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Old 05-29-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Quill Brothers meet Porcupine

Blue Heelers (Australian Cattle Dogs) are curious dogs. Camped about 45 miles northwest of Pike's Peak, Colorado our two Heelers were sniffing the base of a bush near a brushy area. As they returned, something did not look right... Immediately I recognized the porcupine quills. Neither dog seemed to be bothered.

A pair of square ended pliers and some help in restraining "Blue" the quills were removed. People from other camp sites came over to see what was going on. An El Paso Sherrif's Deputy stopped to see what was going on as well... "porcupine...?" He knew. Saliva and blood were evenly distributed among the sight seeing crowd. Some people could not handle the bloody scene. An operating table after an automobile accident could not have been less bloody. Now to Heeler number two.

On the left, "Dingo" was not looking forward to what his brother had endured. Two people held Dingo down on the picnic table and all of the quills, except 3 quills could be removed. He would not permit our meddling in his affairs. One lady said the dog should be put out of its misery... The Sherrif's Deputy radioed County Animal Control, who were near Cripple Creek and were getting off duty for the Memorial Day holiday 2005. The closest veternarian was in Woodland Park, CO. The Deputy radioed the veternarian and we met her at the clinic. A mild sedative, quills missing, as well as $100. Both dogs were back to normal within ten minutes of having the quills removed! The bleeding quit as soon as the quills were removed and the saliva reduced back to normal!

Did we learn anything from sniffing a porcupine?

My wife and I learned how to pull quills with a pair of pliers and put the dog on a picnic table as a work bench. Anything that can happen while camping is expected to occur on a Sunday or Holiday. I hope that the Quill Brothers have learned a valuable lesson when the scent of Porcupine is in the air. If not, I have a pair of smooth, square end pliers to get two or more quills out at a time. Dingo will have to get use to the routine next time, if there is one.

And darn. We never did get to see the porcupine and nobody had the stomach to take any photographs while the quills, saliva and blood were flying...
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:17 PM   #2
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Yikes...I can't imagine my little goofy dog getting into a colde encounter with a quill beast. Looks like you got it all taken care of in the end.

Good job, and karma to your pooch's.


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Old 05-29-2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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Two people held Dingo down on the picnic table and all of the quills, except 3 quills could be removed. He would not permit our meddling in his affairs.
Just where were the three remaiing quills located?

Having had GSD's and Rottweilers most of my life, I am all too familiar with quill removal. I travel with a muzzle in the car for any dog that may be with me. That way, I have a chance of removing quills or coping with broken bones and open wounds with less of a chance that my flesh will become Fido's dinner...

I'm glad it all turned out well in the end.


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Old 05-29-2008, 07:48 PM   #4
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Oooof, glad Blue and Dingo aren't much worse for the wear ~ they're nice looking dogs. Sounds like they did better than some of the on-lookers.

Gotta love a Cattle Dog. I wish my Shep/Lab Lulu was more accepting of them or I'd have one myself right now.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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Sounds about right. When I was a youngster had a Rat Terrier. Lots of curiosity, no fear. Dad and uncle had to remove the quills from his muzzle. Seems to me that they cut the end off the quill first then pulled it. The Terrier didn't take to the treatment well, until it was all done. Then he was back to normal almost at once. Just a little smarter about porcupine. Glad to hear the Heelers will be fine.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:52 PM   #6
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Hi ray, are you traveling with 2 pooches? With trepidation I'm starting out with 2 Malinois. I have a doggie medical kit (I'll add some pliers...), but I'll have to ask my vet for some doggie Darvon for emergencies like this.

Thanks for the pic, glad they're ok!

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Old 06-03-2008, 03:48 AM   #7
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A loong time ago I had a Malamute that got a face full of quills every year. I remember asking our vet if he thought the dog would ever learn that it was a bad idea to go sniffing those things. My vet, a wise man, said "Look at it this way Wayne, how many times have you said, 'I'm NEVER drinking that much again?'"
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:16 AM   #8
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We had a similar story....

Our 4 dogs found a porcupine! We were able to pull most of them out but the one dog did have to go to the vet to have some removed. The 2 Boston Terriers only had a few quills each. However, the yellow lab/ pit bull tried to bite the Porcupine and got quills in her mouth and arm and much more. The vet told us that the quills are hollow and if you cut the ends off it releases the air and then the quills pull out really easy. We do travel with a dog first aid kit- activated charcoal, doggie gatorade, pliers, and much more.

Check out this website for a great first aid kit- we got the one for multiple dogs

Outdoor Safety - Superior Quality Outdoor First Aid Kits
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:24 AM   #10
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Poor pups. Fortunately, my two have not been exposed to porcupines.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:51 AM   #11
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In 1950 I was fishing with Hal, my dad's boss in Crazy Woman Canyon above Buffalo, Wyoming. Kelly, Hal's Pit Bull, was with us. Well, Kelly showed up after a while with a few quills in his lip. He disappeared again for a short time and when he re-appeared he was literally loaded with the things. We headed back to town where Hal fastened Kelly's collar to the safe in the service station and began to pull the quills. After a bit Kelly decided enough of this and broke the collar. Since there was no vet in Buffalo at the time Hal loaded Kelly into his car and took him to Sheridan. The vet was able to get most of the quills out but all summer and into the fall pieces of quill would fester and work themselves out of the poor animal.

Oh, yes, the vet told Hal, "Don't ever take Kelly to where there are porcupines." He went on, "Most dogs will avoid another encounter, but not a pit bull. They are bred to kill their opponent and he will attack every porcupine he encounters!" Don't know whether or not that is true and if it is whether or not it applies to heelers. I suspect, given the personality of heelers, it may.


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