“What is wrong with that wolf’s fur?”
Unlike domesticated dogs and cats, wolves tend to “molt” once a year instead of shed throughout the year. They lose both their undercoat and many of their “guard hairs,” often in unsightly clumps, leaving visible skin and bald patches until their warm weather coat evens itself out. As wolves age, their annual shed can be quite startling to the untrained eye, but is actually quite normal.
“What is wrong with that wolf’s ears?”
A big problem for any animal with long or projected ears in the South – from dogs to horses – is biting flies. Our Red wolves face the same issue. Because the capillaries and blood vessels are so close to the surface of the skin at the ear, and the skin is thinnest at the ear, flies and mosquitos find it a prime feeding ground. The JZ Keeper and Vet staff monitor all the animals daily, and have a specific protocol for the wolves that includes both topical and ingested preventative measures and medical care, as needed. (We encourage others to look into a similar protocol for their companion animals at home during the buggiest times of the year, especially when it comes to insects and the possibility of heartworms.)