This time of year brings out lots of wild life…one of them is the not so loved porcupine! More often than not, it’s our canine friends that often encounter them.

Porcupines stick close to the trees. Beyond forests, you may find them alongside river undergrowth and maybe in the trees by a rocky ledge. They live in dens found in rock piles, caves, fallen logs and trees. Generally, they stay close to home leaving their dens for food — porcupines eat a variety of shrubs, bark, water plants and they love anything salty.

A peaceful animal, the porcupine will try to run away if it feels there’s danger. They’ll make loud chattering noises as a warning for predators to leave. If they can’t get away, their muscles tighten forcing their quills to come out. It will tuck its head in, lean forward and thump its back feet while swinging its tail as a warning. Sometimes loose quills fly out of the tail or if a predator tries to get too close, the quills will stick them. The quills are an amazing defense mechanism — when they get lodged in the skin, body heat makes the barbs swell, making it even harder and more painful to pull them out.

Recently, we had two new friends to Princess Animal Hospital, come to us right after a meeting with one. Unfortunately, after dogs and porcupines meet, the dogs usually end up with a trip to the vet!

Take a look at a pic from our poor friend, Jill.

With a little TLC and some veterinary skill, our friends were feeling much better and all that was left was the “tale to tell”….. and a new appreciation for keeping your distance from these porcupine creatures!

Please call if we can help your pets, and don’t forget first exams are FREE for new clients – get your coupon at