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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Mary Stenson

Woman suffers gruesome 'garrotte' injury as she issues warning over dangerous dog leads

A woman is warning others of the dangers posed by retractable dog leads after suffering a gruesome "garrotte" injury - which has since become infected.

The unnamed Truro local was walking with a friend in Cardinham Woods near Bodmin when they saw a dog racing towards them, dragging its lead behind it.

The lead was a retractable one, usually made of a thin, nylon cord, and as the dog ran around the woman, it became wrapped around her legs, Cornwall Live reports.

She said: "We saw this dog racing along and dragging its lead behind it so it had obviously got stuck and had pulled it away from its owner.

She suffered a "garrote" injury to her legs (Submitted)

"The next thing I knew, it ran around me and ran off, sort of circling my legs. I still don't quite know how I didn't fall over."

She says the incident "really, really hurt" and her friend, who is a nurse, quickly became concerned as she cleaned the wound.

Ten days later, the wound is infected and the woman has been prescribed antibiotics.

She said: "I looked down at my leg and they'd gone white and they were so sore.

"My friend who's a nurse cleaned my legs for me and that's when she got really worried because she said 'my god, that looks like a burn'. It looks like a really deep injury.

"It looks like a really deep injury." (Submitted)

"There was no blood, that didn't come until a day and a half or so later.

"I've been washing it and keeping it clean and then it was looking a bit grim so I went to the local doctor. The nurse took a look at it and got the doctor and he said, 'I think you need to go on antibiotics'.

"She dressed it and I have to go back to have it dressed again."

Retractable leads are banned in a large number of places in the USA and Canada due to concerns over similar injuries, as well as those to dogs.

While rules on retractable leads in Cornwall are unclear, some parts of Devon, such as Teignbridge, ask that dogs are kept on a fixed lead, including fixed extendable leads, of no more than one metre in length "when on or adjacent to the public highway, a footway, footpath or cycle track".

The woman explained that she wanted to raise awareness of what she describes as a "legion" of dangers.

The woman believes retractable dog leads pose a "legion" of dangers (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

She says she has read horror stories online in which people have lost a whole finger.

When asked what the dangers were, she said: "They are legion. In a number of states in the US and Canada, [retractable dog leads] are against the law. It ranges from people to having fingers sliced off to having people tripping.

"There was an article in the Telegraph in April this year saying there's been a spike in falls and head injuries because people get caught in them. It's really quite shocking the number of injuries.

"What I'm worried about is if it was an old person because their skin can be like paper so that could be really bad and they'd fall. If it was a child as well.

"It's like a garrotte, it's absolutely awful. The dogs can also be injured when they pull and get yanked backwards."

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