Hunting Dogs Need Veterinarians, Too.

“Hunting dogs don’t go to veterinarians.”

“I beg your pardon?” I asked, incredulous, and sure I’d heard wrong.

“That’s what my son said,” Curtis’ new mom said.

“And where, precisely, did he get this gem of information?” I wanted to know.

“From his hunting buddies.”

As I examined Curtis, mom and I proceeded to have an educational experience about the importance of veterinary medical care for hunting dogs, and all other pets. I only wished that her son and his hunting buddies could have been in attendance.

For starters, hunting dogs hurt, become ill and die just like non-hunting dogs.

Furthermore, everything we say in today’s post will apply to comparisons like “mutts and purebred dogs”, as well as “stray cats and registered cats.”

Supposedly, Curtis had already had some “care.” “The guy we got him from gave him an 8-in-1 and a wormer.”

“Eight whats in one?” I inquired.

No one seemed to know.

Very likely they were referring to vaccine they obtained at a co-op.

The wormer, however, was very effective, as Curtis had a heavy load of whipworms and hookworms. Hookworms, of course, put the family at risk of zoonotic infestation, as well as possibly infecting housemates Lulu and Duke.

Somehow, I don’t think that was the “wormer’s” intent, but maybe next time they should try a de-wormer.

Some uninformed hunters have the archaic notion that coddling a dog will make him a less-effective hunter. In rebuttal, I submit Sam and Blossum, pictured below when they were young and I was younger. Some might even say they were being coddled in this picture.

Sam, Blossum and Dr. Randolph

Sam, Blossum and Dr. Randolph

Sam and Blossum were delightful Beagles who shared our home for nearly two decades. These were two dogs who were always ready to give or receive love and attention.

And always ready to hit the trail of a rabbit willing to leave a scent. No two Beagles were ever born who had more “want-to” than these two hunters. Blossum would go until the pads of her feet bled. Sam never hunted that he didn’t bloody his nose from sniffing rabbit trails.

So, let’s lay to rest once and for all the concept that pampered dogs won’t hunt with all their hearts.

If you had a really good hunting dog, wouldn’t you want to keep him hunting for a long, long time?

Belonging to a veterinarian, Sam and Blossum got the best medical care possible. They lived to be 17½ and 16½ years, respectively.

There were eight pups in their litter, all belonging to hunters. Most of the litter was dead by age 3. The next oldest died at age 8.

Hunting dogs don’t go to veterinarians?

I would counter that smart hunters who want to keep their dogs around for a while do take their dogs to veterinarians.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

One Comment to “Hunting Dogs Need Veterinarians, Too.”

  1. Curtis's mom 18 September 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    This was a very good article. I enjoyed it and agree with you completely, hunting dogs do need veterinarians. You need to mention that Curtis was sicker than you implied from being treated by a hunter. He also had an upper respiratory infection with a significant cough and a runny nose, he would not have been able to sniff out a rabbit if it had run into him. Remember, his ears were in pretty bad shape also. I learned never to take veterinarian advice from a hunter.


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