Tips For Removing Porcupine Quills From Your Dog

Posted on

If your dog was curious about that strange-looking animal waddling along the hiking trail in front of you and the porcupine didn't appreciate its attention and quilled your dog, then these tips will help you get the quills out and relieve your dog's pain:

Tip: Understand Porcupine Quills are Barbed and Won't Back Themselves Out

Porcupine quills are barbed on the end and are designed to work their way into skin and tissue of predators instead of out of it. This means the quills need to be removed as soon as possible, or as your dog moves around, the quills will work their way into their muscles and internal organs.

Tip: Understand Porcupine Quills Can Cause a Serious Infection in Your Dog

Porcupine quills often have bacteria on them that is dangerous for your dog. As the bacteria enters your dog's system, it can cause local abscesses as well as fatal systemic infections. For this reason, it is vital you not only get the quills removed as soon as possible but also take your dog into an animal hospital so it can be treated with the appropriate antibiotics to stave off potential infections.

Tip: Don't Attempt to Remove the Porcupine Quills Yourself Without Any Anesthesia for Your Dog

Since removing the porcupine quills from your dog is very painful and not easy to do because of the barbs, you should never attempt to remove them yourself at home. Removing porcupine quills is something that should only be done by a veterinarian and after your dog has been treated with anesthesia and pain medication.

While you may have heard you can cut the ends of the barbs to deflate them and make them simple to remove, this is patently false. Barbs that have been cut become more brittle and can leave behind slivers of barbs in your dog's tissues, and this will lead to future medical problems for your dog.

Tip: Avoid Morning and Evening Off-Leash Hikes in Areas Where Porcupines Live

Porcupines are rodents and are nocturnal. Since they tend to move around during the early morning and late evening hours, you should avoid hiking in their territory with your dog during this time of day.

Finally, if you take your dog hiking in an area where porcupines live, then it is important you keep them on a leash at all times so they don't chase after porcupines and get quilled.