Death at beach
Aria McCart's mother believes that her daughter's mystery infection might have resulted from dogs urinating on the beach - Representational Image Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A Scottish toddler almost had her toe amputated after it began to swell to over twice its usual size and drain pus following a beach trip.

Soon after she returned from a family outing to Ardrossan beach on 24 Aria, 18-month-old Aria McCart's temperature shot up and she began to suffer unbearable pain from the swelling.

She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where medical experts removed the skin from her toe and part of her foot to stop the infection from spreading, the Daily Mail reported.

The girl's mother Amy-Leigh Cavanaugh claimed that her daughter's mysterious swelling could be the result of an infection she got after she probably came in contact with dog urine on the beach.

Other possible causes could include human urine, unknown chemicals, or even fish bite poison getting in a tiny cut on her daughter's toe on the sandy beach, she said.

The 26-year-old mother said: "Aria was playing away in and out of the water. She had no shoes on, she was having an absolute ball. We were there at the beach for the afternoon and left about four o'clock.

"She had sand everywhere; it was in her eye lashes and everywhere so when we got home I gave her a bath. When I picked her up I could feel her body was on fire, even though she was just out of the bath, I could tell it wasn't right."

The mother added that Aria's lips had started going blue and she was crying.

"Then on the Thursday I noticed her limping. I lifted her up to see there was a bruise on her foot, then I noticed her wee toe was a bit red," Cavanaugh said.

She thought the problem was because of an ingrown toe nail and gave her antibiotics after consulting a doctor. But when the problem persisted she took Aria to University Hospital Crosshouse, where she was immediately operated upon.

With her child now home and recovering, Cavanaugh said she would raise awareness of the risks of going barefoot outdoors.

"It's upsetting. It was horrible. I didn't know something like that could happen. I just want to raise some awareness. If people are on beaches with dogs too, they probably don't realise as well what their dogs' urine could do," she added.