Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Problem with Porcupines

is that they can kill your curious dogs. What would we do without modern veterinary care?

Our poor dogs caught a porcupine yesterday, mostly Riagan, and got zapped all over their bodies, their noses, lips, chest, legs, inner mouth and throat. The needles went all the way down to their tonsils and coated the roof of Riagan's mouth.

We took them to the vet immediately and they were put under anasthesia since it was such a huge job to remove the needles in the throat and mouth. While they were digging around down there they found a piece of some plant stuck in Riagan's tonsils and a SEVERE ear infection! She didn't even show signs. Since we had two dogs, instead of one, the whole experience cost us $700.00, but considering all they did, that seems quite cheap.

The porcupine did not survive this encounter. We found it next to our house in front of our hot tub.

Here are the dogs after they were brought home. Very tired.

What I learned:

1.) To remove porcupine needles, clip them on their ends first to release the air, before pulling them out.

2.) Porcupine needles are insidious--rather than working their way out (if left alone), they'll work their way deeper in and can even make it to the brain.

3.) Dogs don't usually learn from this experience, it often makes them even more aggressive with porcupines.

This morning the dogs are back to normal. We're hoping they'll defy the odds and will have learned to be more cautious with porcupines in the future. Time will tell.


  1. WOW! I am glad they are both OK!

  2. OUCH!ouchouchouch.



  3. Poor doggies! That sounds really painful; I'm glad they are both ok!

  4. Oh no, Linda! Your poor pups! What an ordeal they went through, I'm glad they are doing better now. When I was growing up in NH, with a state forest behind our house, our dog had a porcupine encounter and my mother took her to the vet to have the needles removed. I was only about 10 and never learned the details, but the dog never came home with porcupine needles again. I hope your dogs don't either :/

  5. I knew an encounter would be painful but didn't realize how dangerous it can be. Thanks for the heads up. I discovered last year on a trail ride that porcupines are very destructive to trees. I'm liking them less and less.

  6. Wow. That is crazy! Thank goodness we don't have porcupine's here! Glad the dogs are okay and hope they feel better soon!

  7. Poor babies! Just the thought makes me hurt for them.

  8. Poor puppies! I think I feel worse for you though, that's quite a vet bill!

    My sister's dog got porcupined repeatedly until they quit sedating him to pull the quills. The last time they just pinned him down and pulled them and he hasn't done it again (knock on wood). I think he didn't learn from it when he was sedated. But your dogs definitely needed the attention of a vet with all those quills so deeply embedded! I'm glad they have you to take such good care of them.

  9. Oh ouch! Poor doggies. Glad you got them to the vet quickly and that they are alright now. Ouch to the pocketbook too, but money well spent.

  10. How awful, I guess something good did come out of it though. How crazy is it that getting in a pickle with a porcupine led to you finding an ear infection?

  11. OMG . . . Glad it all ends well. Hope they learned their lesson.

  12. Ouch to the dogs and your pocket book. I have dealt with porcupine needles and dogs just not that severe. My dog learned her lesson. I hope yours do as well.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.