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.