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article imageBulldog spiked with more than 500 quills after porcupine attack

By JohnThomas Didymus     Aug 6, 2012 in Environment
Oklahoma City - A bulldog named Bella Mae is recovering after an encounter with a porcupine that left her resembling a pin cushion. Bella Mae frightened a porcupine that wandered into her back garden and ended up spiked with more than 500 quills in her face and body.
According to the BBC, Bella and two other dogs ended up in an emergency room after the attack.
According to the NY Daily News, the owner of Bella Mae, Allison Noles of Blanchard, Okla., said: "It was devastating. These animals are our kids and when you see them hurt you can't imagine the intense pain she had to be in. It affected our whole family."
The vets who treated Bella said it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. According to Dr. Leonardo Baez of the Animal Emergency Center of Norman, "I've seen some greyhounds and bird dogs come in [contact] with them, but it's not very often it happens, especially here in the city."
The BBC reports the three-year-old dog was playing around a backyard pond with two other dogs when she approached the porcupine in a dog's usual boisterous manner and frightened it. The porcupine spiked all the three dogs but Bella was worst affected.
Bella Mae after porcupine attack
Bella Mae after porcupine attack
Animal Emergency Center of Norman/Facebook
Ninemsn reports Bella Mae was placed under general anesthetic while doctors and two nurses spent two hours patiently removing the quills from her face, mouth and feet.
Sympathizers have been leaving messages on the center's Facebook page where pictures of the dog were posted, Metro reports.
The NY Daily News reports Bella has recovered and was released from the center on Thursday. The dog is now on painkillers and according to Nimemsn, the vets told Noles to keep checking the dog for more quills while it recovers at home.
Noles said the porcupine was probably drinking from the pond and using it to cool off because of the heat. Ninemsn reports vets say wild animals are venturing into backyards more often recently in search of food and shade due to hot and dry conditions.
According to Metro, porcupines are rodents. They are not naturally aggressive but will defend themselves when threatened. A porcupine has more than 30,000 stiff quills on its body which grows back after being used for self-defense.
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