Bella Mae, a three-year-old bulldog from Oklahoma, learned a lesson she probably won't forget after she tangled with a porcupine and was left with 500 quills stuck in her face.
Veterinarians in Norman undertook emergency surgery on her to remove the prickly spines from her head and her feet.
Some of the quills are still inside her body, veterinarians believe, though she is now recovering from the attack.
Ouch: Veterinarians say Bella Mae, a three-year-old Oklahoma bulldog, had 500 quills embedded in her face after a run-in with a porcupine
Trouble: Bella Mae was playing with other dogs near her owners' pond when she apparently got too close to a porcupine
Badly injured: The veterinarian who led the procedure said he had never seen a pet so badly attacked by a porcupine
Jerry and Allison Noles told KWTV the bulldog was playing with their other pets near their pond on July 29, when they encountered an ambling porcupine.
The bristly rodents are typically nocturnal, slow and passive.
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The Noleses believe the porcupine visited their pond to drink because water is becoming scarce in Oklahoma.
They think Bella Mae got a little too close for comfort and provoked the animal's ire -- prompting the prickly attack.
Procedure: The veterinarians didn't count, but they estimate that they pulled 500 quills from Bella Mae's face, head, neck, chest and feet
Common threat: Porcupines are prevalent in Oklahoma and unwary pets often have run-ins with the slow-moving rodents
Lip service: Veterinarians has to pull back Bella Mae's jowls to remove some of the quills in her mouth, tongue and lips
Doctors at the Animal Emergency Center worked on the operating table to dig the quills out of the bulldog's face, neck, legs and chest.
The lucky pooch was not hit in the eyes.
Veterinarian Leonardo Baez told KWTV he has never seen such a horrific porcupine attack against a pet before.
Recovery: The lucky pooch is healing from the attack, though veterinarians are still keeping an eye on her
'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,' he said.
Bella May remains on antibiotics because of the quills remain embedded in her skin, where veterinarians could not dig them out.