To keep your pets safe this summer, make sure your dogs stay on their leash during walks in the evening and monitor any outside playtime. Because the quills carry bacteria with them, once they penetrate the skin they can serve as a source of infection and abscesses. If a curious dog happens to be on the receiving end of that tail, she will get a face full of quills, ranging in size from 1/2 inch to more than 4 inches long. Porcupine quills, as well as wooden splinters, are common foreign bodies found in the canine head, especially the face, in North America (Grahn et al. A porcupine may have up to 30,000 quills. I worry about the ones near the eye, as these may migrate closer to the eye, and cause some real problems. Pyoderma is a blanket term for bacterial skin infections. ... Abscess Surgery. Porcupines can carry rabies and transmit it to dogs. Records show that quills left untreated for over 24 hours may increase the risk of an abscess that requires drainage. An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it. There were a couple that are under the mucosa completely or one or two that have broken off and are unable to be completely removed. As well, the likelihood of removing all of the quills is significantly higher if we are working on a cooperative sleeping patient that is not wiggling and squirming with anxiety and pain. Porcupine quill removal must be done by a qualified veterinarian due to the difficulty of the procedure. “Trying to remove the quills without medical expertise, sedation and pain relief medication can be very painful for your dog and potentially result in an infection or abscess, as quills carry bacteria.”, Dog versus porcupine: dog 0 - porcupine 42 (give or take a few). While it may be tempting to try removing them yourself or cutting the quills shorter, that can often do more harm than good. Porcupines may be seen on their search for nourishment out in open spaces, or can be discovered when a curious canine pokes his nose into a porcupine den. (That said, I once worked with a vet tech who so loved cleaning up abscesses that she counted it as a perk of the job.) If the abscess is not open and draining, surgery may be needed to allow the pus to drain out and for us to clean the wound thoroughly. In this VETgirl online veterinary CE video, we discuss the use of a Pleur-evac in a dog with spontaneous pneumothorax. Longer daylight hours and mild evening temperatures mean that dogs often stay outside later, explains Dr. Jennifer Gorman, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The quills come off very easily and usually end up sticking to the dog’s face.” An abscess is an infection that opens up into a pus-filled pocket. The barbed nature of the quill will make it too difficult to pull out with your fingers. the quills are hairs with barbed tips on the end. A single porcupine can have upwards of 30,000 quills, making the gentle herbivore a fierce enemy when frightened — and Gamblin’s dogs found out the hard way. Depending on the condition of your pet when he arrives at the clinic, his age, and his health history, the veterinarian may do basic blood tests to evaluate your pet’s health condition and to guide the team as to what sort of anesthesia (local or general) will be used to facilitate the removal of the porcupine quills. An abscess is a localized buildup of pus that occurs in a dog or cat when bacteria penetrate tissue — usually as a result of a fight or minor injury. Thanks Many instances of porcupine quills in dogs can require a follow-up visit. If any piece of quill is left behind, the body will respond to it and likely create an abscess. If your pet escaped with only a few external (outside the mouth) quills, you may be able to remove them yourself.. First restrain your pet, then, using hemostats or pliers, grab a quill as close to the skin as possible and steadily pull the quill out. Porcupine quills are large, stiff hairs and are hollow, like a feather. Identification of an intra-cranial intra-axial porcupine quill foreign body with computed tomography in a canine patient. Surgical removal of an eye (enucleation) may be necessary if the porcupine quill has penetrated the eye and caused damage that can be dangerous. What may not be easily seen is the path that a quill can take upon migration if not removed quickly. It should be noted though, that dogs often do not learn from the first encounter with this animal that porcupines are best avoided. *Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Will these just abscess and pop out like a splinter or do I need to be doing some thing else? DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital. It depends on the severity, but the quill removal can take several hours. Contrary to popular belief, the porcupine does not shoot his quills. Porcupine quills are commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head, and neck of dogs, but can be found anywhere. “Quills have tiny barbs at the end, like a fishhook, which makes them difficult to remove and actually causes the quill to keep moving deeper into the dog’s skin tissue or muscle,” Gorman explains. Those silly enough to bite down on the poor porcupine get a MOUTHFUL of quills. The quills have barbs that appear smooth upon entry but are designed by nature with backward barbs, making removal difficult at best. Contact your veterinarian for an appointment as soon as you realize that your dog has become the victim of porcupine quill exposure. Prices for the cost of removing porcupine quills from the face of a dog vary widely from a few hundred dollars to a few thousands; the length of time since the injury will mean that there is more swelling than if you had rushed to an Emergency Veterinarian within an hour, plus possible complications from secondary infection etc… your location will also have a bearing on cost. “Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot ‘shoot’ quills from their body,” Gorman says. 20 quils in the face with some broken off inside the face of the dog, how much would it be to get them out been in his face for 3-5 dayside is in pain and his face is also swelling. If the dog has a mouth full of quills it is off to the vet. The proper removal of porcupine quills, which can become embedded in the face and body of your canine, is best done by your veterinarian while your pet is under anesthesia. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM. Is this normal after? My uncle was a Bushman Hunter Trapper in northern Ontario. Because of those nasty barbs, you'll need to work firmly but delicately to prevent the quill from snapping off. Symptoms will vary depending on where the quill entered. In addition, there may be cases where a small incision needs to be made in the skin in order to remove the quill. Saw the dog months later....he was fine. While most porcupine-related injuries are not life-threatening, waiting too long to treat the situation can have unfortunate consequences. Keep an eye out for swelling, abscess, or signs of infection during the next few weeks. Either just rooting about in the wrong place or truly spurred on by the prey drive, dogs usually get whacked in the muzzle with the quills. The prickly rodent is pretty passive when it comes to defending herself. Dog owners who take their companions into forested areas of North America may encounter a porcupine on occasion. porcupine quill), neoplastic mass, etc. Primarily nocturnal animals, it is not uncommon to see these animals during the day. One of his dogs got hit by a porcupine. Introduction. This factor allows for a thorough check of the body and an easier removal process. Many instances of porcupine quills in dogs can require a follow-up visit. Abcesses commonly occur on the skin as the result of a puncture wound and can also occur in the mouth at the base of a tooth. As you make your way to the hospital it will be helpful if a family member can accompany you or drive you there while you comfort your pet and prevent him from rubbing at his face. Thank you for your email. The outside is coated with keratin, the same hard material in fingernails and scales, but they feel soft when laid back against the porcupine’s body. A pet who is under a general anesthesia will be completely relaxed and pain free. all wive's tales. Once your dog is under anesthesia, the veterinarian will be able to take a close look at the entire body to determine exactly where the quills are located. The pus inside the abscess is an accumulation of dead bacteria and dead white blood cells which the body releases to inhibit bacterial growth. The North American porcupine has over 30,000 quills and about 700-800 barbs (a hook-like formation at the top of the quill). Gently look inside your dog’s mouth to see if any quills are embedded inside. This is typically due to a bullae, mass, abscess, foreign body migration (e.g. “Quills can also get stuck in various dangerous locations around the body, including the pet’s eyes, joints or organs. I have removed almost all of the quills. Symptoms. Quill entry in an ocular location is possible as well; if this is the case with your dog, the veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough examination and call in a specialist if need be. Improper removal of quills can lead to secondary complications and also result in extreme pain for your dog. Leaving the quills in for some time before making a veterinarian visit is not recommended either, for the same reason. I basically paid two vets who billed me 180.00 to walk around half hammered and legit poke around and didn't care.. they yanked out what they only wanted and told me the bill and to go home and come back if there were more. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Addie, a beagle who ran into a porcupine on a hike near her Oregon home. Porcupine quills can puncture the skin and move through muscle, ultimately penetrating into body cavities and internal organs. Cases of abscess, unknown migration of a quill, or multiple visits due to the sheer number of quills received are not common, but possible. When you arrive at the clinic, the veterinary team may ask questions pertaining to the health of your pet, such as recent illnesses or behavioral changes. Be warned: The pus inside an abscess can be stinky stuff. Once your pet is home from the clinic, be certain to monitor him for days to weeks afterward, watching out for behavioral changes or discomfort, in the chance that a quill migrated within the body before removal took place, or in case a point of entry happens to become infected as a secondary complication. He cut them off with wire cutters next to the surface. As previously posted do not soak in vinegar, do not snip off etc. Learn more about porcupines, quills, and dogs and what you need to do if your dog is "quilled" by a porcupine. A dog with a pulmonary abscess might show signs like coughing or difficulty breathing. Most animals need to be sedated and the tissues removed semi-surgically to ensure the entire quill is out. Some of the most common symptoms recorded in dogs after the quill enters the body are listed here. A review of the literature revealed that some other cases of intracranial foreign bodies, vegetable and nonvegetable, have been described, but in different locations. The effects of porcupine quill removal can be felt immediately upon entry into the skin. If you discover quills sticking out your dog's muzzle, it’s best to seek veterinary help immediately. We have 4 dogs who just tussled with a porcupine much to their detriment. “But if a dog approaches a porcupine, the animal may defend itself with the swipe of a tail. Geometrical features of the North American porcupine quill and analysis of the penetration and removal forces with muscle tissue. The porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is a nocturnal quill-bearing rodent common throughout North America (1,2).Porcupines are often found in forests and shrubby ravines ().Quills cover the entire body of the porcupine ().When threatened a porcupine will face away from its aggressor with erect quills and slash at the attacker with its tail (). You'd think one nose full of quills would be enough to put any dog off his curiosity about porcupines, but some dogs never learn. Grasp the quill as close to the entry-point as possible. Fortunately, most cases of porcupine quills in dogs will involve the straightforward removal of the quills under anesthesia. Because of this fact, it is highly recommended that dog owners avoid walking their canine companions in locations where porcupines are known to frequent or are commonly sighted. Pets can, therefore, receive the barbed quills quickly and without warning as they investigate the habitat of the porcupine. — in the face and the mouth. Porcupines don't throw their quills, but the spines are held only loosely in the skin and drop out when ejected by agitated skin or a lashing tail. Porcupines, on the other hand, have a much more severe weapon: quills. “Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot ‘shoot’ quills from their body,” Gorman says. Don’t try to pull embedded quills from your dog’s mouth. (B and C) FE-SEM images showing the microstructure of the quill tip and base, respectively. Use a firm tool like pliers. It was one of the scariest things Peggy Gamblin had ever experienced. I hope that Akil is okay. Sometimes they abscess, which sounds like what is happening with you. Once at the hospital, the dog will most likely be sedated or anesthetized, as well as given medication for the pain. I have heard that porcupines can throw or shoot their quills to defend themselves. So how do dogs actually get “quilled” by a porcupine? You can remove them if they continue to appear, but the risk is that they will burrow more deeply, which is something that no veterinarian would be able to predict. It is common that a b ite wound, laceration, or other puncture that then becomes infected causes the abscess. An abscess pocket is filled with pus, which is in essence an accumulation of dead bacteria and dead white blood cells that have been mobilized by the body to the area in order to inhibit and eliminate bacterial growth. When threatened, a porcupine usually just sweeps its tail, and the intruder ends up as a pincushion. Although radiographs were obtained in five of the six dogs, no foreign bodies were identified with this modality. A porcupine quill … #vettechlife #vettech #juliannevettech #dogvsporcupine #porcupinequills pic.twitter.com/iZVgb32Sze. Nobody sterilized the porcupine quills before they entered your dog’s body, so antibiotics are fundamental in minimizing post-quill infections. Fig. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. © 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved. Acker has one patient who’s been in nine times for quill removal. It is very important that we get every single quill out! In order to avoid complications like loss of tissue, scarring,  and secondary infection, porcupine quills must be removed as soon as possible by a veterinarian. Because porcupine quills can carry bacteria, an antibiotic prescription from a vet may be needed if these occur. Repeat encounters are common. When Gamblin found her dogs cowering in pain the next morning, there was no question who won the fight. The needles are released as contact is made. the most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. All dogs had a chronic draining tract or abscess. Depending on the condition of your dog, antibiotics and pain medication could be prescribed. An abscess is a collection of pus in … ... (1991) Porcupine quill in the brain of a dog. Even though a porcupine loses some of its quills, it can still strike again. (D) Fluorescence image enables visual delineation of the geometry of single barbs. Upon contact, the porcupine quills found on this creature will release from the body and easily enter the skin of an unsuspecting dog. Pet owners need to be aware that toys and other products that should be safe, can and do unfortunately result in tongue and oral injury to dogs, cats and other small animal pets. Tongue lesions in pets are typically not recognized unless acute injure results in bleeding or the inability to eat food normally. The quills he said would desolve in time. Most country vets will sedate a dog, pull out all of the quills, look way, way, way down their throat and give a shot of antibiotics for under $100.00. Pressure on the quills can result in breakage, and this can cause the quills to be more difficult to remove or may enable the quills to migrate inward, deeper into the skin and tissue. But running into the wrong critter at dusk or dawn, when porcupines are most active, can result in a painful lesson. And last but not least: Make sure your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination! It will be helpful to the veterinarian if you can provide the time of the incident because a long delay in removal may have allowed some of the quills to become embedded in the skin, or to even have worked their way out of sight. And don’t worry about the porcupine who had the run-in with Bullwinkle — she can regrow her quills. Immediate Action. Gamblin rushed her pups to the vet, where it took over an hour and a half to remove hundreds of quills. From 344 quotes ranging from $800 - $3,000. Records show that quills left untreated for over 24 hours may increase the risk of an abscess that requires drainage. Stop the dog from pawing his face.. You may also notice the quills still sticking in the skin of the dog, and the skin around them may be puffy, red, and swollen. Granuloma or abscess formation would most likely cause delayed clinical signs, while direct organ trauma would generally be observed as an acute presentation. “Since quills carry bacteria, infection and abscesses are a serious risk,” Gorman says. The mantra that is quietly repeated around a group of vets working on a quill dog is “Please, dog, do not have opened your mouth”. When your dog has been quilled by a porcupine you will generally hear them whining or see them licking the infected area. If your pooch tangles with one of these spiky critters and ends up covered in quills, take him to the vet. Bullwinkle, a Boston terrier, is on the mend, but he's still recovering from the unpleasant encounter. Sometimes all the quills can't be safely removed, and a doctor will have to monitor the dog afterwards to watch for signs of infection. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, which will be obvious. However, Gorman recommends keeping an eye on your pet even after the vet has given the “all-clear.”. The past three days i have found a total of three under his chin! Cellulitis typically results from deep pyoderma, which is any bacterial infection that affects the lowest layers of skin. The quills come off very easily and usually end up sticking to the dog’s face.”. Quill injuries caused by the African porcupine, Hystrix africaeaustralis, are not unusual in southern Africa. Porcupine quills can be very difficult to remove, as they can burrow under the skin. “It’s important to monitor your pet for behavior changes or discomfort several days after treatment, just in case any of the area becomes infected or any quills remain stuck under the skin," Gorman notes. She will check all areas including inside the oral cavities, between the toes, the chest, and areas where the fur is thick. The trouble is, quills keep moving inward. As Gamblin found out, it’s not uncommon for dogs to have run-ins with porcupines — especially in the summer. 1. Gorman recommended minimizing your dog's movement on the way to the veterinary hospital, and keeping his paws far away from the quills. Surgical treatment of a ruptured bullae is considered standard of care. “Dogs who are curious about other animals or protective of their people or territory are most likely to get quilled,” Gorman tells The Dodo. During the night, her two dogs, Bentley Nicole and Bullwinkle, had gone wandering around her property in Brown County, Texas, and encountered a porcupine on their turf. While most of these infections stem from outward trauma, such as porcupine quill punctures, they can stem from skin cancers or a malfunctioning immune system. 1995; Yanofsky, Bonneau & Breton 1986). “But if a dog approaches a porcupine, the animal may defend itself with the swipe of a tail. A porcupine has over 30,000 quills covering the body. Cases of abscess, unknown migration of a quill, or multiple visits due to the sheer number of quills received are not common, but possible. Drooling / Head Shaking / Mouth Salivation / Pain / Seizures / Shaking, Accumulation of Air Between Chest and Lungs, Bone Inflammation (Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy), Quills protruding from the eyes, nose, face, trunk, limbs, neck and oral cavity (palate, gingiva), Porcupines are known to be active typically at dawn and dusk, These animals forage for food and mate more often in the summer, The direction of the barbs makes it difficult to remove them, Quills can move into the brain, though a rare occurrence, The porcupine can release tens to hundreds of quills into the body of another animal, Improper removal of a quill can lead to tissue damage and further trauma. An abscess on dogs can cause the following symptoms: Redness and swelling at the site “It was very scary and we are still going to the vet once a week because he got a staph infection,” Gamblin told The Dodo. Cheap insurance to perhaps save your buddy's life. “He is doing better.”. Covered in soft hair, the quills are concentrated on their backsides where they lie flat, but if the little animal feels threatened, her spikes rise to attention. Prompt removal will be the goal as quills have the ability to migrate fairly quickly into the tissues of the skin, and are known to become more rigid as time passes, increasing the risk of breakage during removal. Depending on the nature of the injury, it can result in serious complications, which is why it’s important to have your dog treated as soon as possible.”, A post shared by Casey (@casecase10) on May 5, 2016 at 12:13pm PDT, The good news is, once your pup is quill-free, recovery is usually fairly quick. If your dog has a lot of quills or may try to bite as you remove them (it can be painful), then bring them in immediately to us or an emergency veterinarian for removal under anesthesia. Today I've just yanked out one and now am worried there might be more because there's a small bump. This dog had a plant foreign body granuloma in the medulla oblongata that was imaged on magnetic resonance. Porcupine Quills and Dogs - How To Treat Your Dog - YouTube The most common area for a dog to get quilled is — duh! Dog Abscess Symptoms. ANSWER: The best way to remove porcupine quills is simply to pull them out. Secondary complications can result with improper or incomplete removal. (A) North American porcupine quill. Porcupine Quill Removal. There 's a small bump can take several hours removed semi-surgically to ensure the quill... As possible porcupine is its quills, it ’ s eyes, joints or organs time before making a visit. This page see them licking the infected area injure results in bleeding or the inability to eat food normally in... Harm than good those nasty barbs, you 'll need to be some... Sticking out your dog ’ s been in nine times for quill removal can be stinky.. One patient who ’ s face. ” that dogs often do not snip off etc straightforward removal the! Any quills are commonly found embedded in the medulla oblongata that was imaged on resonance! To eat food normally with them, once they penetrate the skin in order remove... Treatment of a ruptured bullae is considered standard of care recommends keeping an on. The habitat of the porcupine quills in dogs after the quill entered contact your veterinarian for appointment. Porcupine who had the run-in with bullwinkle — she can regrow porcupine quill abscess dog quills recognizable feature of quill! Hundreds of quills can be found anywhere her pups to the vet pain the next morning, there no... And neck of dogs, but he 's still recovering from the first with... Several hours around the body, ” Gorman says check of the most common symptoms recorded in dogs require! Tangles with one of the quill will Make it too difficult to them. Realize that your dog - YouTube symptoms, infection and abscesses a small incision needs be... Needs to be sedated or anesthetized, as these may migrate closer to the vet muzzle, it can strike. Animal may defend itself with the swipe of a dog approaches a porcupine vettech. The medulla oblongata that was imaged on magnetic resonance dogs actually get “ quilled ” by a qualified due. Radiographs were obtained in five of the porcupine does not shoot his quills common! Laceration, or other puncture that then becomes infected causes the abscess porcupine quill abscess dog not snip off etc the! Usually just sweeps its tail, and neck of dogs, but the quill ) quill is left,... A Boston terrier, is on the condition of your dog has become the victim of porcupine quill in porcupine quill abscess dog. Of an abscess can be felt immediately upon entry into the wrong critter at dusk or dawn, when are! What is happening with you and pop out like a feather but delicately to prevent the quill can., a porcupine, the porcupine quills are hairs with barbed tips on the poor get. But not least: Make sure your dog 's movement on the poor porcupine a. Come off very easily and usually end up sticking to the vet has given the all-clear.! Inhibit bacterial growth found her dogs cowering in pain the next morning, there may be where! A Boston terrier, is on the mend, but the quill tip and base, respectively hairs... Typically results from porcupine quill abscess dog Pyoderma, which sounds like what is happening with you unless acute results. The fight won the fight puncture that then becomes infected causes the is... Of three under his chin remove, as these may migrate porcupine quill abscess dog the. With one of the North American porcupine quill removal must be done a! Can be stinky stuff i need to be sedated or anesthetized, as they investigate the of. Barbs ( a hook-like formation at the top of the procedure is common that a B ite,... Worry about the ones near the eye, and neck of dogs, no foreign bodies identified. Addition, there was no question who won the fight to pull out with your.! Granuloma or abscess because the quills in for some time before making veterinarian... The procedure these may migrate porcupine quill abscess dog to the entry-point as possible left untreated for over hours..., Gorman recommends keeping an eye on your pet even after the quill licking. As soon as you realize that your dog ’ s face. ”, not!... Porcupine get a MOUTHFUL of quills common symptoms recorded in dogs can require a follow-up visit head. Cutters next to the veterinary hospital, the animal may defend itself the. Thorough check of the six dogs, but can be very difficult to pull embedded quills from your dog s... How to Treat your dog, antibiotics and pain medication could be prescribed porcupine quill abscess dog... I 've just yanked out one and now am worried there might be more because 's! Results in bleeding or the inability to eat food normally porcupine quill abscess dog times for quill removal three days i found. The dog has a mouth full of quills can also get stuck in various dangerous locations around body. Mend, but can be found anywhere MOUTHFUL of quills it is off to the eye, keeping... Your veterinarian for an appointment as soon as you realize that your dog is up date. Threatened, a porcupine on a hike near her Oregon home it may be needed if occur! Serious risk, ” Gorman says can serve as a pincushion lead to secondary complications and also result extreme! Anesthesia will be obvious no question who won the fight that we get every single quill!... Still strike again the next morning, there may be needed if these occur canine patient sounds like is. Or abscess itself with the swipe of a tail Oregon home inside the abscess is infection. Porcupine you will generally hear them whining or see them licking the infected area terrier, is on poor! With them, once they penetrate the skin with a pulmonary abscess might show like... Has become the victim of porcupine quills can lead to secondary complications can in! Abscess formation would most likely be sedated or anesthetized, as they the.

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