Would a werewolf receive better treatment at a human doctor or a vet that specializes in exotics?
Well, what shape are they in at the time?
I have always said go to the vet clinic. Less waiting time, less security, and more scope for treatment, especially when you compare a GP doctor with a GP vet clinic.
A GP doctor might have basic vaccines and materials, but wont have a whole lot of medications and is highly specialized at treating humans.
A typical vet clinic stocks its own medications, has an Xray machine, sometimes has blood analysers or a basic laboratory, might have an ultrasound or other equipment, and some sort of surgical suite. Also, while vets are highly focused on treating non-human animals, we’ve all dabbled a little with the thought of treating humans. Mostly this involves treating ourselves.
We are humans, and e have a vested interest in our own health, so we have a basic understanding of at least human first aid. We also typically have a MIMS in the clinic, which is like a big encyclopedia of human drugs and pharmacology, including dose rates.
In a pinch, most of us could probably treat a werewolf with some well educated guesses.
The exception to this generalization, funnily enough, is dentistry. Take your werewolf to the human dentist. In a GP practice, if there is a dental problem, our main solution is to remove the tooth. Dogs handle this just fine, but your werewolf may want tooth-saving options. So off to the dentist with them.
Anonymous said: Could a virus-type werewolf work? Some kind of incredibly fast
acting gene editor capable of rewriting DNA and turning someone into
some sort of wolf-ish creature over the years?
Seems perfectly plausible to me, it doesn’t even have to be that ‘fast’ in virus terms if you’re giving it years to do its job.
We’re already starting with a human (approximately) base. So we’ve got a default mammalian skeletal and muscular structure, digestive system, ability to grow hair and so on. We just need to take that base, and move the sliders for eat trait in one direction or another. Think of it like moving the sliders for traits around in Spore, but less silly.
And that’s kind of what a virus does. It’s just a little pocket of genetic material. It takes over a cell and says “Hey! Make copies of my genetic material! And also pockets to put it in!” And they just happen to upregulate a couple of genes for whatever reason, whether it’s chance or it turns out to be advantageous to the virus.
So rabies increases salivation (along side everything else it does), and the viruses that do this had an evolutionary advantage because it can be spread in saliva. So what advantage does a virus, a mere pocket of genetics in this big, wide world, have in creating the features of a werewolf?
Now if we’re talking about a virus, we’ve disconnected these werewolves from the cycles of the moon. Instead of changing to one form and going back each cycle, they’re changing into their ‘wolf’ form with infection, and reverting once cured. So let’s look at those features:
Body hair/fur. Easy, just switch on more dormant genes. We have the genes for hair and fur, just crank that dial up to 11.
Bigger teeth. This is hard, because our teeth aren’t growing in our teenage and adult lives. So either the virus needs to induce totally new teeth to develop, grow through, and push out the old ones, or you only see this effect if the werewolf was infected in childhood.
Claws. Again, easy. We have nails. Just increase production and thickness. The shape of the nail bed has to gradually change from fairly flat to rounded, encircling the finger, but that’s possible too.
Musculature hypertrophy (hyperplasia?). Hypertrophy is just cells growing bigger, as muscle cells do when you use them and work out. Hyperplasia is harder to coordinate, as it’s growing new muscle cells, but in theory both could happen.
Long bones lengthening. Hmm, not sure if you could re-start growth plates that have shut down, as we seem to have a lot of difficulty doing that in general, but if the werewolf was again young enough when infected, it could delay bone closure resulting in longer limbs, bigger feet and hands, and so on. Bone is a reactive material, so it will thicken and strengthen as the forces from muscles on it increase, providing you allow it enough weeks and good nutrition to do so.
Tail. Technically we have the bones to start a tail, but not enough of them. This would probably only develop if the werewolf was infected very young, perhaps at birth.
Carnivorous tendency. Easy to change. Just one switch to make blood smell good.
So in a situation like this, werewolves infected in childhood, or in utero, are going to end up looking quite different to those infected after skeletal maturity, even though all these phenotypes are technically the same species and able to interbreed.
But why would the virus do this? What’s the advantage in doing so? Is it just genetically engineered? Is this virus spread in sweat, carried on shed fur delivered to an open wound and the whole reproductive plan centers around hosts getting scratched, sweaty and covered in dog hair? Why would it continue to work this way. I guess it depends on how much realism you want.
By the way, there’s no reason why this couldn’t be reversed with the ‘wolf’ form being the default, uninfected one and the ‘human’ form being the result of a virus.
So many people know the term Lycanthrope, a fancy term for Werewolf, a person who turns into a wolf and/or a wolf-human hybrid.
Some RPGs (like Dungeons & Dragons, and Pathfinder) use “Lycanthrope” to refer to all such types of shapechangers, regardless of which animal it is. Problem is, this is linguistically incorrect.
Lycanthrope comes from two Greek words, Lykos (“wolf”) and Anthropos (“human”), which works fine for werewolves but not other werecreatures. Using the Greek word for whatever animal it is they turn into as the prefix would be more appropriate.
With that in mind, here’s what I’ve cobbled together:
A more correct proper term for such shapechangers as a whole would be Therianthrope, from Therion (“beast” or “wild animal”) + Anthropos – a term I first encountered in the AD&D 2nd Ed. Monster Manual – or Zoanthrope, from Zoion (“animal” or “living being”) + Anthropos.
Wereape = Pithekanthrope, from Pithekos (“Ape”) + Anthropos
Weregoat = Traganthrope, from Tragos (“Goat”) + Anthropos
Werehorse = Hippanthrope, from Hippos (“Horse”) + Anthropos
Werelion = Leanthrope, from Leon (“Lion”) + Anthropos
Werelizard = Crocodilanthrope, from Crocodilos (“Lizard”) + Anthropos
Weremouse = Musanthrope, from Mus (“Mouse”) + Anthropos
Werepig = Khoiranthrope, from Khoiros (“Pig”) + Anthropos
Wererat = Arouraianthrope, from Arouraios (“Rat”) + Anthropos
Wereshark = Karcharianthrope, from Karcharias (“Sharp-Tooth”) + Anthropos
Wereserpent = Drakontanthrope, from Drakon, Drakontos (“Serpent”) + Anthropos
Weresquid = Kalamoanthrope, from Kalamos (the Grerek word for squid, literally meaning “reed/tube/pen”) + Anthropos
Wereswan = Kyknanthrope, from Kyknos (“Swan”) + Anthropos
Weretiger = Tigranthrope, from Tigris (“Tiger”) + Anthropos
Werevulture = Aegypianthrope, from Aegypius (“Vulture”) + Anthropos
Werewhale = Falenanthrope, from Falena (“Whale”) + Anthropos
Greek did of course have its own words for many things, but some were borrowed from other cultures, and some things were named by combining the names of two or more things.
Cats & Big Cats: These are really tricky, since for one thing the Ancient Greeks didn’t really have cats until they met the Egyptians. (What was the most common housepet for the Ancient Greeks? Weasels!) Ailuros was what they called the Egyptian cats (and was itself the Greek word for the Egyptian goddess Bast, whom they likened to Artemis), but after interacting with those and other breeds of cats for a while they adapted the Latin word for cats, cattus. As for the big cats… things get confusing. The word “leopard” comes from Leon (Greek word for lion) + Pardos (Greek for panther), since it was believed leopards were the offspring of a lion and a panther. But the word “panther” itself is a folk etymology stemming from the Greek words Pan (“all”) + Therion (”beast”). Tigris is the Greek word for tiger, but that came from either Latin or Persian.
(Pantherianthrope could refer not to a werepanther but to someone who could shift into any animal form!)
Giraffe: Supposedly, when the Greeks first saw giraffes, they thought they looked like camels with the spots of a leopard, so the called them camel-leopards, or camelopards. (The Ancient Greek term for baboons? Khoiropithekos, from Khoiros + Pithekos, since they were thought to look like monkeys with pig snouts.) “Cameleopard” was a not uncommon term for giraffes in some parts of the world on up to the 19th century!
If I’ve gotten anything wrong, or you know of a better word, please let me know!
EDIT: Another thing about the word “werewolf” is that the “were” part means “adult male”; “werewolf” is literally “man-wolf.” The word “woman” is derived from wifman, a combination of “man” and wif, meaning
an adult female and surviving with an altered meaning in the form
“wife.” If you wanted to construct an etymologically accurate term for a female lycanthrope, it’d be something like wifwolf (wifshark, wiftigress, et cetera).