A professional dog walker may lose the use of both arms after being savagely mauled by her OWN bulldog.

Emma Taylor, 29, was walking in secluded woodland when American bulldog Maya turned on her.

The mother-of-one screamed for help but there was no-one around so she "played dead" while dialing 999 with her free hand, according to a close friend.

Police with shields managed to wrestle Maya away and bundled her into the back of a van.

She was initially treated in intensive care and doctors fear she could lose mobility in both arms and even lose her right arm completely.

Maya was spayed just two weeks before the incident which is said to have changed her behaviour.

Emma is a trained zoologist and an animal behaviourist who helped Edinburgh Zoo with their famous giant pandas project.

The horror incident took place on Easter Monday just after 12.30pm as Emma walked a group of dogs by the canal near Beardmore Street, Clydebank, Scotland.

Maya was fostered by the experienced pet-owner just six weeks ago and was on a lead when the attack happened, according to friends.

Emma was rushed into emergency surgery at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Her partner Steven Burton is said to be distraught.

The couple have a toddler son and live in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire.

A source close to the family said: “The dog was going to kill Emma - if it was a child they would have been dead.

“Maya seemed to be going in for the kill.

“Emma lay on the ground and played dead and managed to reach for her phone with her left hand to call for help.

“She is an animal behaviourist, she knows about dogs.

“Maya had been spayed about two weeks before and her behaviour just changed.

“They never had any problems with her before.

“Emma took her in as she fosters dogs, but Maya got on really well with their other dog, Caspar and so they decided to keep her.

“Maya was always so docile before.”

Emma, who runs a dog-walking service School of Walk, has been moved out of the ICU at and into a high dependency unit.

A source added: "Surgeons have had to operate on her right arm.

“Doctors have said she is going to lose some of the function in her left arm as well.

“She must have been trying to fight Maya off.

"Obviously they are devastated because they loved Maya.

“Emma and Steven have been together for years, they’ve got a house and a mortgage and a lot of responsibilities.

"We are waiting to hear what the prognosis will be but Emma is such a lovely woman, she's like a tiny ball of energy.

"So many people love her."

Emma's partner Steven confirmed the attack but said he did not want to discuss it further at the moment.

Speaking at their home on Monday, he said: "At the moment I don't want to speak to anybody about it.

"I spoke to the Mrs about it and we are not speaking to anybody just now."

Friends said the dog had been put down after the attack, but police refused to confirm.

A Police Scotland spokesperson today said: " Police enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding an attack on a woman by her dog in Dumbarton about 12.35 pm on Monday 2 April 2018.

"The woman was taken by ambulance to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where she is being treated for serious injuries to her arm."

Friends are fundraising for Emma at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emmathesaint.