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How to Remove Porcupine Quills

If you've been stung by one of these prickly critters, you're going to want to get rid of their quills – fast. Here's how.


  • : If you or your pet has been stung multiple times, seek emergency medical assistance.
  • Step 1: Pull quill out Remove quills as soon as possible after they are embedded. Get a firm grip on the quill with the pliers or hemostats, and pull.
  • TIP: If you are at the doctor's or vet's office, they may administer an anesthetic to reduce the pain during removal.
  • Step 2: Combine soda and vinegar If you are at home and you can't remove the quills easily, combine baking soda and vinegar in the large bowl and mix thoroughly. Immerse the quills in the soda and vinegar mixture and soak them until they're thoroughly softened.
  • TIP: Use a large tub for soaking the entire affected area.
  • Step 3: Cut ends Cut or break off the ends of the quills to release the pressure and make removal easier.
  • Step 4: Remove quills after softening Pull the quills out by hand. They should be easier to remove now that they are softened and the ends have been cut off.
  • Step 5: Administer antihistamine and pain reliever Administer an antihistamine and pain reliever. An antihistamine will help prevent swelling and possible allergic reactions.
  • Step 6: Follow up with a doc or vet Follow up with a doctor or vet visit as soon as possible to make sure you or your pet don't suffer any delayed reactions from the sting.
  • FACT: Porcupines don't throw their quills at enemies: they must come into actual contact with another animal or human in order for the quills to become embedded.

You Will Need

  • A pair of pliers or hemostats
  • A large bowl
  • 2 lbs. baking soda
  • 12 oz. vinegar
  • Scissors
  • Antihistamine
  • A mild pain reliever
  • A doctor or vet
  • A large tub (optional)

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