Cocker Spaniel severely injured in wild dog attack
EACH day, Gympie Veterinary Services has to treat a pet dog wounded by another. And, on average, an animal a week (including dogs, cats, sheep, goats and cattle) is seen by the clinic after wild dog attacks.
Dr Shannon Coyne, who treated a seriously injured cocker spaniel called Lexi (pictured) after wild dogs attacked her at Widgee Crossing last Saturday, said dog attacks were common in the region but it was often difficult to determine what kind of dog the culprit was.
He said while attacks on farm animals were usually by wild dogs, the culprits for attacks on domestic dogs were often tricky to trace.
He said wild dogs, wandering domestic dogs, un-socialised pet dogs and even a dog from the same household all took a share of the blame for a too-frequent problem in the region.
Dr Coyne urged owners to keep their dogs secure and safe - even when going for walks.
He said while rural areas were more prone to wild dog attacks, locations such as Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay also had their share of dog-on-dog attacks, often when un-socialised dogs attacked others walking on the beach.
However, Lexi the spaniel was the victim of wild dogs, attacked while being taken for a walk near forestry at Lynchs Hill near Widgee Crossing.
She was dragged away by young dingo-crosses and mauled. The spaniel suffered more than two dozen bites.
Dr Coyne said he had heard of domestic dogs like Lexi approaching wild dogs to play but being mauled when they got close.
He said wild dog attacks on several different species of animal occurred most frequently on rural or rural-residential properties and often at night.
Dr Coyne said farmers with land backing on to forestry likely faced wild dog problems or were at least aware of their potential.
He said while the number of attacks declined after periods of rain (at times of drought, the wild dogs came nearer to homes looking for food), animal owners needed to remain vigilant year-round, especially at night or if they lived near forestry.
"We see injuries, all the way from mauled to death, to having one bite," Dr Coyne said.
Widgee Crossing resident Sel Potter who was walking Lexi, his daughter's dog, said he would lose the odd chicken or duck to wild dogs but when his livestock saw animals, they would chase them out of paddocks, despite being at ease with his pet dogs.
While the family said having wild dogs around was part of farm life, his family had noticed an increase in numbers in recent years.
The Potters were not the only family to notice more dingoes and wild dogs.
Glastonbury Rd farmer Bud Pullen lost sheep to dingoes in October - the first time he had ever had a problem with them.