When Porcupines Attack

Help your dog avoid porcupine quills

Dogs are naturally curious animals and porcupines are easily offended by strangers nosing around in their business. This is not a good combination. Given that dogs don’t have thousands of prickly quills at their disposal to ward off attack, they usually come out on the losing side of a confrontation between the two. For those of us who live in rural areas with their dogs, it’s probably a good idea to have a contingency plan for when your dog comes running home with a muzzle full of quills. Maybe it’ll never happen, but it’s good to be prepared if it does.

Contrary to popular belief and cartoon logic, porcupines don’t “shoot” their quills at unsuspecting dogs just minding their own business. If a dog gets quilled, it’s because they chose to wrestle around with one of these formidable little rodents and got more than they bargained for. Hopefully your dog will only have to learn this lesson once.

If your dog gets quilled, the only real solution is to take him/her to the vet as soon as possible. Try to reduce their movement as well. Porcupine quills are barbed and have a way of penetrating farther into an animals body the more they move and struggle, which is the natural thing to do for a dog with a face full of quills. Quiet your dog and make them be still. Unless you have some anesthesia and the know-how to use it laying around the house, get your animal to the vet right away; they have the right tools and experience for the job.

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