What To Do If French Bulldog Gets Porcupine Quills

bulldog has quills

French Bulldogs, like many other dogs, can sometimes find themselves in unfortunate encounters with porcupines. These spiky rodents have a natural defense mechanism: their sharp quills. Dogs may attempt to attack porcupines out of curiosity, prey drive, or the instinct to protect their territory. Understanding why these encounters happen and how to prevent them can save your furry friend from pain and complications.

Why Do Dogs Attack Porcupines?

dog attacked porcupine

Dogs, including French Bulldogs, might attack porcupines due to several reasons:

  • Curiosity: Dogs are naturally curious creatures. The unfamiliar appearance and movement of a porcupine can attract a dog's attention.
  • Prey Drive: Some dogs have a strong instinct to chase and hunt small animals.
  • Territorial Instincts: Dogs may see a porcupine as an intruder in their territoryand try to chase it away.

Preventing Porcupine Interactions

To keep your French Bulldog safe from porcupine encounters, consider these preventive measures:

  • Supervised Outdoor Time: Always supervise your dog when they are outside, especially during dawn and dusk when porcupines are most active.
  • Leash Walks: Use a leash during walks, particularly in areas known to have porcupines.
  • Secure Fencing: Ensure your yard is securely fenced to prevent porcupines from entering and your dog from wandering off.
  • Training: Train your dog to respond to commands like "leave it" or "come" to prevent them from chasing after wildlife.

What to Do If Your Dog Gets Quills

If your French Bulldog has an unfortunate encounter with a porcupine and gets quills, here's what you should do:

Stay Calm

Your dog will most likely be in pain and distress. Stay calm to avoid adding to their anxiety.

Restrain Your Dog

Gently restrain your dog to prevent them from pawing at the quills and causing further injury.

Avoid Breaking the Quills

Do not attempt to break the quills. This can make them more difficult to remove and increase the risk of infection.

Seek Veterinary Care Immediately

dog has hedgehog quills


Get to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Dogs need deep sedation or general anesthesia to have porcupine quills removed safely. Attempting to remove the quills yourself can result in a struggle, which can push the quills deeper, and a dog may lash out and bite unintentionally.

Potential Complications of Porcupine Quills

Porcupine quills are covered with scales that act like fishhook barbs, causing the quills to move inward, deeper into the tissue. This can lead to several complications:

  • Infection: The quills carry bacteria with them and can cause abscesses once they penetrate the skin.
  • Migration: Quills can move through muscle and penetrate body cavities and internal organs.
  • Embedded Quills: Quills can embed in joints, poke into the eye, or even penetrate the brain or other organs, creating a life-threatening health crisis.

Myths About Porcupine Quills

  • Porcupines Cannot Shoot Their Quills: Porcupines cannot shoot their quills at an assailant. The quills are easily pulled from the porcupine’s skin once they make contact with an attacker.
  • Do Not Cut the Quills:Cutting embedded porcupine quills will not make them easier to remove. It makes the quill splinter more easily, making it harder to remove and increasing the risk of segments becoming lodged in the tissues.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Quills Left Inside?

Signs of remaining quills include swelling, redness, discharge, and persistent pain in the affected area. Your vet can use imaging techniques to locate and remove any hidden quills.

Will Dogs Avoid Porcupines After Getting Quills?

Even after a painful encounter, the same triggers that led them to approach the porcupine initially—such as the movement or smell of the animal—can cause them to repeat their actions. Unlike humans, dogs do not always associate the pain from the quills with the porcupine itself, especially if some time has passed since the encounter.So unfortunately, most dogs do not learn from their encounters with porcupines and may even have repeated incidents.


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