I’ve heard about at least seven dog versus porcupine cases this year so far. One unlucky customer’s dog has had two porcupine encounters this year so far – the first one required a trip the University and a $700 surgery.
Last week, when I took Phoebe in for her shots, I urged a walk in client to go ahead of me at the vet clinic, when they arrived with a dog literally BLANKETED in quills, including inside his mouth, nose and ears. They were still working on him – under sedation – when we left.
Apparently even the birds in Canada are having a hard time of it this year – this Raven actually came to a person and seemed to ask for help after a porcupine encounter.
By the way, if your dog encounters a porcupine, and there are just a few quills to deal with, you can usually remove them yourself. Get some rubber gloves, a pair of needle-nose pliers and someone to help you hold your dog. You may need to cover his eyes at first so he doesn’t see the pliers coming.
Stay calm and talk to him softly. Next, grasp each quill near the point of entry and pull straight out. Your pooch will probably pull back, making it easy to remove the quills. Try not to break any of them. Once you’re done removing the quills, apply a topical antiseptic to the affected area.
If the quills are in the eyes, the mouth, the ears or there are an excessive amount of them, a trip to the vet is in order.