A TODDLER required nearly 40 stitches to his face and ear after he was attacked by a dog as he fed ducks with his grandparents.

Little Edward Grey was left covered in blood after the incident, which happened at the River Tyne close to Haddington’s Aubigny Sports Centre.

Surgeons operated to save his ear, which was “hanging from his face” following the attack.

His mum Ann said that the 20-month-old, who turns two in September, had been left unable to sleep in his own bed and shaking in fear following the unprovoked incident.

Ann was in hospital being treated for a blood infection when Edward, who was staying with his grandparents, was attacked as he fed the ducks.

She said that she received a call from her husband, also Edward, to let her know what had happened but at the time it was not known how badly he had been injured.

Ann, 23, told the Courier: “My husband called to say he had been attacked by a dog but not to worry.

“Initially it was thought it was a scratch; however, he was taken to Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital and they carried out surgery the next day.

“It was only when the bandages came off that I realised how badly he had been hurt – I was later told that he had been bitten and, while he had nine stitches in his face, the surgeon had needed to use 20 to 30 to repair his [left] ear, which was hanging from his face.”

The incident – thought to involve a small terrier-type dog – was reported to Haddington Police Station by Edward’s grandad Eddie.

The family, who live in the town, were initially told the youngster had a one-inch gash on his face but further examination revealed that his ear was badly ripped as well and plastic surgery was scheduled for the day after the attack.

Ann said she had been back in touch with the police after the extent of the injury was revealed.

She said: “I want to make sure other parents are aware of what happened.

“My son has been left badly injured but it could have been a lot worse.

“He was a very confident little boy but hasn’t been able to sleep in his own bed since it happened, shakes with fear and has lost all confidence.

“He is even scared of the family dog and we are working hard to help him regain his trust but it is devastating to see him so frightened because of this attack.”

Councillor Tom Trotter, ward member for Haddington and Lammermuir, said any injury to a child was “tragic”.

He said: “Without knowing the full details of this case it is difficult to comment; however the fact that a child has been injured is tragic.

“This area is popular with dog walkers, joggers and family strollers and they should all feel safe. My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the youngster involved.”

Police confirmed they were investigating the May 24 incident.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn reminded dog owners they had a responsibility to keep their pets under control.

He said: “We do not know the full details of this incident but we hope the little boy’s injuries heal quickly.

“Every dog owner has a legal responsibility to ensure that their dog is under control at all times in both public and private places. This includes keeping your dog on a lead. Anyone with information relating to the incident should contact Police Scotland on 101.”