This past Monday, Laurie got a call for something we don't see to often around here....a porcupine! Lucky for me she was busy and I was off....so I got take the cutie pie in! Poor little thing...it's a young one and it is pretty ataxic. (Ataxia: Wobbliness. Uncoordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements. Ataxia is usually a consequence of disease in the brain, specifically in the cerebellum which lies beneath the back part of the cerebrum.)
Poor thing has a few tics and you can also see some trichodectes louse mixed in there, a normal load of which is normal for these guys. It is beleived they play a role in maintaining thier skin health.
I only had the little guy for the night though. Laurie and Lisa brought it to Tuft's the next morning to get checked out.
It got a full workup. X-Rays showed no problems and there are no signs of trauma. We initially thought it was possibly hit by a car. They are still awaiting some tests results, but one possibility they are leaning towards is roundworm. Unfortunately if that is the case there is no chance of recovery and it will only get worse. So for now, it's getting supportive care and all we can do is wait and see. If it's roundworms it will continue to get worse, if not it should improve with time....so that's what we're giving it! Luckily if the little fella has a chance, he's also got a great place to go and recover...Dee and Tom at Urban Wildlife in Springfield have experience with these prickly critters and will give it the best possible care! Lets all hope for the best for this little quill pig!