View Full Version : Damn the quills! Full speed ahead!

01-26-2006, 01:46 PM

So I am sitting here, minding my own business, working on the computer, occasionally dipping down into the WBF to discuss bianas or pull Donn's chain a little, when Mother Nature decides to pull my chain a little.

I hear the dogs barking their heads off in the yard - a barking pattern I know well. It means "we are about to do something really dumb."

So I run out, and find Lua and Estrela both barking at... this: :eek:


I leap at them, yelling for them to cease and desist, thinking "there is no way they are going to poke a porcupine for the tenth time in as many years - they must have learned something from the pain of the last nine times."

So what do they do? Emboldened by my arrival at the front - "we got him surrounded now!" :rolleyes: - they both lunge at it. Quick as a whip, it tail-slaps them both in the snout.

Next scene, I am capturing the intruder in a butterfly net, taking it the hell away from the yard, snapping the incriminating photo as I release it, and coming back for half an hour of quill-pulling from the mouths of the two brilliant geniuses that are my dear dogs. :mad:

Tip: to get a dog to quiet down so you can pull porcupine quills out of the roof of its mouth, administer a shot of cachaša, straight up. It acts as a local and general anesthetic. :D

01-26-2006, 02:12 PM

Yes, I am starting to suspect that too. Especially since Sil, worried about the impact of the cachaša upon their alcohol-innocent guts, gave them each a nice slice of cheese as a chaser...

Alan D. Hyde
01-26-2006, 02:18 PM
We had two littermates of a breed I was thinking of refining and developing years ago--- it was a mix that produced many outstanding traits--- 3/4 airedale, 1/4 redbone (I was going to call the breed "The Maine Hunting Dog"--- but it's work for life to begin a new breed, I discovered).

These two dogs, both males, had an equal dislike for hedgehogs (porcupines) but entirely different strategies for dealing with them, after their first encounter, anyway.

One would try to bark the hedgehog to death, and might get one or two quills for his troubles. The other would go for the hedgehog's throat or belly eventually, and the more quills he got on his muzzle and in his mouth, the more determined he was to kill the damned offensive intruder--- by biting him some more, of course.

We'd take them back home--- with the one looking like he'd grown a beard--- and pull the quills out with needle-nose pliers. The dogs would both look a little embarrassed about the whole thing.

BUT, they'd do it again, next time they saw another hedgehog... and, they both lived to age 17...


cedar savage
01-26-2006, 02:25 PM
Porkies is dumber 'n box a rox. Dogs just can't resist them, makes you wonder about "survival of the fittest" sometimes.

Are hedgehogs 'n porkies really the same thing? Never heard of a porkie being called anything other than a porkie.

01-26-2006, 02:33 PM
hedgehogs are not the same thing....

Ross M
01-26-2006, 02:41 PM
I don't know, but I do know that's a hell of critter picture!

Thanks for posting it, George smile.gif


Alan D. Hyde
01-26-2006, 02:42 PM
It's old Maine usage to refer to porcupines as hedgehogs...


See them dogs muckle hold a him?


Ken Hutchins
01-26-2006, 02:56 PM
been there, done that. The last 1/2 dozen or so that showed up here I got to before the dogs did. The reason they hang around close to houses is they are slightly out of balance, so I simply rebalance them. tongue.gif

01-26-2006, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
South American Tree Porcupine?That's the one, a rodent with a prehensile tail and a " tongue.gif you can't get me" attitude.

BTW, if you cut the tip of the quill with scissors before pulling, it deflates it, and makes it come out much easier and less painfully. Not necessary for the superficial ones, but useful for the deeply-stuck ones.

Alan D. Hyde
01-26-2006, 03:05 PM
Make sure you get 'em all, George.

The ones that you miss will travel thru the dog, and will come out in surprising places.

We pulled out some such quills months after an incident--- luckily without harmful consequences. Country dogs that run 10 or 20 miles a day every day are tough characters, though... :D


[ 01-26-2006, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

01-26-2006, 03:19 PM
Yes, Lua once had one go through the roof of her mouth and come out on top of her snout.

But she is a tough dog - she has actually killed a couple of porcupines by biting right through the quills to crush the spine. Ouch! :eek:

Our vet tells us that sometimes a quill can make it into a blood vessel, which can get quite nasty.

01-26-2006, 07:03 PM
Isn't it great that cheese is the universal persuader :D

Between me using it twice a day to disguise medicine and as a reward for going into her crate, I can't so much as pull out the cheese drawer in the fridge without a large red dog in my armpit... smile.gif

[ 01-26-2006, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: Concordia..41 ]

01-26-2006, 07:30 PM

Pity the poor soul who hasn't known the love (and aggravation) of a dog...

01-26-2006, 07:34 PM
...Quick as a whip, it tail-slaps them both in the snout.
George, I have always wondered if porcupines, when defending themselvs from predators, shoot their quills out like darts or if the quills penetrate their foes as you report above.

And porcupines are loaded with quills all over their bodies, not just on their tails ;)

01-26-2006, 07:48 PM
The dart bit is what I recall a teacher telling us during an outing to the zoo when I was about 5 years old. ;)

I suppose it made the porcupine a a great deal more intriguing. :D

01-26-2006, 08:18 PM
The Aussie version is the Echidna. It's a monotreme, marsupial, it's only relative is the Platypus. Not so hard to deal with as you can pick them up with your hands if you are careful and the quills dont come out. They have lots of fleas though! Their primary defence is to dig, straight down and once started they are very hard to dislodge. I used to watch my grandfathers cattle dogs try to outdig them and I've watched a Dingo play with one rolling it along the ground till he got bored.

[ 01-26-2006, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: skuthorp ]

01-26-2006, 08:24 PM
Having lived in big cities the greater part of my life, I may know a thing or two about dogs and cats but porcupines are a zoo item. ;)

The first time I saw a snake for real - not in a zoo - was in Angra, June ┤76.

We had entered the gate of a friend┤s summer estate and were driving down the cement-slab driveway to the house down by the beach below. I ran over a coral snake that was basking in the sun on the driveway.

My hair stood on end - my first real life snake -so stopped the car and got out to see it at closer range. It was wriggling over to an adjoining dich to flee us.

One of the servants came over to see what all the hullabuloo was about and advised me to get back into the car. "Very poisonous, sir," he added. :rolleyes:

01-26-2006, 08:41 PM
A pity that.... but no. :D

A Paulista by birth, he made Angra his home after returning to Brazil from the World Bank and a related Caribbean posting, so he told us on WBF.

Actually he sounds like he would have been a tiny guy in 1976. ;)