A dog owner has spoken of his shock when an aggressive deer nearly killed his Cairn terrier in Bushy Park, just two days after another pet was stamped to death.

Keith Paine, 56, said he was walking with five-year-old Maisie, more than 200 yards away from the animal, when it suddenly ran up from behind them.

The deer stamped on his dog, leaving her with a four inch gash in her belly.

Maisie managed to escape by jumping into a nearby stream, before Mr Paine pulled her out and rushed her to a vet, where she underwent a two hour operation.

It came after another dog, believed to be a King Charles spaniel, died from its injuries when a deer attacked it in the park on Tuesday, May 22.

Mr Paine, of Lawrence Road, Hampton, said he wanted to warn visitors of the dangers at this time of year, when the females are pregnant and more aggressive.

He said: “Maisie was running away from the deer in the opposite direction and the next thing I heard was a galloping noise behind me. This thing came past me in full flight – it was the size of a small horse.

“It was a pretty unpleasant experience. If Maisie hadn’t got back to the water she would have had it, without a shadow of a doubt. It was in for the kill.”

Mr Paine, who had been walking Maisie at 7am on Thursday, May 24, said he and his wife would have been devastated if their dog died.

He has been going to Bushy Park with Maisie every day for five years and said he was aware of the need to respect and stay away from the deer.

He said: “The thing I’m concerned about is if that had been a young toddler running around with a parent, is a deer going to differentiate between a dog and a toddler?”

Simon Richards, manager of Richmond and Bushy parks, warned dog owners to always keep their pets under control and prevent them from worrying or approaching the deer.

He said: “During May, June and July, mothers are nursing their young deer. If the bracken is late coming out, as has been the case this spring, there is less cover for the young deer who mothers are protecting.”