BROWN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Two Brown County dogs are recovering well after receiving a face-full of quills during an encounter with a porcupine.
Peggy Gamblin says she was “scared to death” when she woke up Sunday morning and found her dog Bullwinkle covered in thousands of quills.
“I told my husband, ‘Oh my god! He’s had a fight with a porcupine,'” Gamblin recalls.
Sometime during the night, Bullwinkle and Gamblin’s Australian Shepherd encountered the porcupine at their home in Bangs, something Gamblin says she’s never seen in her 48 years of living at the property.
Both dogs were rushed to the Brown County Animal Clinic where Dr. Joe Speck and his team spent over an hour pulling quills out of Bullwinkle and his friend. Some quills are still embedded in his skin and will work their way to the surface over the next two weeks.
Though Bullwinkle had more quills than usual, Dr. Speck told KTAB he treats animals who’ve had similar porcupine encounters 2-3 times a month.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Warden Travis Allen believes the encounters could be so prevalent because it’s breeding season right now, and food is abundant.
He says porcupines are nocturnal and most people won’t ever see one unless they’re active at night.
Porcupines are attracted to trash, pet food, and other potential food sources and will scavenge like raccoons and opossums.
A single porcupine can have up to 30,000 quills, or around 100 to 150 per square inch of body surface.