Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

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Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby tiva » Sat May 12, 2012 4:26 pm

Yesterday while we were out hiking, Vanya found a porcupine. Once I saw it, I yelled and Vanya came running back to me, screaming his head off. Too late. The left side of his face was covered with quills. We were two miles from the car on a rough trail, and then 30 minutes drive from the closest town that was large enough to have a vet. So we ran as fast as we could, me terrified that Vanya would go into shock since he was shrieking and hyperventilating as we ran (and trying to stop and paw his face or roll). The drive into town from the forest service lands was awful, because I couldn't keep him from pawing at his face and he started panting very hard and moaning. Luckily, the vet's office was still open, and they took him in immediately for surgery even though they're not my usual vet (who is 6 hours away). The quills on his face looked bad, but it was the dozens they found under his tongue and on the roof of his mouth that were really painful. They had enough staff left at the office even though it was late on Friday, so they could put him under general anaesthesia to get them out. 157 quills! Ouch!

Of course, as soon as trotted into the clinic waving his quills and saw the vet and technicians, he immediately began wiggling and wagging and grinning, even though he was in agony.

The vet warned me that she thinks there are still 2 broken off quills she couldn't reach that should work their way out. This afternoon I saw what seems to be a broken quill lodged next to a tooth.

He's on lots of antibiotics (10 days worth of amoxicillan) and anti-inflammatories/anti-pain meds (3 days of meloxicam). But he's not a happy camper still, even though he clearly feels a lot better today than he did last night.

Now of course I'm reading horror stories online and worrying about missed quills migrating in to pierce his heart or brain....I know I should just calm down and trust the vet, but is there anything in particular I should do about that broken quill next to his canine tooth?

Wish him (and me) luck! The bill was $484, and I guess I finally get to use our PetPlan insurance.
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby Kingsgurl » Sat May 12, 2012 4:42 pm

OUCH! Poor Vanya. Sorry, I don't have any experience with Porcupine Quills, but I do wish him a speedy recovery.
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby pblove » Sat May 12, 2012 4:58 pm

I have no experience with the porcupine quills (thankfully). I am sorry for him to have to go thru this and wish him a speedy, complete recovey both!!
poor lil man. :headbang:
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby bmore_girl » Sat May 12, 2012 4:59 pm

oh.my.goodness. i cannot imagine. i am having anxiety just from reading this. so glad you got to the vet in time and that they were open! cannot offer any advice since i have no experience with this.
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Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat May 12, 2012 5:41 pm

Poor pup!
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby Murfins » Sat May 12, 2012 5:48 pm

Ouch! Did they do x-rays or ultrasound to look for rogue quills? I'm fairly sure I've read that is what is advised to make sure there are no missing quills.
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby tiva » Sat May 12, 2012 10:20 pm

Murfins wrote:Ouch! Did they do x-rays or ultrasound to look for rogue quills? I'm fairly sure I've read that is what is advised to make sure there are no missing quills.


I don't think x-rays will show them, but ultrasound would. This vet didn't do it, however. I showed the broken quill to a friend of mine who is a people-doctor, and she assured me that the quill couldn't migrate anywhere dangerous, because it was already against a bone--nowhere to come but out. That made me feel better, even though she doesn't see a lot of porcupine encounters in her geriatric practice!
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:46 am

tiva wrote:
Murfins wrote:Ouch! Did they do x-rays or ultrasound to look for rogue quills? I'm fairly sure I've read that is what is advised to make sure there are no missing quills.


I don't think x-rays will show them, but ultrasound would. This vet didn't do it, however. I showed the broken quill to a friend of mine who is a people-doctor, and she assured me that the quill couldn't migrate anywhere dangerous, because it was already against a bone--nowhere to come but out. That made me feel better, even though she doesn't see a lot of porcupine encounters in her geriatric practice!


We saw lots of porcupine dogs when I was in South Dakota and just got out what we could and let the body do the rest.

I'd actually be more worried about her finding another porcupine. In my experience, dogs don't avoid porcupines after an experience like this, they just want to kill them even more...
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby Leslie H » Sun May 13, 2012 7:12 pm

My long ago dog, Joko, and my exe's girl Bella, had an I can bite this animal more than you contest when we were hiking. The crazed run from the woods, panicked drive to the vet sounds very familiar. Only missing touch was it was blazing hot, but our crappy car drove faster w/the AC off. I got my summer job as a vet tech to pay off the bill. Both recovered fine, though I did find a bounced back out quill on Bella's head months later.
They both chose not to go after porkies again, though they had the opportunity. And Joko was vindictive. She got sprayed by a skunk once, the next one she met was dead before he could raise his tail. But she avoided porcupines.
I hope Vanya is feeling better quickly.
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby Ilovethepits » Mon May 14, 2012 8:28 am

Yikes!! Poor Vanya. I hope he is all better very soon and stays away from porcupines in the future!
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Re: Porcupine! Ouch! 157 quills later...

Postby jamielvsaustin » Mon May 14, 2012 10:10 am

Damn that's scary! Even scarier that they were in Vanya's mouth. Poor guy, I hope he feels better soon. I'm so glad the vet's office was open.

I know this is probably messed up, but do you have any pictures? How big (long) are the quills?
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