Disease prevention when travelling abroad with your pet 

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Travelling Abroad With Your Pet- preventing disease

If you travel abroad with your dog there are some diseases and parasites to consider that aren't present in the UK. The risk of catching these diseases can be minimised with appropriate parasite control.

Remember that the tapeworm treatment your pet has to have signed for 1-5 days before you return to the UK as part of the PETS travel scheme is to prevent them bringing a disease into the country. It is not designed to protect your pet whilst you're away.

The four major diseases we want to prevent, all of which are widespread in continental Europe and potentially life-threatening, are Leishmaniasis, Babesiosis, Erlichiosis and Heartworm.These diseases are spread by the bites of infected sandflies, ticks and mosquitoes so our disease prevention strategy is aimed at preventing these insects from biting your pet.

Tick control

This is to prevent Babesiosis and Erlichiosis

We need to use treatments that actually repel ticks from biting at all if possible, so we recommend either a long-acting collar (Scalibor or Seresto, which last 6-8 months so are ideal if you will be abroad for some time) or Advantix Spot-On (used every 2-4 weeks).

It is worth taking a tick hook with you to remove any ticks that you do spot. These can be purchased at reception and we can show you how to use them correctly.

Sandflies and Mosquitoes

To prevent leishmaniasis and heartworm.

Both Scalibor and Seresto collars repel both these insects. Advantix does but has to be applied every 2 weeks to be effective. We can order in any of these products in a suitable size for your dog with 24 hours notice. If you do opt for a collar, please note it should be removed before your dog goes into water as it is extremely toxic to aquatic life.

Heartworm prevention should also include a monthly worming dose starting just before you leave the UK until shortly after your return. Milpro or Milbemax is suitable, as is Nexgard Spectra, but Drontal IS NOT. You will still be required to give a tapeworm treatment in the presence of a veterinary surgeon before you re-enter the UK.

We have a vaccination available for leishmaniasis. This involves a course of 3 injections given 3 weeks apart over a 6 week period. There is then a 4 week period before the onset of immunity, so the whole process needs to be started at least 10 weeks before you travel. A single annual booster is then required to maintain immunity.

Remember to use insect repellents on yourselves as well as these parasites can affect humans too. Plug-ins and heated coils are helpful in the environment.

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