Removing Porcupine Quills From Cattle

How to Remove Porcupine Quills Safely

Removing Porcupine Quills From Cattle
Add to Favorites Reading Time: 5 minutes By Heather Smith Thomas — Removing porcupine quills from pets, cattle, and other livestock is an unpleasant task for everyone involved.  The porcupine is a peaceful, timid rodent whose unique method of self-defense often causes grief to inquisitive animals. A porcupine can be very damaging to trees (killing them by eating the bark), and a hazard to curious livestock. Being slow of foot, he defends himself against predators with sharp spines that grow as part of his hair coat. He has about 30,000 of these multi-barbed quills that regrow when lost or broken off. When threatened or frightened, he bristles with needle-sharp quills he can raise or flatten at will. He can curl into a ball to protect his face, belly and the underside of his tail, which have no spines. The quills are very sharp and only loosely attached to his skin, easily
2 thoughts on “Removing Porcupine Quills From Cattle”
  1. Dave Pauli writes…
    Hi Countryside EDITORs….    Love 98% of your material and messaging……
    But starting off an article about porcupines by stating they can be damaging to trees and dangerous to livestock is like starting off an article on chickens by saying they can carry lice and be damaging to newly planted grass.
    Porcupines… as I know you already know … are natures foresters… they prune and help trees much more than damaging them.  The girdling they do to some trees is part of their duty to thin out the arboreal canopy to allow the sun to stimulate new understory forest growth. 
    I could elaborate on their beauty, their uniqueness, their contribution to the woodland ecosystem…but am certain you get my point, so please advise your writers/editors to not start off an article about any creature by listing perceived negative benefits!   Porkies can injure ( and sadly reinjure ) many dogs that are not trained to avoid their many advanced warnings.  It is of no benefit to the porcupine when it is forced to used its defense mechanism on dogs, cattle or horses that insist on violating it fight/flight zone.
    Dave Pauli
    Senior Adviser Wildlife Response & Policy
    The Humane Society of the United States

  2. My terrier had an incident and I got them all out bar one inside his mouth. That one quill cost me about $250. Scanadalous! Rabies, antibiotic, cortisone, anaesthesia shot. He did not charge for removing the quill! Usual over medicating to run up the bill. I never went back again.

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