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An animal lover who tried to rescue an injured dog has had stitches in her eyeball and now risks losing her sight after the panicked pooch snapped at her, slicing through her eyeball.
Nikki Dixon said she was out walking her dog one morning when she spotted a Great Dane in the street that seemed to be hurt, so rushed over to help it.
But as Nikki, 46, of Indiana, US, tried to lift the dog back to its feet she touched what must have been a tender spot as it suddenly bit her face – causing severe injuries to her eyeball.
READ MORE: Five-year-old girl needs 50 stitches and staples in her face after horror dog attack
But despite being in serious pain, the former animal rescue foster parent continued to help the dog – fearing the authorities might put it down if she didn’t take it in.
After five hours of emergency surgery and a week in hospital, the radio station owner is healing but suffering from nightmares and PTSD and needs further treatment if she is to have any chance of regaining her sight.
The animal lover said the dog, which she believes was a stray, died a day after she rescued it.
The bite only took a second, she says, but the damage was devastating.
"He didn't bite down – it was a quick accident and was over in a matter of seconds," she said.
"It was very painful. The first thing I did was contact my husband because I didn't know what was happening. I couldn't see, all I knew was that it hurt and I couldn't tell where it hurt.
"I thought that the eye was gone because I couldn't see. It was so swollen because the muscles were torn in the eyelid that it swelled up so fast that I couldn't open it to see if the eyeball was still there.
"I tried to keep myself awake because I felt like I was going to pass out.”
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Nikki doesn’t blame the dog, adding: “He wasn't aggressive, he was injured. He was dying and in a lot of pain. It's just like humans when we're hurting and get agitated, we get snappy.”
But now, Nikki’s immediate problem is financial. She’s had to set up a GoFundMe because her medical insurance won’t be enough to pay for the surgery she needs: “The hospital said it's over $100,000 dollars. I have co-insurance so they pay 80% of my hospital bill but I'm responsible for the other 20%.
"That's a rainy day expense you don't plan for. You plan for car or home repairs, but not for a $20,000 bill for an eye injury from a dog bite."
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Nikki adds there’s psychological trauma as well as the physical image: ”I'm dealing with PTSD, anxiety and depression, those are the biggest things that I've never had to deal with before. I have nightmares…
”I've been around big dogs lately,” she added. “I'm more cautious but I'm not fearful.
"It's taught me that I need to proceed with a little more caution."
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