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Increasingly, many of us are choosing to enjoy holidays – in the UK or overseas – with our pets rather than leaving them at home. But what do you need to know about protecting your pet against illnesses that might not be present overseas?
There are certain legal requirements when travelling – your pet must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies; they must be treated for tapeworms between 1 and 5 days before returning to the UK, by a vet, and have this recorded in their passport. But there are other threats to your pets’ health, often carried by arthropod vectors such as ticks, that you may need to be aware of when travelling.
There is no longer a legal requirement to treat your dog for ticks when travelling to and from Europe. However, we strongly advise that pets holidaying in Europe are protected from tick bites for the duration of their trip. The reason for this is that ticks can carry disease that may affect your pet, such as babesiosis, anaplasmosis or ehyrlichiosis. If your pet acquires these illnesses, they can be very difficult to diagnose and in some cases almost impossible to completely cure, so effective protection is vital.
In hotter areas in southern Europe, biting sandflies can carry Leishmania – a similar type of organism to malaria – which can be transmitted to dogs. Leishmaniasis in dogs can cause a variety of illnesses including skin disease, painful joint problems and potentially fatal kidney disease. Collars are available to repel biting flies, and you should avoid wooded areas at dawn and dusk when sandflies are most active.
If you’d like further advice on this topic, please feel free to give us a call on 01458 832972.