Porcupine Quills & Your Pet

Marley OwensPorcupine Quills & Your Pet

We see several cases of dogs that have been quilled by porcupines every year. The porcupine quills can be found anywhere on the body of a dog but are most commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head and neck of a dog. The quills have very tiny one-way barbs that allow the quills keep moving inward and can cause fatal damage to organs. They can also lead to infections and blindness/ lameness depending on the location.

Common Misconceptions

  • Porcupines do not throw quills, but the quills are easily “let go of” by the porcupine and embedded in the animal that encountered it.
  • Breaking or trimming the quills does not make them easier to remove, or alleviate the dog’s pain. This can actually cause further complications.

What To DoMarley Owens 2

  • If your dog has been in contact with a porcupine and has quills in them, contact us immediately and bring them in to have the quills removed.
  • Do not try to remove the quills yourself because this could lead to more unnecessary damage.
  • Though the animal might be in distress, do not attempt to put a muzzle or harness over any quills.

Quill removal is very painful and quills may break off inside your pet. Removing quills under anesthesia reduces the trauma for your pet and it also allows for a more thorough check and removal of all quills.

If you have any other questions about porcupine’s quills & your pet, please feel free to contact our office and speak with one of our staff members.  505-869-2627.