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-   -   URGENT ! Pony with Porcupine Quills in leg ! HELP (

Juile_in_PA 08-26-2008 11:27 AM

URGENT ! Pony with Porcupine Quills in leg ! HELP
Hi, I'm new here, sorry for the brief introduction, but I have a situation on my hands ...

Yesterday my dogs got into porcupines, took them to the vet = $336 later - they're fine now.

THIS MORNING I went to the barn to find my pony standing there looking at me (I SWEAR she was doing her best to tell me without talking my language) and when I realized what she wanted - I saw porcupine quills in her back left leg - right above the hoof on the front of the leg. I gasped thinking ... OH NO ! I don't have any $$ at all ! Infact, I owe my Grandma for paying for charges yesterday at the vet for my dogs ... and NOW THIS !

So I called the local livestock vet (I have a farm, and this is the vet I normally deal with) and he tells me that we can try to pull them out ourselves if the horse can be controlled enough to do so. Or we could have a vet do it for us.
We don't have $$ to have a vet do it for us, so we're going to get a group together tonight and make it a team effort to pull them out. We have a veterinarian assistant who's related and she's comming as well, and we've been talking to everyone and anyone with any horse experience, etc. about how to approach this situation.

Now ~ my big dilema is ... HOW should we contain the pony ? She's a small pony ... only about 40inches tall at the withers. Her mom was a mini and her dad a pony (that's what the ppl told us when we bought her). So she's on the small side, but still strong. We need to restrain her so that she doesn't kick us with her back foot/feet. And the quills are in the back leg - so that's the leg we'll be dealing with. So what would be the best solution for restraining her ?

NorthernMama 08-26-2008 11:59 AM

Ooohhh... she's REALLY not gonna like that. Can you afford to get an aenesthetic to make her sleepy? Maybe call your vet and ask if they can give you something over the counter that you can give her orally that will make her dopey.

To restrain her, the only thing I can think of is to cross tie her and have someone hold her alternate front leg up while someone else is pulling them out. I would think you will need another person to hold the affected leg up and another to pull the quills.

There is no easy way to get those suckers out either. All kinds of methods people talk about, but I've done quills several times and it amounts to the same thing - get good pliers, grip them as close to the skin as you can and pull straight out (in the direction that the quill went in).

Also, the sooner you can get at this the better... Several hours will make a huge difference. In the meantime, this is one time I would suggest restricting her movement until you can get this done -- either in a small impromptu paddock (stall size) or an actual stall, but with little or no bedding. I think a paddock set up with electric fencing would be better because there will be fewer places for her to rub against. (no walls)

Good luck!

Juile_in_PA 08-26-2008 12:26 PM

Is "hog tieing" a possibility to be considered ? I mean, the phrase sounds crude, but could getting her down to the ground and keeping her restrained from getting up work ? Or would there be a greater risk of hurting her that way ?

Juile_in_PA 08-26-2008 01:20 PM

ANY help appreciated ! The "Team" will be arriving soon ... I need to figure out how we're doing this.

farmpony84 08-26-2008 01:25 PM

First try to pull one out. Have someone hold her with her head turned TOWARDS the side you are standing, like the foot you'll be yanking it from, if her head is towards you it's harder to get a good kick, if she were to do that. Then stand close to her, near the belly, the closer is always better, less force from a possible kick. try though to see if you can yank one out, real quick. Then wait till she's quiet and try again. How many are there? Also...You could feed her grain while you do this... Do you have any bute?

Kirsti Arndt 08-26-2008 03:47 PM

The quills swell with air as they enter the body so they are extremely painful to pull out=and will tear the flesh use anestetic or pain killer on the site-use a bunch of it---- cut the tip of the quil off and gently ease it out after the air has gone out of the quil
there is a barb like on a fish hook on the end of the quil ( the part inside the body) it is going to be so painful so make sure you are safe and make sure you have used a strong pain killer on the skin site= then use a very good antiseptic so the site doesnt infect- if he has a lot of quils a vet is going to have to do it or you will tear your poor guy up-
good luck have taken them out of my dogs and it is awful

Kirsti Arndt 08-26-2008 03:50 PM

sorry cant help with restraints but it will take several people at least to hold her you cant tie her as it is going to really hurt adn she may thrash a bit unelss you can really deaden the skin

Sliding4ever 08-27-2008 12:09 AM

I'm sure your finished with your pony. How is she doing?

Kirsti Arndt 08-27-2008 08:37 AM

yes how is she doing? bet your a wreck after all of that!

NorthernMama 08-27-2008 01:00 PM

Kirsti -- I've heard this a few times to cut the tips off -- not worth doing and no proof it helps.

By the time you cut the tips you have caused so much irritation you're better off just pulling it out. The "best" way to do this is FAST -- speed, not patience. Pull as many as you can until the animal is fed up and then give them a distraction for 1/2 hour or so and start again. You only want to go back once though. Attempts at a third time will not be allowed by most animals.

But, this is all mute now since Juile must be done the job -- how did it go?

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