Army explosives sniffer dog, Hobo was out on patrol when he was nearly killed during a Taliban grenade attack on the front line in Afghanistan. Hobo, the 2-year-old black Labrador was searching for Taliban bombs when he was seriously wounded by three pieces of shrapnel, which left him bleeding from his neck, abdomen and body.
The patrol had dived for cover when they were attacked with grenades on July 21st, only to find Hobo flat on the ground moments later. The patrol leader Capt George Shipman said that they realised straight away after the explosions, that Hobo had been hit. Once the dust had cleared they could see he was bleeding heavily from his neck and the shrapnel was so hot it had cauterised and sealed wounds on Hobo’s body in several places. The neck wound was so deep that blood loss could only be stopped by a blood clotting agent, normally given to severely injured soldiers. Capt George Shipman also dressed to the wounds to keep the direct pressure on them and Hobo was was then airlifted to base with the wounded troops. Capt George Shipman said he was very calm throughout his treatment and that he found him harder to treat as he couldn’t explain what was happening to his patient.
The Vet met him off the helicopter and got him straight back to surgery where his wounds were checked, and he was put straight onto fluids because of the huge blood loss. Pte Patrick Medhurst-Feeny, the Vet who treated Hobo is with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps said he recovered well without the need of surgery thanks to Capt George Shipman quick action and was soon up and about like nothing had happened. They made the decision not to remove the shrapnel from his abdomen as it will heal better without surgery, and Hobo was back on his feet within two days ready to continue saving soldiers lives.
All the patrol have become very fond of Hobo as he is always bounding around their base, often providing a well needed morale boost. Hobo has been trained against loud noise and explosions and has had training since the attack to minimise any trauma following it. He is due to end his tour in November and will return to the UK for his next role as a demonstration dog.