Terlingua Dreams

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Prickly Problem - UPDATED

I swear lately I have been having nothing but bad luck and setbacks. On Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day I went out to feed the dogs when I noticed something strange on Oscar's face. I did not have my glasses on but I did notice he was walking with a limp...that is nothing new as being a stray, he is always getting into fights.

A very sad looking Oscar.

Tammie was nowhere in sight but that is not odd either as she seems to have set houses which she visits for breakfast.  Like most people I go in and out of the house as I do my morning chores. By now I had my glasses on when I caught a glimpse of Oscar's face.  My goodness, he had all these prickly things on the side of his face.  My first thought was he had a run in with a cactus but these were not cactus needles...they were thicker and white.  He also had quills on his legs.

He already had an injured face from a previous dog fight
and now he went and made it worst :-(

Then I saw Tammie's face and it became obvious that she and Oscar had had a run in with a porcupine and got the short end of the stick.


I went in to get my long nose pliers and was able to pry two porcupine quills off Oscar's face before he ran off.

If you are a long time reader you know that Tammie is a little wild stray that does not allow human contact of any kind. They could not have chosen a worst time to have had a run in with a porcupine.

Even if there had been an open veterinary clinic on Thanksgiving, how was I going to get them both inside the car?  Better yet how was I going to get them inside the clinic, in particular, Tammie?

While I can not be certain, I believe Tammie and Oscar have been strays all their lives. I do not think they have ever ridden in a vehicle and I had no idea how they would react.

Yesterday they were not able to eat. Today I opened a can of dog food and while they did not eat much at least they ate something.

I called the City of Del Rio dog pound Friday morning, but I believe they were closed as no one answered.  While I know they can not help me since we live outside of the Del Rio city limits, I was hoping they could offer some suggestions.

I called "A Pet's Wish" a local non-profit shelter but no one has returned my call.  I decided to Google it and it was strongly suggested not try to pull the quills yourself or you could traumatize your dog. They mention that your dog has to be sedated and depending on the number of quills could possibly have to undergo surgery.  Dang, that all sounds expensive to me and to make matters worst, it will be multiplied by two :(

Good night.  May you have Terlingua Dreams.


  1. I've no answers or suggestions Ms Belinda :-(
    Good luck with this one...

    1. Thank you Rob, I will definitively need it.

  2. If nothing happens before then, I would try the local non-profit shelter again on Monday morning It shouldn't be your responsibility to pay for removal of quills, although whose it is, I don't know. If some organization does pick them up and pulls the quills, I hope they make sure to spay/neuter them at the same time, if it hasn't already been done. It's the only way to stop the procreation of more strays who don't have a very good life when you think about it. Good luck.

    1. I certainly hope they can help me and I will be calling them first thing on Monday morning.

      I so want to get Tammie spayed even if I have to pay for it but again the problem is getting her to trust me and getting her in a pet taxi or crate...that is going to be hard to do.

  3. Oh dang!! I hate to hear of any animal in pain and suffering. Hope all will be well soon.

    1. I hate to see them suffering myself. Considered giving them aspirin but online sites say that could cause gastrointestinal problems.

    2. Under the circumstances an aspirin probably wouldn't hurt either one of them. I'd worry about giving it often but in their situation they probably really need something for pain. Maybe a vet would sell you some safe pain killers, as well as a sedative so you could get them to some help.

    3. Today I called a vet in Ciudad Acuna that I used to take my late cat to. He also provides pro bono or reduced rate services to animal shelters.

      His assistant said that if Mexican Customs would not let me bring in the strays because they do not have their shots, they would go to Customs and vaccinate them.

      Being that this is the Black Friday weekend and despite the dollar to mexican peso rate being so high...people from Mexico are flocking to the stores and buying up a storm.

      The lines to cross both sides of the border are very long. How am I going to control two dogs that do not pay any mind to me?

      Anyway, he told me not to give them anything because the aspirin might do more harm than good.That is easy for him to say as he is not the one experiencing pain.

      Tammie being a woman is a lot tougher than Oscar. She is sleeping sitting down and tilting her head to one side. Oscar is puting his head down on the ground and driving in those quills even more into his skin.

      Tomorrow they are both getting aspirin!

  4. If you could get them to take something that works like a sedative, such as a sleeping pill, it might help. All those "Don't", such as "Don't try to pull the quills yourself", and "Don't give them aspirin" apply to people with pets who can control them and get them to a vet. Your situation is a little more difficult because for one thing, these dogs aren't your resposibility and you really can't control where they go, or what they do. You can stick a pill into a hot dog and they shouldn't be able to tell. I'd give them the strongest thing I had on hand. If you can get them fairly sedated you might be able to get them into your car. Do you have someone to help you? Those are both good sized dogs. Good luck.

    1. Thank you for your concern about my little strays. You make a good point.

      I am going to do a short post on what the lady at the animal rescue told me.

      Thank you for being such a caring person.


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