Top 10 Animal Threats to Your Pet

National Geographic even claims that researchers have kept frozen scorpions overnight, thawed them in the sun and watched them go on like nothing ever happened. Scorpions possess the ability to tremendously slow their metabolism, allowing some species to survive on as little as one insect per year.

Pet Attacker No. 6: Javelina

The name javelina comes from the Spanish term for sword and accurately represents the sharp tusks this pig-like mammal can use to pierce the skin of other animals.

Also known as a collared peccary, the javelina uses its downward-curved tusks to furiously fight off predators, but generally not to hunt, according to

This small wild animal eats roots, insects and reptiles alike, though some peccaries have more vicious teeth, allowing them to hunt small animals. The peccary typically is found in the Southwest, as well as Central and South America.

As with the scorpion, VPI only reported javelina attacks in Arizona. The account of one attack, posted on VPI's Web site, talked of a yelp, and then an owner who ran ahead on a hiking trail and "found our dog unmoving, with two adult javelinas ready to attack again."

The owners then discovered baby javelinas and shooed away the two protective parents.

Perhaps the most dangerous part of the incident wasn't the javelina's tusks, but the distance to the nearest veterinary clinic -- nearly two hours away from the hiking trail in the Santa Rita Mountains.

Although less likely to become a top 10, Hohenhaus said vets in the West often have to deal with similar rare and serious attacks from mountain lions and bears.

Pet Attacker No. 7: Porcupine

The barbed, loosely embedded hairs that that coat the skin of the porcupine are the first things that come to mind when most people think about this prickly rodent. The quills are so loosely embedded in the North American porcupine that they may fly out and lodge in an attacker even if contact has not been made, according to the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Although listed No.7 by VPI, veterinarians said porcupines cause some of the most common injuries in the Northeast.

"Veterinarians spend a lot of time in rural areas pulling porcupine quills out of animals," said Hohenhaus. "I've spent a few afternoons doing that and it takes forever. It's hundreds of quills smashed into your dog."

But veterinarians were quick to point out that porcupines are not the aggressors in "quillings," as they call them.

For instance, Rozanski said she never treats a dog with a quills in an attack area, such as the hind leg, but always in the front, as if it was hunting the porcupine.

"A porcupine is very exciting for a dog because they're strange looking, they're slow moving and you can catch them," said Rozanski.

"But they can get really sick from the quills, and they can go into the skin and migrate, they can go into the chest and cause problems," Rozanski said. "They can cause lots and lots of bad things."

"If you're going to let your dog run free in the woods, we don't have a problem with that -- it's fun -- just be aware they can get injured," she added.

Pet Attacker No. 8: Groundhog

New York's Mayor Bloomberg isn't the only creature that's been assaulted by a groundhog. This February, on the groundhog's own holiday, Staten Island Chuck bit Bloomberg on television.

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