BLAIRSTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary is warning pet owners about an increase in porcupine encounters.
The sanctuary is reporting a very large increase of incidents of injured dogs from porcupines, specifically in the areas near Yards Creek Generating Station, located at 117 Walnut Valley Road, the Blairstown Township Police said on its Facebook page Monday.
“It is believed that the construction at Yards Creek may be scaring the porcupines down the ridge,” police said.
What should you do if your pet gets a little too curious about a porcupine?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, if your pet gets pricked, don’t panic or try to remove the quills yourself. While your furry friend may look very uncomfortable (and maybe even a little guilty), there are a few things you can do to help.
Most times, the animal will try to rub the quills out. Unfortunately, this can push the quills in further, and could create more problems for your pet. Since it is most common for pets to get quills stuck in the face, putting a cone on your pet so they can’t rub the afflicted areas is a good start. If you don’t have a cone, gently restrain your pet’s legs with a towel. If they are small enough, put them in a bag with their head sticking out and get them to a veterinary clinic as quickly as possible.
Remember that part about the quills having barbs that make them difficult to remove? Well, it’s not easy for a pet to sit still during that process. Veterinarians will often sedate or anesthetize dogs in order to safely and effectively remove quills. Even in doing so, it might take more than one try to remove all the quills. Some can get under the skin and take weeks to migrate back out again.
While there have been a few rare reports of serious problems from pets getting quilled, a majority of the time it is not serious. Unfortunately, pets don’t always learn their lesson, as there are many stories of unlucky animals getting quilled more than once. If you have a curious four-legged friend and are in an area known to have porcupines, it is best to keep your pet leashed to prevent a late night trip the emergency clinic.