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Melbourne boy with bloody feet heads home

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August 08, 2017

Tiny sea crustaceans are to blame for a teenager's bloody Melbourne beach visit.

There are still a few soft spots on Sam Kanizay's legs where sea lice ripped into his flesh but the Melbourne teenager is almost ready to leave hospital.

Shocking images of Sam's lower legs and feet have been beamed around the world after the 16-year-old went for a dip at Brighton's Dendy Street Beach on Saturday night to cool his aching muscles following a tough game of footy.

He walked out with "hundreds of little pin holes" that wouldn't stop bleeding on his feet and ankles thanks to tiny scavengers who feed on flesh.

"They were so small but they've made such an impact on Sam. There must have been thousands around his legs," his father Jarrod Kanizay told AAP on Tuesday.

"He's got some soft spots at the back of his leg where they must have eaten a little bit more."

Doctors were initially stumped about what had caused the excessive bleeding, but Mr Kanizay said the medics now know what they're dealing with.

"It's not a burrowing animal, it's not a toxic animal, and it just loves eating our flesh," he said.

Sam will leave Dandenong hospital either on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.

Museums Victoria marine biologist Genefor Walker-Smith examined some of the creatures who bit Sam and found they were a scavenging crustacean known as lysianassid amphipods.

She said it was possible the bugs contained an anti-coagulant similar to that produced by leeches, which explained the inability to stem the flow of blood.

The family has now heard of four other cases of people who walked out of the water with unexplained bloody bites, but Mr Kanizay said it won't deter them from going for a dip.

"We all need to go into the water and celebrate the bay and use it," he said.

"Sam will be back in the water within no time, he can't wait."

The story of the boy with the bloody feet went round the world, with the Kanizays hearing from relatives who saw news reports in Slovenia, while it also made headlines in Norway, Sweden and Tanzania.

"It's great that people are being educated along the way - educated and I guess entertained," Mr Kanizay said.

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