CLICK HERE to see our blog from our trip to China »

Friday, April 11, 2008

Maggie - 0, Porcupine - 1

Ted is out of town on a business trip. Last night I let the pups out for their final 'elimination'. (Speaking of elimination, can you believe Michael Johns went home???) Thankfully Maggie is the only one that got quilled, and there are only about a dozen. It is hard for me to hold her down and do it, so I've been plucking a couple at a time, and giving her a break. This morning there is only 1/2 a quill left. Phew!

In doing my research on the web about how to remove these pesky things, I learned a few things. This is from a medical/vet website.

Let's dispel a few myths:


  • The quills do not have to be cut or clipped to "let the air out". They are not under pressure from the hollow area within.

  • Porcupine quills do not have barbs at their ends, and only rarely will actually migrate through the dog's tissues.

  • They do not shoot or eject their quills but will swipe their tails swiftly and leave a bunch of needle like quills in whatever the tail happens to touch. When threatened tiny erector muscles in the skin will make the hundreds of quills over the back "stand up" in defense.


The points of the quills are extremely sharp and stiff and under the microscope actually appear as if they have scales or shingles, not barbs, that point backward. Once embedded into tissues they can be difficult to remove, especially the tiny ones that want to break before they are extracted.

Home Removal of Porky Quills
:
If your dog only has a few quills and you are certain that there are none in the mouth or throat, you can remove quills at home fairly easily. The first thing to do is to get a pair of pliers, then something to cover the dog's eyes so it doesn't see those pliers approaching. Cover the dogs eyes with your hand if necessary, speak softly and don't act frantic or you will freak your dog out even worse! With the dog's eyes covered, bring the pliers up to a quill and grab the quill firmly and close to the skin. The dog will jerk backward and will separate himself from the quill. Sometimes you can grab more than one quill at a time, too. If the dog will be cooperative, coax it to accept your next attempt at removing more quills and eventually you may be able to remove a number of them. You may have to give the dog a break for a few minutes, too, between rounds of quill pulling.

I think the porcupine was under the back step. The pups were out there sniffing pretty hard this morning, and I saw a couple quills laying on the ground there. Any ideas about what I can throw under there (mothballs?) to keep a porcupine from making his home there?

14 comments:

kris said...

OUCH! Poor doggie :(

Steffie B. said...

Ohhhhh....poor puppster!

Anonymous said...

Poor Maggie. Those are bigggg quills. Mom

Nicole said...

What a pioneer woman you are!!!! Poor Mags... Remind me not to go under the steps while we are up there! (and I only lost 2 lbs through the whole crud ordeal!)

Beverly said...

We had a dog get skunked before but not quilled, I echo Kris!!

Beverly

Kayce said...

Oh my! OUCH!!

Lisa said...

OUCH! Poor pooch. I bet that hurt.

2China4Ayla said...

Poor Maggie. Bless her heart, I am truly shocked it was Maggie that got quilled and not Diesel.
I was SHOCKED that Michael Johns went home - he was one of my favs.

PIPO said...

OUCH!!!

I hope Maggie is quill free by now.

nikki said...

I'm so sorry that Maggie got "quilled"...no fun! Hope you removed those last 2!

And, I think you know how I feel about Michael being sent home...it stunk!

Anna Grace`s Jie Jie said...

Poor Dog!!! Happened to my Grandmas dog to!!

Alyson & Ford said...

Poor dog! Hope all is better now. Yep, we were upset that MJ left AI too. He was great! I am sure we will see him surface somewhere on the music scene.

Alyson LID 01/27/06

Nanan said...

Ouch, lucky though (she might not think so) but our dog had them in her mouth and had to go into the vet to get the removed. By that time some had broke off and it was a big ole mess. So Mags stay away from the porcupines "k".

Dawn S. said...

oooooooooooh! poor BABY!! Your dog AND Michael Johns! My Mom always said that SOMETHING had to happen when Dad was out of town...