couldn’t see a thing and we were sure the dog had got her eyes.’
Luckily her father, Scott Manson, an army trainee nurse who previously served 18-and-a-half years as a tank commander, was in the living room and heard the dog growl and Iona scream during the attack.
‘I rushed into the kitchen and saw Iona holding her face and screaming as blood poured out,’ said Mr Manson.
‘I grabbed the first thing I could find to dress the wounds and stem the bleeding which, as it happens, was socks from the washing basket.
‘My wife called 999 and shut the dog outside whilst I just went into triage mode to treat my daughter.’
And the family say they have no idea why Fidden, who was later put down, suddenly changed.
Mrs Manson said they also adopted his brother, Bracken, who has never behaved aggressively.
She said: ‘The attack was so vicious, it even traumatised Bracken. He cowered in the corner and wouldn’t come out for days.
‘We’ve had them since they were nine days old, you just do not expect that to happen from a friendly dog.’
Iona spent three days in hospital recovering from the attack.
She said: ‘I don’t remember much which is probably a good thing. I remember Dad telling me to sit up so that he could see my face and then the next thing I can recall is being in the back of the ambulance and looking out of the window.
‘I don’t even remember having a cannula in the back of my hand, and I hate needles.’
Greg Markham, a First Contact Practitioner from West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: ‘We were told by control that it was an animal bite and, to me, it was one of those jobs that could’ve been nothing.
‘When we walked into the house there was too much calm and it was very quiet. As we made our way into the kitchen we found a very calm but shocked Iona with bandages on her face, a lot of blood everywhere.’
‘She’s an extraordinary young girl,’ added Mrs Manson. ‘When she came back from the hospital the first thing she did was go up to the window to go and see our other dog.
‘She’s not so sure about other people’s dogs but she’s not scared, I think the whole thing fazed me more than her.
‘The plastic surgeon has done a brilliant job, you can barely see a scar on here which is amazing considering massive bite she had on her face.’
I would hope that this incident doesn’t cause a rush to judgement against German shepherds. Any dog, of any breed, is capable of impulsive behavior, and sometimes it can be dangerous behavior. The fact remains dogs are the most loyal of companions and if treated well they won’t bite you. I’ve no doubt that this poor young girl was good to her puppy, but something happened to make this dog bite her and we may never know what it was.
MadMike’sAmerica thanks Mail Online for parts of this story.