Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 35
I can't find a Veterinarian who is willing to accept my wolfdog as a new client. What do I do if my animal gets sick or is injured?
I am lucky enough to live in an area where the local vet here doesn't have a problem with WD's. I had reason to take Gabe and Meko (my Mal) to the vet today. They already know what Gabe is, but it came up in conversation when comparing temperaments between my 2 babies (Gabe's is better
I think it is irresponsible to acquire a woofer without having vet care already lined up. Every woofer, regardless of their condition, will need vet care and good vet care. As to now - a sick woofer and no one to call??? Call around, ask, ask, ask. Depending upon the problem I would just take the animal in to the emergency vet.
When we first moved up north... before I moved, I had a sheltie, old and getting sickly. BEFORE I committed to moving I interviewed vets and pediatricians for my kids. The Vet and skin kid doc were picked out, with records in their hands of *all* my kids before the first piece of furniture came off of the moving van.
With our new Vet, the woofers send them cookies every Christmas and then for Valentines Day they send them heart and paw cookies, Easter, they get a basket - designed by the fur-kids of course!! Gotta treat those vets right!!! But we love our vet and they love the kids... When my Sage died, not only did they send a beautiful card, they also had a plaque made up and dedicated one of their kennel runs to him... he used to love to go into the kennel and *visit* everyone.
With our new boy - whom they've only met once, they've called 3 times in two weeks - just to check up on him!!! That's what I call caring and compassionate!! And not just the office girls have called, Dr. C herself has called twice!!
Just my two cents, Peg
I have found just by chatting with some of you other WD owners Via E-Mail that we are not as far apart from each other as it would seem. I suggest that you ask other people in this forum [Wolfdoglist] where they live and find someone that is fairly close to you [for a referral].
Actually, I have no clue as to what someone would do if their vet would not take a wolfdog. It did take me three vets to find one that has emergency coverage 24/7 and that likes my dogs.
I guess, if it were me, I would check out vets on the Internet, or find others in my area that have WDs and ask who their vet was. I ended up calling ALL of the vets in my phone books and asked their position on WDs. Then I interviewed those that I thought had acceptable answers.
Now I have two vets, one with an office and a traveling one to do rabies vaccinations and other minor stuff that I don't feel I can do myself.
I have been VERY VERY fortunate in Vets, and not-so-fortunate. My old Vet, whom my adopted family has been going to for decades, has suddenly decided that wolfdogs are evil. The woofs she has been treating for years with no problem, suddenly (it seems to me overnight) turned into unpredictable child-killers & the bugger of it, was I had to find this out second-hand! All of a sudden, she started being incredibly rude & short with me. Found out through her receptionist that because I have so many new animals that she decided that I was the breeder of all of them. *sigh* and no amount of discussion would change her mind.
So, my regular Vet has changed [to a Veterinary center within a popular pet supply chain]. They know perfectly well what my kids are, and schmooozle all over them (the shop practically grinds to a halt) and I have denied denied denied No "W" word has ever slipped my lips! *grin*
For Emergencies, I have another Vet, but truth be told, I watch carefully and peek over their shoulders. They also know what my kidz are, and are VERY particular about not using the "W" word. I just sometimes think that Doc T is so busy that he makes mistakes. So I am pretty careful & try to have an idea what's wrong.
I also have been studying homeopathy , herbals, & such, have several copies of Merck's, a couple of Emergency care guides, & the ilk, so I TRY to have a good idea of the problem first. Having a Vet you can trust is really important, and if you find one, bake the office some brownies & keep 'em happy.
I'm kinda on the wrong side of this question, but I'll comment anyway. First, don't tell the vet it's a wolfdog. If they decide it is and refuse to treat it, go somewhere else. If there is no where else to go close by, try educating, some vets will listen. If that doesn't work, you'd better find someone SOMEWHERE who you can work with.
I am constantly amazed to find members of my profession who flatly refuse to work with certain breeds. In my area it is the chow. People seem genuinely surprised when I say I'll treat their chow. But MOST IMPORTANT is Kat's advise: BROWNIES -- lots of them. With or without nuts, doesn't matter. Even non-chocolate items will do! :)
My answer to this is to familiarize myself with Veterinary / canine health foundations. I know basic canine first aid, restraint techniques, some clinical signs, etc., so as to be better prepared to handle medical issues as they arise, or to avoid them in the first place. The old cliche, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", can't be more true... I also am a bit of a canine nutrition freak, in that I feel that a healthy diet goes a long way in preventing a lot of problems.
I give my animals their vaccinations myself (except rabies vaccination which must be done by a licensed Vet), to minimize trips to the Vet clinic or hospital. I keep them current on heartworm prevention, check fecal samples periodically, and do everything in my power to prevent illness or injury. I can also do minor proceedures (ie. cleaning wounds) at home.
I make it a point to NEVER DELAY seeking professional evaluation and treatment. I do not jeopardize my animal's health or wellbeing under any circumstance, and will either go to an Emercency Vet or make an appointment with my regular Vet promptly. Do-it-myself care is not a substitute for regular Veterinary checkups either.
On a super-personal note, I sympathyse with this question immensely. We've had Veterinarians take one look at our animals and refuse us service before even making it through the reception area.
Other Veterinary hospitals have charged us triple their normal rates for our wolfdogs as for our dogs, as a kind of hint they don't want our wolfdogs back.
Two Veterinarians have given us the brushoff. By this I mean because of their own expressed fears of the "type" of canines we have, they have either misdiagnosed because they had not taken the time to do a thorough physical examination of the animal, or have purposely proclaimed the obviously ill animal to be "perfectly healthy". My speculation is, that was done so as to lessen the chances of that animal surviving (therefore getting rid of the client, and thereby getting rid of one more wolfdog from this world).
Lest you think I am down on the whole Veterinary profession, I am not. I've had wonderful experiences with Veterinarians who have been cheerfully welcoming, very thorough in their examinations and follow-up, and go the extra mile to be accomodating. Some Doctors have encouraged their staff to become further aquainted with my animals, just so as to gain a better knowledge of behavioral characteristics, dietary considerations, containment needs and what life in general is like living with wolfdogs.
In all, a good, communicative, open-minded Veterinarian who values the life and wellbeing of the animal above all, is someone to be cherished. If you can't find such a person... go the distance to find one. Drive to the next county or state if you must, just be sure to get proper Veterinary care for your wolfdogs.
If my vet wouldn't accept my wd and it was sick, I would find another vet immediately. If that didn't work, I'd bet, bribe, threaten to go to the newspaper, boards, whatever I could do.
Also, a question of my own: Didn't vets take some kind of oath (like human physicians) to treat all animals in need?
I have had better luck now that I have moved to an area where wolfdogs are quite common. I still refuse to admit the lineage though! I have two emergency back up vets that will come to my house.
The vet I have been using for the last three years has been wonderful until another vet was hired on. The new vet is ranting about the evils of wolfdogs and ownership. She has not come around in her thinking yet. I went with her to close down a breeder up here who was touting this outrageous percentage and had what we knew were not wds. Since then, she has been more cordial but still will not treat mine.
Since I don't like to take mine out of their yard; I just have one of the vets that love them come over and do the inoculations and blood work. In my case, the nearest office is 45 minutes away. I try not to traumatize my wds by separating them to take to the vet's office. I have a great home visit vet [Mobile Vet] and she is able to really do a thorough checkup without haste. My home visits work out greatly. I have had kittens neutered on my dining room table. The home vet has everything she needs in her truck. She does all of the lab work right in my driveway.
When I started out with them as pups I made the mistake of being honest when calling around for a vet. I was screamed at and told that I was going to be killed and had many phones slammed down on me. I finally learned to leave out pertinent facts until the vet "noticed" and asked if I knew what I had.
Where there's a will; there's a Way!
First of all, I would suggest that your wolfdog be a Malamute or GSD/cross. Even though I believe in acknowledgment of our animals in public education, I don't believe in any sort of documentation to announce what your animals are. If your animal is sick, go to a different vet - even if it takes a trip to another town.
I was pretty naive about wds and vets when I got puppy Alex over a dozen years ago. When I called the vet to make an appt. to get baby Alex checked out, the receptionst asked age and breed. I told the age - I think about 7-8 weeks then - and said he's a wolfdog. There was a long silence, and then a very small voice asked, "Do we have to take special precautions??"
It worked out fine, though. The vet walked into the room, looked at Alex, looked at his chart, and said, "You know, I've taken care of 2 others like this. Among the best patients I've ever had." No reason to have known beforehand, but it turned out he'd also been doc for a number of "ambassador" pure wolves. So my long time vet just happened to be an experienced lupine vet.
See Copyright information on main FAQ listings page.
Go to the top of the page