A porcupine has over 30,000 quills covering the body. (B and C) FE-SEM images showing the microstructure of the quill tip and base, respectively. 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. 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. Acker has one patient who’s been in nine times for quill removal. But running into the wrong critter at dusk or dawn, when porcupines are most active, can result in a painful lesson. 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. 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. 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. It is very important that we get every single quill out! This factor allows for a thorough check of the body and an easier removal process. Repeat encounters are common. DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital. 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. “But if a dog approaches a porcupine, the animal may defend itself with the swipe of a tail. 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. What may not be easily seen is the path that a quill can take upon migration if not removed quickly. Quill injuries caused by the African porcupine, Hystrix africaeaustralis, are not unusual in southern Africa. Dog Abscess Symptoms. Immediate Action. This dog had a plant foreign body granuloma in the medulla oblongata that was imaged on magnetic resonance. So how do dogs actually get “quilled” by a porcupine? The needles are released as contact is made. ... Abscess Surgery. An abscess on dogs can cause the following symptoms: Redness and swelling at the site 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. 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 (). 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. In this VETgirl online veterinary CE video, we discuss the use of a Pleur-evac in a dog with spontaneous pneumothorax. As Gamblin found out, it’s not uncommon for dogs to have run-ins with porcupines — especially in the summer. The trouble is, quills keep moving inward. ... (1991) Porcupine quill in the brain of a dog. Porcupine quills can be very difficult to remove, as they can burrow under the skin. Sometimes they abscess, which sounds like what is happening with you. 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. — in the face and the mouth. Use a firm tool like pliers. 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. Don’t try to pull embedded quills from your dog’s mouth. The past three days i have found a total of three under his chin! I worry about the ones near the eye, as these may migrate closer to the eye, and cause some real problems. However, Gorman recommends keeping an eye on your pet even after the vet has given the “all-clear.”. The prickly rodent is pretty passive when it comes to defending herself. “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. It is common that a b ite wound, laceration, or other puncture that then becomes infected causes the abscess. The quills have barbs that appear smooth upon entry but are designed by nature with backward barbs, making removal difficult at best. “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. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. The quills come off very easily and usually end up sticking to the dog’s 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. Is this normal after? (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.) It was one of the scariest things Peggy Gamblin had ever experienced. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. 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. Thanks 1. may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. 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. Dog owners who take their companions into forested areas of North America may encounter a porcupine on occasion. Those silly enough to bite down on the poor porcupine get a MOUTHFUL of quills. A pet who is under a general anesthesia will be completely relaxed and pain free. Improper removal of quills can lead to secondary complications and also result in extreme pain for your dog. Learn more about porcupines, quills, and dogs and what you need to do if your dog is "quilled" by a porcupine. Granuloma or abscess formation would most likely cause delayed clinical signs, while direct organ trauma would generally be observed as an acute presentation. 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. porcupine quill), neoplastic mass, etc. Contact your veterinarian for an appointment as soon as you realize that your dog has become the victim of porcupine quill exposure. I hope that Akil is okay. Will these just abscess and pop out like a splinter or do I need to be doing some thing else? 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. (A) North American porcupine quill. And don’t worry about the porcupine who had the run-in with Bullwinkle — she can regrow her quills. He cut them off with wire cutters next to the surface. Many instances of porcupine quills in dogs can require a follow-up visit. 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. Symptoms. If your pooch tangles with one of these spiky critters and ends up covered in quills, take him to the vet. And last but not least: Make sure your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination! Even though a porcupine loses some of its quills, it can still strike again. the most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. 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. 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. 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. 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. Porcupine quills are commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head, and neck of dogs, but can be found anywhere. If you discover quills sticking out your dog's muzzle, it’s best to seek veterinary help immediately. 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. My uncle was a Bushman Hunter Trapper in northern Ontario. A porcupine quill … Porcupine Quills and Dogs - How To Treat Your Dog - YouTube Nobody sterilized the porcupine quills before they entered your dog’s body, so antibiotics are fundamental in minimizing post-quill infections. Cases of abscess, unknown migration of a quill, or multiple visits due to the sheer number of quills received are not common, but possible. Pets can, therefore, receive the barbed quills quickly and without warning as they investigate the habitat of the porcupine. Secondary complications can result with improper or incomplete removal. “Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot ‘shoot’ quills from their body,” Gorman says. “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. 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. 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