Too crazy not to share! Gives a new meaning to “ammo dump”.
“Benno” the Belgian Malinois has eaten enough strange objects over the course of his four years, you’d think his digestive tract is bulletproof. As it turns out, that’s not quite the case. His owner had to take the dog to the vet’s office after Benno ate 23 live rounds of .308 caliber ammunition.
And when we say ate, we mean chewed vigorously to the point of mangling the ammo, then swallowing each round. Benno eating something inappropriate is not unusual, according to his owner Larry ‘Sonny’ Brassfield of Mountain Home.
The night before, Brassfield was putting several hundreds of ammo into ammo cans. He did not have enough room for the last 200 or so rounds of ammo.
“He’s never messed with ammo before,” Brassfield said. “I just left them in a bag by the bed.”
“So Wednesday morning I woke up early and my wife said Benno had thrown up,” Brassfield said. “She said there was ammo in the vomit. I looked at the round and I thought oh my God, he got into the ammo.”
Brassfield had no idea exactly how much ammo the omnivorous dog had eaten, but he was about to find out.
“So I just decided to watch him for a bit,” said Brassfield. “He ate like he normally does, no problem. Then about 15-20 minutes later, he threw up again and three more rounds came out. At that point, I knew I had to take him to the vet.”
“I brought him down to the vet’s, and I was on pins and needles,” Brassfield said. “They took x-rays and Dr. Sexton counted 15 rounds. By the outlines, I counted at least 17 rounds.”
Sexton says she was surprised by the x-rays.
Sexton asked Brassfield what the ammo was made of. Lead and zinc, two metals used in ammo manufacturing, can quickly be toxic for dogs. To everyone’s relief, Brassfield told Sexton the ammo was made from brass and copper.
“There were lots of jokes being told during the surgery,” said Sexton, smiling at the memory. “He could have gone up in smoke, could have gone out with a bang. Oh, there were lots of jokes.”
Sexton operated on Benno and during a procedure that lasted approximately two hours, she removed 16 live, highly chewed rounds and one shell from the dog’s stomach.
“It was an adventure. If you think of the stomach as a balloon, where I made my incision, all the heavy metal went to the bottom,” said Sexton. “I had to scoop it all up and bring it up to the location of my incision.”
Once she removed the ammo from the dog, Sexton had Benno x-rayed once more, just to be sure she got all the ammo. Two x-rays were needed to cover the digestive track of the large dog. That’s when Sexton saw two more rounds in the dog’s esophagus.
The vet made the decision not to open Benno up again to remove the last two rounds. The surgery itself went fine and Benno is expected to make a full recovery.
“Since the ammo is not toxic, I decided not to go back in,” said Sexton. “I decided we’d give it a week to see if he would vomit them up or pass them.”
Sure enough, Benno passed one round five days after his ammunition buffet. Benno ‘shot’ the final round on Thursday, some eight days after his high-caliber snack.
“I won’t be leaving ammunition laying around anymore, I can tell you that,” Brassfield said. “But really, you’re never going to stop him. It’s just a question of what he’s going to eat next.”