Last Friday, two rural Nebraska dogs named Misti and Max waged a curiosity war with a porcupine, however the spiny rodent left a lasting impression on the two pooches; so profound it took four people at the vets office two hours to remove all of the quills according to the Journal Star.com.
Mistie, a Newfoundland and her pal Max, a Golden retriever had over 100 porcupine quills stuck in their faces and their mouths. When owners Gary and Karen Higgins came home, they weren't even sure what happened to the two dogs until Gary did a closer inspection:
"The dogs were pretty stoic about it. They were a little bit foaming at the mouth because they were really uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, but not whimpering at all, just waiting for us to do something about the quills."
And so off the two pincushions went to the Blue Valley Veterinary Clinic where the dogs had to be sedated and each quill pulled out one by one. Some of the three-and-a-half-inch quills had to be removed using a scalpel, but once on some antibiotics and pain medications, the dogs began to feel better.
According to VetzInsight.com, North American porcupines have 30,000 quills on their backs, and even if Fido gets to receive the wrath of 1,000 quills in a dog versus porcupine confrontation, the quills grow back. Contrary to the myth that a porcupine can hurl his quills like a science fiction alien, it's actually the dog or the attacker who lands upon the quills, and of course, the rest is history. By now Fido is writhing in pain and will try to rub his face wherever he can - you included, and just push those painful projectiles into his face and mouth even deeper.
The problem with those sharp little needles is that each is tipped with a backwards facing barb which can puncture a pooch with the speed of lightning and even faster than a speeding locomotive.
Whether dogs will ever learn that porcupines don't have to run away, and all they need do is roll into a ball and wait for the ultimate laugh as their canine opponent approaches, the best protection is to keep your dog leashed when hiking through the woods.
Misti and Max were reportedly just investigating the more rustic areas of their Beatrice property; maybe they shouldn't go there anymore?
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