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Reminder issued to pet owners after dog arrives at shelter in a ‘sticky’ situation

Winnie, a Boston Terrier, entered the Blackfoot Animal Shelter with a face full of porcupine quills. | Courtesy Blackfoot Animal Shelter.
BLACKFOOT — A little dog has learned a painful lesson near Blackfoot. The poor pooch, named Winnie by shelter staff, had an encounter with the prickly side of a porcupine.
Porcupines are so common in Idaho that they often live side-by-side with humans. Although most predators leave them alone, a porcupine meandering along the river may seem like an easy target for a domesticated dog. However, armed with 30,000 sharp quills, these rodents aren’t to be taken lightly, as little Winnie discovered.
The Blackfoot Animal Shelter posted pictures of the Boston Terrier on March 1.
“This is what can happen when your dogs are not contained when they are let to just run loose,” the post reads.
Lucky for her, a Good Samaritan found Winnie and took her to the shelter.

Courtesy Blackfoot Animal Shelter
Though painful, porcupine quills are rarely immediately life-threatening, but they can prove fatal if they’re not properly removed and infection sets in.
Here are a few tips for dealing with quills if your dog ends up in a sticky situation:

Your dog will want to rub at the quills with a paw or against the ground. Stop it as best you can.
Check inside the dog’s mouth for quills. Feel under the skin to see if any partial quills are buried.
If there aren’t many quills and they are easy to reach, you can pull them yourself. Otherwise, go to a local vet.
Remember: Pulling quills is often best done with one person holding the dog and the other pulling.
If you can, wrap a lead around the dog’s muzzle to prevent it from biting.
Use needle-nose pliers or a multitool to grab each quill by the base and pull.
Don’t cut the quills. Cutting increases the chances of a quill splintering and adds time to the job.
Secure the dog and start pulling.
Once you’ve removed the quills, take the dog to the vet to be sure they are all out. If you leave any quills or pieces inside, they can move around inside and cause infection. A vet may find quills you miss and may prescribe antibiotics.

Dogs with a face full of quills, like Winnie, will need deep sedation or general anesthesia to remove porcupine quills safely.
As for Winnie, she is on the road to recovery.
“Winnie has been treated and is recovering,” shelter employees said in the post. “(She) had to have some stitches that will need to be removed and is probably a little traumatized.”
However, her porcupine encounter could leave more than scars.
“She may go blind in one eye,” Amanda Cevering, director of Blackfoot Animal Shelter, told
Cevering says the best way to keep your animals safe is to keep them contained.
“Keep your animals contained — which means on your property or on a leash,” she said, then warned, “Keep an eye on your dogs, because they will go get into trouble.”
Winnie’s owners didn’t claim her, so the Blackfoot Animal Shelteris taking applications for her adoption.
Shelter staff asks the public to remember that over 50 other animals are awaiting families.

Winnie after the quills were removed | Courtesy Blackfoot Animal Shelter
The post Reminder issued to pet owners after dog arrives at shelter in a ‘sticky’ situation appeared first on East Idaho News.

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