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 # 14
Is Veterinary care any different for wolfdogs than it is for plain 'ol dogs?
Wolfdogs should receive ALL standard dog vaccinations, administered according to the timetable set by your Veterinarian or manufacturers of the vaccines. Parvo, distemper, bortadella (sp), etc., etc., including rabies.
I even go the extra step, and vaccinate my adult wolfdogs against Lyme Disease (contracted from ticks). And, we also have them on Heartworm preventative (mosquitoes).
Regarding rabies vaccines and wolf-dog crosses: In a nutshell, it is my understanding rabies vaccines have proven to be effective on all members of the species (wolves and dogs). However, the USDA is still in the process of making approval for usage official. More info can be found online at the Wolf Dog Coalition's website ( http://www.inetdesign.com/coalition/).
Regarding effectiveness of drugs used on wolfdogs:
In my experiences, content range is not the sole determining factor, although wolf inheritance certainly is an important issue with consideration for calmness/non-stressed state.
Basically, it isn't a rule that all wolves or higher content wolfdogs are going to react differently than dogs to tranquilizers/anesthetics. The point is it is their STRESS levels (and overall health) which is the key. The more socialized ( leading to CALMNESS, NON-STRESSED ) the animal is, the less difficulties you'll face in getting the sucker loopy. Obviously with a critter of higher percentage, this is a giant issue.
It is my opinion that there is NO difference in the reactions between dogs and wolves to common anesthetics and/or tranquilizers. The "senstivity" to certain types of these drugs is dependent more upon the STRESS level and overall health of the individual animal, than it is on dosage by body weight alone.
Dosage is hard to determine without a knowledge of the critter's reactions to the drugs, and as happens it can be easy to overdose an animal that is seemingly "overriding" the effects of the drug. A freaked-out, stressed animal is not going to react the same to the drug as a calm, mellow, cool critter.
As a friend (who is a wildlife tech) explained to me, same can be extended to why Acepromizine works wonders on some animals and does absolutely nothing to others (leading up to overdose if dosage limit is not carefully calculated). Side effect being behavioral changes while drugged.
Lastly, with regard to Acepromazine (a commonly prescribed tranquilizer for dogs/cats):
Caution is needed when giving any type of prescription-only drug to animals. Be aware of the effects on the individual animal.
Some animals (dogs, cats, etc) will react favorably to Acepromazine and will get a little bit drowsy (will not knock them out, just slow them a litte). Too much Ace could potentially be lethal. But, some animals react the opposite to Ace. You could see a reaction such as increased activity (pacing if confined), and sometimes agression. So, just BE AWARE ... and proceed with caution under your Veterinarian's direction.
I could say the same for Ketamine/Rompum, Valium and Phenobarbitol, etc. It depends on the individual animal, it's stress level, and in part also on the situation and method of getting the drug into the animal. Again, content range plays a part (in so far as socialization/stress level goes), but is NOT "the" reason for certain drugs being more effective than others.
My vet doesn't care if the animal is in fact a wolfdog or not. And the holistic vet in town thinks that the line 'rabies shots don't work on wolfdogs' is a bunch of bunk .. (I really like her ..)
My vet also thinks it is silly that people will walk into her office and demand that they HAVE to put wolf on the vet records. She thinks due to some unpopularity of the animal it is asking for trouble. She knows that my animals are part wolf but has Luna down as a malamute/akita and will put Kaila down as a Sibe cross ...
As far as vaccinations go .. wolfdogs get the same vaccinations as any other canine. Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, etc.. the standard ones. My local vets (in Canada) vaccinate for Heartworm and Lyme Disease only when there are indications of it in our area.
As far as vet care. My vet treats my wolfdogs just like any other canine with one exception. When it comes to anaesthetic she is more careful. My friend has a wolfdog that had to go in for tooth surgery .. we had told the vet that there could be a sensitivity so she recommended using Isoflaurane Gas and kept a close eye on her. She came thru fine because of the vet's careful approach. My male went in for a vasectomy and removal of rear dew claws by a friend in the states and her vet told the assistant to pretend that he was a 10 pnd cat and go up from there .. he ended up being a 10 pnd cat for the operation.
In some states it's illegal for vets to treat wolfdogs so they won't treat them... I'm lucky to have a vet who does treat them and just lists mine as shep/mix....
I am fiercely protective of my woofers, and so I avoid the "breed" topic as
much as possible w/ vets. So far, we have been able to pass our girls off as
"malamutts" to the vets (with the exception of one, who knew right away but
didnt care). We even had one vet we
*tried* to tell the truth to, who insisted that Willow was in no way
wolfy. This is the same
vet who *swore* she was not pregnant, one week before she dropped 12 pups
Since you mention vets and whether they do or do not know what our woofers really are I have a question. If a vet knows or assumes that an animal is part wolf and the animal is involved in a bite situation is there confidentiality between patient and vet. Are the animals records available to the legal community? If a vet assumes an animal is part wolf and it isn't substantiated by the owner can that assumption be made? If the animal is listed as anything but a wolf or X can the assumption be made legally that the animal is part wolf. Another question. If it looks like a wolf, acts like a wolf, does that make it a wolf if you don't call it a wolf?
If my records say Mal X, and the owners say Mal X, and I treat it as just another dog, then I provide no legal ammo for someone to use as proof that the dog is part wolf. Unless the owner shows me some paperwork that purports the animal to have wolf in it, then I would make a lousy legal witness in an attempt to prove the dog was a wd.
There is no test I can perform to provide scientific evidence of recent wolf heritage, so my records could only contribute heresay evidence. So yes, the legal community can subpoena my records, but they aren't going to damage the animal.
Now if an owner lists his animal as a wd with Dr. Z, and tells Dr. Z that it is part wolf, and Dr. Z's records are subpoenaed, even if the owner is now claiming his dog has no wolf in it, the records might be used against him. And of course, the court could always ask Dr. Z what breed he thinks the dog is. No telling what weight the court would give to that opinion.
When Georgia enacted the law in 1995 that prohibited veterinarians from treating wolves and wolfdogs, I first found out about it from my vet. He said there was a mistake on his records and that someone had put "wolf hybrid" on the record and so he was correcting the records to read "Malinois mix," if that was ok with me.
When I asked what difference it made, since they were his private records, he responded that the records were subject to inspection by regulators and, who knows what can happen during witchhunts. Besides, when was the last time you believed "I'm from the government and I am here to help you."? The Malinois mix sisters fled that state six months later, in a truck with me driving. We've never been back.
Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear
We had a situation here today that has me just furious!!
A couple from a town 30 miles north of here had waited for 4 years to adopt a pup from a mating of our high contents til I felt they were ready. This year I decided it was time. They were so thrilled.
This summer has been an extremely busy time for them and as a consequence, they hadn't taken her to the vet since they got her in June. At that time, she was give her 4th puppy shot and wormed.
Today the mom called me crying. She told me Nashoba had been feeling down for the last 2 or 3 days so her husband had taken her to the vet and dropped her off to be checked out on his way to work (the mom was already at work).
The vets office called her at work an hour or so later and told her they were going to have to put Nashoba down as it was possible she might have RABIES. The owner asked why on earth they would say that and they responded that she wouldn't drink water and she had snapped at one of the attendants and she hadn't been vaccinated (she just turned 4 months old on the 25th of Aug.)
When she asked about quarantine they responded that they didn't want to put the staff at risk. She said she had to call her husband first.
She left work and went home and called me. I called my vet and he said to get that pup out of that clinic NOW and get her to him. Said she might have distemper or something other than rabies but she at least needed a chance by being quarantined. Said since she had been in a house and fenced yard all her life the chances of rabies were quite small.
I met the woman and her husband at Doc's office. Guess what she was about to be murdered for? BEING A WOLF AND HAVING A SEVERE CASE OF HOOK WORMS !!!!!!!!!!!
Doc was just furious. He was a bit put out that the hooks had been allowed to get so bad but he would loved to have had a few minutes alone with the vet who was about to put that lovely little girl down.
This pup was listed as a MalX on their records but it was quite obvious just what she was. This vet was prejudiced against wolves and wolfdogs!
Needless to say, Doc now has 3 new "dogs" in his practice.
Just goes to show, you need to know your vet very well (be sure he/she has no prejudices) and make damned sure they are always listed as dog crosses.
My vet is a die-hard wolf lover (one step inside of his house was proof of
that, his collection of wolf paraphernalia had me drooling
Though his opinion hasn't changed much in that aspect, he started learning as much as he could about them in order to give my woofers and the others he now treats the best care possible. I wouldn't trust my pack's health to anyone else. A vet you can trust is worth his/her weight in gold, especially with wolfdogs. :)
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