Q: My dog ran into a porcupine. What should I do?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2035 days ago

Mary T.

I’m afraid our camping trip to Maine will bring another porcupine run-in. How should we prepare?

Chosen Answer

The Handy Dandy Porcupine Quill Removal Kit for dogs who have run into porcupines includes the following: needle-nose pliers to pull the quills, antiseptic to prevent infection, and a heavy blanket to wrap the thrashing dog. All you need to supply is the number of an emergency veterinarian near your campsite.

Porcupine quills, with their sharp, barbed ends, drive deep into whatever part of the dog makes contact — the mouth, nose, face, whatever. The more the dog paws, the worse it gets. The pain can be maddening, and your dog may lash out at those who try to help. That’s where a heavy blanket and some extra helping hands come in.

If there are too many quills, too deeply buried, this is a job for a veterinarian, who might have to anesthetize the dog. With just a few (and a fairly cooperative dog) you might get the quills out yourself with the needle-nose pliers. Then clean and swab antiseptic on the affected area.

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