Let’s Debunk A Few Myths About Porcupine Quills and Your Beloved Pup
Quills and dogs are about the worst combo there is.
I feel like I'm a pretty lucky dog owner. We've had our pup a while, and so far (knock on wood) he hasn't had a tussle with a porcupine or a skunk. Of the two, obviously, I'd rather deal with the stench of a skunk than the pain of a porcupine. My boy has only seen one porcupine, but he was leashed and I got him out of there fast.
But not everyone is so lucky. My sister-in-law's dog got quilled in the face last year. A year later and she is still pulling pieces of quill out of her dog's face. She did the right thing and took the dog to the vet, but the damage was done, and they got all they could see. But sometimes, people don't make it any easier for the vets.
There's a lot of conflicting info on what people should do about quills.
Like anything, there are folk remedies and wives' tales about how to deal with porcupine quills. But doing it wrong could actually be very dangerous for your dog. That's why the Eastern Maine Emergency Vet Clinic in Brewer just put out some guidelines and suggestions about how to handle these very delicate situations.
Check out this post from their Facebook page. It's all spelled out pretty clearly here...
Some folks believe you should trim the quills (a big no-no), or soak them to make them softer (also a big no-no). There are lots of folks out there who make these common mistakes all the time. And it's not always totally their fault. Some folks are told these remedies their whole lives and mean no harm.
But obviously, everyone just wants to keep their pups safe. Keeping your dogs on a leash when it's dark out can certainly help. But not everyone does. I don't go anywhere at night without mine on a leash, and I bring a flashlight too. Maybe there's no 100% foolproof way to prevent it from happening, but at least you're getting some advice from the pros who deal with this all the time.