Park Place Veterinary Hospital often gets calls from owners of dogs who have encountered a porcupine.  The typical call usually goes like this, “My dog’s been quilled,” and “How do I remove quills from my dog?”  Without knowing the severity, location of the quills on the dog (they can even be inside their mouth) and the dog’s temperament, we recommend owners immediately bring in their dog so the professionals at PPVH can safely remove the quills and inspect for those that may be left broken beneath the surface of the skin.

Some owners attempt to remove the quills themselves and, in some cases, have been successful in finding all of the quills.  If you are going to “de-quill” yourself, please be aware that there are certain risks involved both to you and to your dog.  Quills often break if pulled out incorrectly, and some are so deep they are impossible to remove by pulling alone.  Be sure to carefully feel the area for broken pieces of the quills that may lie hidden beneath the surface of the skin.  Your dog will experience ongoing pain which can lead to infection requiring treatment by a veterinarian if any portion of the quill is left in place. Be sure to thoroughly cleanse the area and use an antiseptic.

If your dog is difficult to hold, has become agitated and/or tries to bite you, he will likely require sedation to lay still and taking him to the veterinarian may be your only option.