A former army officer has told how she cheated death but was left with life-changing injuries after being trampled by a herd of cows.

Janicke Tvedt, 55, said she thought she was going to die in the terrifying ordeal when the animals feared her labrador, Goose, 8, was a threat to their calves, writes Douglas Whitbread of SWNS.

She was left with seven broken ribs, hoof marks on her chest and legs and needed part of her colon removed following the terrifying ordeal last July.

The ex-army officer, who served in Bosnia, came across the 30-strong herd with her partner, David Hood, 57, and their labrador in rural North Yorkshire.

Within minutes, she had been pulled down and pinned against a fence as the animals stamped on her body, leading her belly to swell up like a "watermelon".

She said: “I was convinced I was going to die.

“I was trying to get in contact with my son because as far as I was concerned, that was it – I wasn't going to see anyone again.

South West Farmer: Janicke is recovering from the attackJanicke is recovering from the attack

“Had there been a child or an elderly person there, they would not have survived – that’s how serious the attack was.”

Now Janicke, who followed a farmer’s gatepost instruction to keep her dog on a lead, is urging those who find themselves in a similar situation to let their pets run free.

She explained: “What you’re supposed to do when you’re under attack by cattle is you’re supposed to let the dog off the lead and kick the dog away.

"It’s the dog that’s the issue. They see it as a predator.”

Janicke had set out on the walk with her partner and their dog close to the market town of Masham, Near Harrogate, on July 25 last year.

It was a footpath that she’d taken before without incident, but on this occasion, as she rounded a hedge, she came face to face with a horned cow and its two calves.

Janicke said: “The cow was obviously startled by us, so she bolted directly at the dog, who was on a lead. She kicked the dog, and the dog ended up rolling on the ground.

“Then loads more cows came to her defence. They pinned us against the hedge. I had the dog very tightly on the lead, which is what I thought I was supposed to do.

“I stood there really still with my partner, not trying to be aggressive towards the cows, and after about ten minutes of sniffing us, I thought they were going to leave.”

“Then a white one attacked the dog again, but in doing so, it hit me in the knees as well, and knocked me to the ground.

“One of them, the black one, kept raising itself up on its hind legs and then stamping its front legs actually down on me.

“It trampled me at least four times on my abdomen and chest, and then once of my face, but I had my arm across my face.

“I’ve still got a mark on my cheek where I think it crushed my glasses into my face.

“Then one of them knocked another over, and it fell and landed on my legs, and then did a complete body roll over my body.

“So I was crushed by the weight of it – these were absolutely massive rearing cattle, with horns.”

The air ambulance took her to hospital where she had an emergency operation to remove part of her colon that had "died" as a result of the attack.

She then needed to have a colostomy bag fitted, which she still wears today.