Laser, a short-haired Pointer, presented to the Huntsville Animal Hospital for an acute onset soreness and a firm, pink, raised nodule on the top of his one front paw.
A few treats for distraction allowed Dr Jason to determine it was a painful abscess despite it being so firm. In the interest of avoiding sedation and anesthetic a handful of treats were offered to keep Laser distracted and Dr Jason applied a little more pressure as he could feel something inside.
And that little extra pressure caused a 1cm broken porcupine quill tip to literally pop out of the abscess. Immediately Laser turned and licked the area a few times and was no longer sore nor bothered by the area!
Perhaps the most interesting aspect is this: Laser has not been in a tussle with a porcupine for almost a year and even then he did not have any quills in his paws or legs.
This likely represents a wonderful example of how porcupine quill tips can migrate through the body when they have been broken or purposely cut short.
It is likely this quill moved from the soft tissues inside Laser’s mouth down through the subcutaneous tissues and finally decided to emerge from the top of his foot- we know this because the quill point was actually trying to come out the opposite direction it would have gone in.
We are happy to report Laser is back to his normal happy and lively self!