WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A toddler is recovering with 42 stitches in his head after being mauled by the family dog.
Logan Grieve, 2, was playing in the backyard of his family home in Katherine, Northern Territory, on October 6 when his parents heard a shriek.
His mum, Shannon Coutts, told Yahoo7 her little boy ran from around a corner with his “head to waist covered in blood”.
“I was watering the garden and Logan ducked around the corner,” she said.
“I tried to follow him but when he came back we thought he’d split his head open.
“We hit emergency mode.”
Logan’s parents rushed him to Katherine District Hospital before CareFlight transported him to the Royal Darwin Hospital.
It was only after the blood was cleaned off little Logan’s body that his parents realised he’d been attacked by the family dog – a nine-year-old Bull Mastiff cross named Jax.
Pictures show the horrific injuries Logan suffered – he received a 22-centimetre gash to the top of his head. His right eye was also extensively damaged.
A GoFundMe page dedicated to Logan’s recovery described it “his parent’s worst nightmare”.
“After a CT scan you could tell he suffered a compound fracture to his eye socket and a fracture to the top of his skull,” she said.
“We thought he’d lose his eye. The dog’s tooth went through it.”
Ms Coutts was also worried her little boy was at risk of a brain infection due to a possible leak of cerebrospinal fluid.
“As soon as you hear anything about the brain you hit freak-out mode,” she said.
“The whole hospital experience was very traumatic for us and Logan.”
He went in for surgery on October 7 to close the wounds and has spent more than a week in hospital.
The little boy is recovering with the help of antibiotics, which he’ll need to take for the next three weeks intravenously. His mum said he’s also been cleared of any infection, which makes him “a miracle boy”.
“Logan’s really, really lucky,” Ms Coutts said.
“It’s a bloody blessing.”
His parents also don’t have private health care so friends of the family have started a GoFundMe page to help them.
It’s hoped the toddler will be back in Katherine in the coming days.
Family says goodbye to Jax
The family has since decided to have Jax put down.
Ms Coutts said “you never think it’s going to be you” after the family dog attacked Logan.
“You see a story about a child bitten by the family dog and you think, ‘that wouldn’t happen if the child had been watched adequately’ or ‘that dog was just too aggressive’,” she said.
“But it comes down to being aware of both the animals and the children. Children don’t understand danger and it’s hard to understand what animals are feeling.
“I’ve always closely watched Logan.”
The mum added there were warning signs Jax was losing his ways – she believed he was going blind and didn’t recognise the family.
The dog and Logan were “best friends” and used to play fetch, but while Jax could have been re-homed Ms Coutts didn’t want to take any chances.
“We couldn’t risk it happening again or risk Jax getting hurt,” she said.
“We’ve buried him in a place we can visit. He’s had a good life and we loved him very much.
“We previously didn’t ever have a reason to put him down.
“He made the choice for us.”