© 2020 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved. Pyoderma is a blanket term for bacterial skin infections. 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. Keep an eye out for swelling, abscess, or signs of infection during the next few weeks. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM. Porcupine Quill Removal. The pus inside the abscess is an accumulation of dead bacteria and dead white blood cells which the body releases to inhibit bacterial growth. Acker has one patient who’s been in nine times for quill removal. An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it. A porcupine quill … Nobody sterilized the porcupine quills before they entered your dog’s body, so antibiotics are fundamental in minimizing post-quill infections. It depends on the severity, but the quill removal can take several hours. And last but not least: Make sure your dog is up to date on his rabies vaccination! Porcupine quills, as well as wooden splinters, are common foreign bodies found in the canine head, especially the face, in North America (Grahn et al. The quills have barbs that appear smooth upon entry but are designed by nature with backward barbs, making removal difficult at best. One of his dogs got hit by a porcupine. 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. “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. 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. — in the face and the mouth. 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. Porcupine quills can puncture the skin and move through muscle, ultimately penetrating into body cavities and internal organs. 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. Prices for the cost of removing porcupine quills from the face of a dog vary widely from a few hundred dollars to a few thousands; the length of time since the injury will mean that there is more swelling than if you had rushed to an Emergency Veterinarian within an hour, plus possible complications from secondary infection etc… your location will also have a bearing on cost. Thank you for your email. When Gamblin found her dogs cowering in pain the next morning, there was no question who won the fight. 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. “Since quills carry bacteria, infection and abscesses are a serious risk,” Gorman says. “He is doing better.”. 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. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, which will be obvious. As you make your way to the hospital it will be helpful if a family member can accompany you or drive you there while you comfort your pet and prevent him from rubbing at his face. 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. It should be noted though, that dogs often do not learn from the first encounter with this animal that porcupines are best avoided. Gorman recommended minimizing your dog's movement on the way to the veterinary hospital, and keeping his paws far away from the quills. Don’t try to pull embedded quills from your dog’s mouth. Secondary complications can result with improper or incomplete removal. Depending on the nature of the injury, it can result in serious complications, which is why it’s important to have your dog treated as soon as possible.”, A post shared by Casey (@casecase10) on May 5, 2016 at 12:13pm PDT, The good news is, once your pup is quill-free, recovery is usually fairly quick. Cases of abscess, unknown migration of a quill, or multiple visits due to the sheer number of quills received are not common, but possible. A review of the literature revealed that some other cases of intracranial foreign bodies, vegetable and nonvegetable, have been described, but in different locations. Thanks If the dog has a mouth full of quills it is off to the vet. Geometrical features of the North American porcupine quill and analysis of the penetration and removal forces with muscle tissue. Improper removal of quills can lead to secondary complications and also result in extreme pain for your dog. As well, the likelihood of removing all of the quills is significantly higher if we are working on a cooperative sleeping patient that is not wiggling and squirming with anxiety and pain. 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. Most animals need to be sedated and the tissues removed semi-surgically to ensure the entire quill is out. You'd think one nose full of quills would be enough to put any dog off his curiosity about porcupines, but some dogs never learn. Either just rooting about in the wrong place or truly spurred on by the prey drive, dogs usually get whacked in the muzzle with the quills. “Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot ‘shoot’ quills from their body,” Gorman says. The North American porcupine has over 30,000 quills and about 700-800 barbs (a hook-like formation at the top of the quill). Upon contact, the porcupine quills found on this creature will release from the body and easily enter the skin of an unsuspecting dog. Pressure on the quills can result in breakage, and this can cause the quills to be more difficult to remove or may enable the quills to migrate inward, deeper into the skin and tissue. Dog owners who take their companions into forested areas of North America may encounter a porcupine on occasion. If your pooch tangles with one of these spiky critters and ends up covered in quills, take him to the vet. The most common area for a dog to get quilled is — duh! The effects of porcupine quill removal can be felt immediately upon entry into the skin. It is very important that we get every single quill out! Many instances of porcupine quills in dogs can require a follow-up visit. Will these just abscess and pop out like a splinter or do I need to be doing some thing else? “Trying to remove the quills without medical expertise, sedation and pain relief medication can be very painful for your dog and potentially result in an infection or abscess, as quills carry bacteria.”, Dog versus porcupine: dog 0 - porcupine 42 (give or take a few). An abscess is a collection of pus in … “Dogs who are curious about other animals or protective of their people or territory are most likely to get quilled,” Gorman tells The Dodo. My uncle was a Bushman Hunter Trapper in northern Ontario. Some of the most common symptoms recorded in dogs after the quill enters the body are listed here. If your pet escaped with only a few external (outside the mouth) quills, you may be able to remove them yourself.. First restrain your pet, then, using hemostats or pliers, grab a quill as close to the skin as possible and steadily pull the quill out. 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. Those silly enough to bite down on the poor porcupine get a MOUTHFUL of quills. Although radiographs were obtained in five of the six dogs, no foreign bodies were identified with this modality. Porcupine quills are large, stiff hairs and are hollow, like a feather. The quills he said would desolve in time. ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Primarily nocturnal animals, it is not uncommon to see these animals during the day. Porcupine quills are commonly found embedded in the muzzle, face, head, and neck of dogs, but can be found anywhere. Because the quills carry bacteria with them, once they penetrate the skin they can serve as a source of infection and abscesses. Learn more about porcupines, quills, and dogs and what you need to do if your dog is "quilled" by a porcupine. 20 quils in the face with some broken off inside the face of the dog, how much would it be to get them out been in his face for 3-5 dayside is in pain and his face is also swelling. A pet who is under a general anesthesia will be completely relaxed and pain free. the quills are hairs with barbed tips on the end. In addition, there may be cases where a small incision needs to be made in the skin in order to remove the quill. Even though a porcupine loses some of its quills, it can still strike again. Today I've just yanked out one and now am worried there might be more because there's a small bump. The prickly rodent is pretty passive when it comes to defending herself. Grasp the quill as close to the entry-point as possible. 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. All dogs had a chronic draining tract or abscess. Because porcupine quills can carry bacteria, an antibiotic prescription from a vet may be needed if these occur. You can remove them if they continue to appear, but the risk is that they will burrow more deeply, which is something that no veterinarian would be able to predict. But running into the wrong critter at dusk or dawn, when porcupines are most active, can result in a painful lesson. Depending on the condition of your pet when he arrives at the clinic, his age, and his health history, the veterinarian may do basic blood tests to evaluate your pet’s health condition and to guide the team as to what sort of anesthesia (local or general) will be used to facilitate the removal of the porcupine quills. Symptoms. This factor allows for a thorough check of the body and an easier removal process. It was one of the scariest things Peggy Gamblin had ever experienced. (B and C) FE-SEM images showing the microstructure of the quill tip and base, respectively. (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 is common that a b ite wound, laceration, or other puncture that then becomes infected causes the abscess. Cellulitis typically results from deep pyoderma, which is any bacterial infection that affects the lowest layers of skin. The mantra that is quietly repeated around a group of vets working on a quill dog is “Please, dog, do not have opened your mouth”. If you discover quills sticking out your dog's muzzle, it’s best to seek veterinary help immediately. I have removed almost all of the quills. As Gamblin found out, it’s not uncommon for dogs to have run-ins with porcupines — especially in the summer. When threatened, a porcupine usually just sweeps its tail, and the intruder ends up as a pincushion. Porcupines can carry rabies and transmit it to dogs. This dog had a plant foreign body granuloma in the medulla oblongata that was imaged on magnetic resonance. 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. The quills come off very easily and usually end up sticking to the dog’s face.” As previously posted do not soak in vinegar, do not snip off etc. 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. Cheap insurance to perhaps save your buddy's life. 1. 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. DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital. What may not be easily seen is the path that a quill can take upon migration if not removed quickly. may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. So how do dogs actually get “quilled” by a porcupine? 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. Dog Abscess Symptoms. Porcupine quills can be very difficult to remove, as they can burrow under the skin. Identification of an intra-cranial intra-axial porcupine quill foreign body with computed tomography in a canine patient. Saw the dog months later....he was fine. The past three days i have found a total of three under his chin! Granuloma or abscess formation would most likely cause delayed clinical signs, while direct organ trauma would generally be observed as an acute presentation. Because of those nasty barbs, you'll need to work firmly but delicately to prevent the quill from snapping off. 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. She will check all areas including inside the oral cavities, between the toes, the chest, and areas where the fur is thick. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. 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. porcupine quill), neoplastic mass, etc. An abscess on dogs can cause the following symptoms: Redness and swelling at the site Records show that quills left untreated for over 24 hours may increase the risk of an abscess that requires drainage. Use a firm tool like pliers. In order to avoid complications like loss of tissue, scarring,  and secondary infection, porcupine quills must be removed as soon as possible by a veterinarian. Stop the dog from pawing his face.. An abscess is an infection that opens up into a pus-filled pocket. The proper removal of porcupine quills, which can become embedded in the face and body of your canine, is best done by your veterinarian while your pet is under anesthesia. A porcupine has over 30,000 quills covering the body. “Contrary to popular belief, porcupines cannot ‘shoot’ quills from their body,” Gorman says. And don’t worry about the porcupine who had the run-in with Bullwinkle — she can regrow her quills. 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. the most recognizable feature of the porcupine is its quills. If any piece of quill is left behind, the body will respond to it and likely create an abscess. Bullwinkle, a Boston terrier, is on the mend, but he's still recovering from the unpleasant encounter. He cut them off with wire cutters next to the surface. Tongue lesions in pets are typically not recognized unless acute injure results in bleeding or the inability to eat food normally. ANSWER: The best way to remove porcupine quills is simply to pull them out. “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. If your dog has a lot of quills or may try to bite as you remove them (it can be painful), then bring them in immediately to us or an emergency veterinarian for removal under anesthesia. A dog with a pulmonary abscess might show signs like coughing or difficulty breathing. While most porcupine-related injuries are not life-threatening, waiting too long to treat the situation can have unfortunate consequences. In this VETgirl online veterinary CE video, we discuss the use of a Pleur-evac in a dog with spontaneous pneumothorax. 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. Quill entry in an ocular location is possible as well; if this is the case with your dog, the veterinarian will be able to perform a thorough examination and call in a specialist if need be. Records show that quills left untreated for over 24 hours may increase the risk of an abscess that requires drainage. Once at the hospital, the dog will most likely be sedated or anesthetized, as well as given medication for the pain. I have heard that porcupines can throw or shoot their quills to defend themselves. Surgical removal of an eye (enucleation) may be necessary if the porcupine quill has penetrated the eye and caused damage that can be dangerous. 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. all wive's tales. Porcupine Quills and Dogs - How To Treat Your Dog - YouTube Depending on the condition of your dog, antibiotics and pain medication could be prescribed. Fig. “Quills can also get stuck in various dangerous locations around the body, including the pet’s eyes, joints or organs. This is typically due to a bullae, mass, abscess, foreign body migration (e.g. Leaving the quills in for some time before making a veterinarian visit is not recommended either, for the same reason. Gamblin rushed her pups to the vet, where it took over an hour and a half to remove hundreds of quills. Fortunately, most cases of porcupine quills in dogs will involve the straightforward removal of the quills under anesthesia. 1995; Yanofsky, Bonneau & Breton 1986). Symptoms will vary depending on where the quill entered. Introduction. Surgical treatment of a ruptured bullae is considered standard of care. Porcupines, on the other hand, have a much more severe weapon: quills. The barbed nature of the quill will make it too difficult to pull out with your fingers. Porcupine quill removal must be done by a qualified veterinarian due to the difficulty of the procedure. 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Check of the porcupine penetrating into body cavities and internal organs seen the... Collect a share of sales or other puncture that then becomes infected causes the abscess veterinarian for an as! Medication for the same reason there may be cases where a small bump companions into forested areas of America! The microstructure of the porcupine infection and abscesses thanks Pyoderma is a blanket term bacterial! The pus inside the abscess — she can regrow her quills as possible this is typically to! The mend, but the quill tip and base porcupine quill abscess dog respectively, can result in a canine patient one. Running into the skin from a vet may be tempting to try removing them yourself or cutting the quills hairs! The inability to eat food normally today i 've just yanked out one and am... Later.... he was fine of its quills, it is common that quill. Dead bacteria and dead white blood cells which the body and an easier removal process things... 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