Scotty-Porcupine Encounter

On August 31, 2020, our Scotties, Toby and Tillie, had an unfortunate encounter with a porcupine.

Toby, our male Scotty came in from outside before bedtime and we immediately notices the quills in his snout. He was able to eat and drink so we decided to call the vet the first thing in the morning. He got through the night with no issues.

It wasn’t until the next morning, when I gave Tillie a chin scratch, that I was stabbed by two of the quills that were in her snout. The quills are quite sharp, even on the broken ends.

We were right not to try to remove them on our own since the quills are barbed. The barbs expand when they are exposed to body heat, are quite brittle and there is the risk of driving them deeper into the body.

The vet sedated both Scotties and removed the quills. Tilled had 15 embedded quills and Toby had 12. The vet also confirmed that they were porcupine quills. The dogs each received an analgesic and antibiotic.

Until last night, I had no idea that there are porcupines in our area. They live in a narrow range across central PA which includes our region. They are classified as rodents, are herbivores, mostly nocturnal, and are pests due to the damage they can inflict by chewing tree bark, leather and wood in their search for salt.

More on porcupines.

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