DOG attacks are leaving record numbers of people with life-changing injuries, NHS data reveals.
Hospital medics treated 3,307 cases last year that required urgent cosmetic surgery after savage maulings – an average of nine a day.
It is up from 2,233 a decade earlier, a rise of 48 per cent.
And there were a further 5,257 hospital appointments for people who had been injured by dogs but did not need an operation.
Official figures from NHS Digital reveal the worst affected group are tots under the age of five.
Last year, there were 427 hospital consultations for babies and toddlers that needed plastic surgery after being bitten by a dog.
These included cases where wounds had to be stitched – as well as more serious skin grafts and cosmetic reconstruction.
Dangerous dogs have sparked a series of recent tragedies.
In September, mum-of-three Elayne Stanley, 44, was savaged when her two mastiffs turned on her at home.
Paramedics battled to save her but she died at the scene.
The animal, a seven-year-old bulldog-cross called Winston, was later put down.
A Dogs Trust spokesperson said children should never be left alone with a dog.
They said: “Dog bites can be extremely distressing and upsetting incidents, but it’s important to remember the majority of people do live harmoniously with their beloved pets.”