Dog vs Porcupine

It’s porcupine season!!! And our canine companions just can’t help themselves investigating the spiky creatures they see. So, what do you do if your dog encounters a porcupine? Bring them to the vet right away!

Pulling quills at home is very painful and can be difficult (especially if there are quills inside the mouth). Trying to hold your dog down and do this can create lifelong aversions to their face and almost always results in quills being broken off and left inside.

Quills have a one-way barb on them, so it is easy for them to go in (and keep travelling inwards), but not very easy to get out. Once they break off, the only way to get them out is to cut the skin open and remove the remaining piece of quill.

If quill fragments are left in, they tend to fester inwards and can travel deep into the body. Migrating quills have been found all over the body including in the joints, eyes, heart, lungs and intestines! As you could imagine, this is extremely painful for the dog and requires extensive surgery to remove. Quills do not show up on x-ray and can be very difficult to find with ultrasound. They also cause infection and abscesses.

If your dog happens to get porcupine quills, bring your pet to Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital right away where we can sedate, remove the quills safely, and have your furry friend feeling better in no time flat!

Written By: Dr. Hayley Biederbeck

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