Today was a first for me and my dogs. Perhaps we’ve been lucky up until now, but after many years of living in the country and many more dogs, nobody’s been in close contact with a porcupine. Until today!
Five dogs disappeared into the bush and only one came out without porcupine quills – fortunately, Alice lacks the initiative to chase things. So Audrey (to the right) and Chili (below), were covered in quills, while the puppies, Bitey and Dottie had just a few on their muzzles – apparently they were smart enough to get out of Dodge when the needles started flying while Audrey and Chili could only have been dancing with the porcupine, based on the quills covering their entire bodies!
They must have left their brains at home – how did they get quills in their tails and butts?
Fortunately, nobody thought to eat the porcupine, so there were no quills embedded in any sensitive areas like their mouths, making a vet visit less of an option. So I sat down in the field and carefully pulled the quills out of the puppies’ muzzles, and they then ran off to look for deer tracks. Audrey was next, and they came out very easily with just one or two causing any discomfort. Chili was the last to be de-needled and she rather enjoyed the extra grooming and attention and laid in my lap as I pulled the final quills out of her.
After my ministrations, we finished our walk (in the opposite direction of Mr Pointy). Nobody looked any worse for wear and there were no bumps on their muzzles where the quills had been.
Once we got home, I dumped out their water pail and put Silicea 200C in there. Silicea is an excellent remedy for forcing out objects like splinters or foxtails so if any barbs were left inside my dogs’ skin, it should do an excellent job of working them out. They’ll go back to regular water later today.
Tonight, I am going to give the dogs Ledum 30C or 200C might be a good followup. Ledum is a great remedy for puncture wounds from sharp objects such as insect stings and porcupine quills, especially if there is redness and swelling.
That should be enough to protect the dogs until next time!
If you’re asking yourself why I didn’t consider taking them to the vet and giving antibiotics – well, that answer will come in the form of another story.
Suffice to say that I’ve invested a lot into making my dogs healthy and the odds of a healthy dog getting an infection from a quill aren’t that high. And the first step in making my dogs healthy is to avoid antibiotics. A scary thought, I know, but sometimes we just have to get out of our dog’s way and let them heal naturally.
I’ve got a great story on getting out of the way for next time!