PHOTOS: What to do if your dog picks a fight with a porcupine - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

PHOTOS: What to do if your dog picks a fight with a porcupine

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Rebel the dog got a little too close to a porcupine in Post Falls. Rebel's owner said he is doing. Rebel the dog got a little too close to a porcupine in Post Falls. Rebel's owner said he is doing.
KHQ.com -

What makes dogs so awesome? The short answer is: everything. They have a zest and a curiosity for life that is unmatched. But sometimes that curiosity and eagerness can get them into trouble.

KHQ received some photos from a viewer in Post Falls after her dog "Rebel" came across a porcupine. Nichole Eachon Frank told KHQ Rebel was hiking with her boyfriend recently near Signal Point in Post Falls when Rebel came across a porcupine. Curiosity got the better of Rebel, and the results of the confrontation were quills stuck in Rebel's face, head, chest, shoulder and even tongue!

After driving up to help get Rebel out of the woods, Nichole and her boyfriend took him to the vet where they pulled out more than 1,000 quills!

Rebel is still recovering, but Nichole told KHQ he is getting better and better.

So we wanted to know what dog owners should do if their pup ever comes across a porcupine.

We spoke with Dr. Samantha Howard of The Ellensburg Animal Hospital who said early spring and late fall are typically the times they begin seeing more dogs with quills stuck in them come into the hospital. Dr. Howard said porcupines are usually very quick to retreat and will only utilize their quills as a last resort, like if a dog gets too close. Porcupines have a very distinct smell to dogs, so if you're out hiking and see your dog getting riled up and digging head-first into a bush you should call them back because there's a chance they just found a porcupine.

If your dog does get "quilled," Dr. Howard said it is extremely important to not try to pull the quills out yourself, and to get the dog to a vet ASAP. The quills are painful for your puppy, can cause swelling and become infected if not removed quickly.

Dr. Howard also said it is a common misconception for owner to cut the quills in half before bringing the dog into the vet. She said it is important to leave them in tact, and stressed again to bring the dog into the vet where they can be sedated and the quills can be properly and safely removed.

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