Thursday, December 30, 2010

1,000 quills

We had dinner with friends last night and one of them told a story of his dog's paws getting so encrusted with tiny burrs on a walk through the woods that it needed to be carried out. It reminded me of these photos I had seen several years ago, so I found them and confirmed the story last night. Poor Inca, an English bull terrier, had a run-in with a porcupine in May 2005 and was covered with thousands of quills. They were even embedded in her tongue, leaving her unable to close her mouth. The photos were taken by the veterinarian, who set about extracting the barbs, a tedious and expensive procedure which involved staunching the blood, surgically removing some of the quills, and stitching between the dog's toes. Inca was sent home with antibiotics, painkillers, and the assurance that any remaining quills would work themselves out. A few months later, Inca was as good as new and a bit wiser. Her owner reported, "She is just fine and has just the odd broken bit come out once in awhile. Other than that she is back to her old self." So was the porcupine, which by that time would likely have regrown its defenses.

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing these photos years ago, and I wondered the same thing that I wonder now. How on earth was that poor dog not blinded by the quills?


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