View Full Version : Dog meets porcupine, anything special i should do?

March 29, 2005, 07:22 PM
Was out for a walk this afternoon with my dogs when one of them got into a porcupine. It had about 3 dozen quils in his face, had them removed by vet. Was wondering if anyone had a experiance like this and theres something i should do to prevent infection or what i should be watching out for.


p.s- That porcupine shouldnt be bothering my dogs again, put about 6 hollow points into it with my .22 :)

March 29, 2005, 07:41 PM
Had this happen a whole bunch of times with my beagles when I was young, hunting hare in N. Wisconsin. What we did was cut the quills in half with a sharp scissors. The barb will relax somewhat and they are much easier to get out and it doesn't hurt the dog as much. Some topical anti-septic from the vet can be applied, but I never had a problem with any serious infections when I did not use it.

March 29, 2005, 10:05 PM
Porcupines are tougher than you think, it might be out there a little tired and miffed......... I have stories about shooting porcupines but not tonight.

Take a bath towel and wrap it around the dogs head, twist it up where he is captured pretty good and CANNOT SEE YOU. Needle nose pliers, grap a quill and YANK!!! If he/she doesn't bite you too bad grab another and YANK. If you are detecting a pattern here you are right, there is no slow and easy pulling the quills. They must be yanked out or the dog will be in a tremendous amount of pain, and you WILL get bitten. This is like tying a string around your tooth to the door knob and slamming the door, get it overwith and move on.

If the dog is getting out of control wait a little bit and then try a little later. IF the tongue and gums have quills in them just take him/her to the vet and have the dog put under, that is a war you don't need.

You are in a tough place, especially if it is the first time for this dog and doubly if it is the first time for both of you. It seems a dog will learn that the pulling of the quills is an atrocious evolution it must endure after the second or third encounter with the prickly beast, but the first time they just don't get it. It is also quite hard on the master if your dog is a family member, like mine are, to pull them and put the dog through this. For the sake of the dog please pull at least some of them, they are smart enough to put two and two together and will probably give the porcupine a little space next time. They need the negative of the quills being pulled and it hurting, or next time they will be all over a porcupine again.

I've done this probably 30 times with 10 different dogs, some learn and some just get a few less quills in them.......

EDIT: Missed the part about the vet. If this happens again my post will apply.

March 29, 2005, 10:27 PM
Thanks for the tips on how to get them out by myself. Couldve used that earlier, the vet set me back 100 bucks to have them pulled out. I did try to pull them out with some needle nose pliers, but i did not have anything coverings his eyes and there was no way i was going to get all 30 or so out of him even with two people holding him down. I will definetly try the towel trick next time, because i'm sure it'll happen again.


4V50 Gary
March 29, 2005, 11:55 PM
Save the quills for Lally House. She'll dye them and incorporate them into a nice knife sheath.

@ $100 bucks and saving myself from being bitten, I'd pay the $$$. But I want those quills back.

March 30, 2005, 12:48 AM
Trust me, fellas. You haven't lived until you've tried to remove a quill from the flank of a cat! Now I know why they call a busy aerial dogfight a "furball". :eek:

After removal, once your companion calms down apply some hydrogen peroxide using a saturated cotton ball. This will help prevent/reduce any infection. Once or twice a day for 3 days apply it to the wounds. In dogs, they will begin to heal up normally. Cats, unfortunately, tend to heal at the surface which can trap bacteria under the skin and form an abcess. Keeping the wound open with peroxide for a few days allows it to drain. If any wound area develops swelling or feels "hot" to the touch, see your vet immediately to drain the abcess.

Just remember to buy TWO bottles of peroxide when dealing with a cat. One to treat the cat, the other to treat yourself and any assistants you use!
I was tempted to rename him "Ronco" because he turned into a fur-covered 20-clawed slice & dice machine!

March 30, 2005, 04:33 AM
I am not sure if it is dependent on the species of porcipine but the ones we have in MT have quills that fill with air. As mentioned above, it works best to cut the very tops off the quills before pulling them because it helps them deflate. My neighbors had to pulls quills out of their dogs on a few occassions and explained the process in elaborate detail in case it should ever happen to my dog.

Good luck with your friend. Hopefully he'll leave curiosity to the cat next time...

March 31, 2005, 03:36 PM
I have seen many sources recommend using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to soften the quills first, after cutting off the ends. It is supposed to soften them.

I never remember to bring any quills home to try this, as I highly suspect that the vinegar alone would be a more effective softening agent, since mixing the vinegar and baking soda would seemingly cancel each other out.

Hopefully your dog is now "Porky proofed", but I kept thinking the same with my Yellow Lab and skunks after each run in...:-)

March 31, 2005, 05:19 PM
Stand by with some neosporin just in case. Hope your buddy gets well soon.

March 31, 2005, 07:28 PM
our golden lab has done that 2 times. hes a little bit of a slow learner. he was fine and didnt get sick or infected from it.

six hollowpoints from a .22 eh. that porcupine is gonna be sore for a while. i gave one 14 stingers once at point blank range before he gave up. and i had to give another 3 shots in the head with solid tip .22lr before he stopped. theyre tough.

Al Thompson
March 31, 2005, 07:33 PM
How do they taste? :)

March 31, 2005, 07:36 PM
The beagle, being one of the dumbest animals I have ever experienced, are not real quick learners either. Hell of a rabbit driver though. My first dog got shwacked 3 or 4 times by a porky I think, he never did learn.

April 27, 2005, 09:23 PM
I don't think cutting the ends off does anything. yes they are hollow, but they are stiff enough that the air inside won't matter. Besides, the tip is solid anyway, and the tip has barbs. The barbs are what hold them in. My vet didn't cut the tips off either when he finished de-quilling my dog. Vet also gave the dog an antibiotic shot and pills to avoid infection.

I popped the porky with a couple of 45 colt swc loads. First one to make him stop turning his back to me as I tried to get a head shot, next one was final.

I took the dog that got quilled, and my other dog over to the dead porky after the vet visit, had them on a leash and walked them up to it at the end of the leash(so they could'nt rush it) and kept telling them "BAD porkypine, BAD porkypine". They both shied away from it after the first whiff and telling them that. Hope it works, and next time they leave them alone.