Texas is home to many different critters, including quite a few that you don’t want your canine companion having run-ins with. That list of unfriendlies definitely includes porcupines! Having a encounter with a porcupine is almost always going to go badly for Man’s Best Friend. A local Kerrville, TX vet offers some tips on protecting your furry pal below.
Understand The Porcupine
Porcupines mostly live in trees, and they eat fruits, brush, and wood. They crave salt, so things like driftwood pieces or canoe paddles that have been sweated on are very appealing to them. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t shoot their quills: they release them when bitten, which of course dogs tend to do with critters they come across.
Keep Fido Contained
Fido is much less likely to encounter a prickly passer-by if he is always either leashed or in a fenced area. This will also help keep him safe from many other dangers.
Proper training isn’t just about manners: it’s also very important for petiquette. Make sure Fido knows—and obeys—basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, and Come.
Know The Risks
Porcupines are active all year round, and they can be encountered at any time of day. However, they are most likely to be found out and about at night. Encounters are also more frequent in spring and fall. Be extra vigilant at these times!
There are ways to make your property less appealing to porcupines. If you have piles of brush or leaves, get rid of them: these can make tempting habitats. Keeping your lawn neatly mowed will also help, as porcupines prefer fields or wooded areas. If you have a garden, it’s also a good idea to fence it in.
What To Do
If your canine buddy does encounter a porcupine, you’ll need to take him to your vet or the nearest emergency clinic right away. If not removed quickly, the quills will keep working themselves deeper and deeper into your pup’s body. In time, they can cause abscesses and infections, and can even puncture internal organs. Do not try to remove quills yourself! This is extremely painful for Fido, and can cause him to struggle and fight, which would only push them in deeper, making extraction even more difficult.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Kerrville, TX animal clinic, anytime!