Dog health advice

Dog Vaccinations

What are vaccinations?

Vaccinations contain a harmless form of the virus or bacterium that causes a particular disease. They work by stimulating the body’s natural defence mechanisms. These are then ‘remembered’ and triggered when the pet comes into contact with the disease for real; – so protecting the pet.

Why vaccinate?

Vaccinations, when given regularly, give your dog long-term protection against serious and sometimes fatal infectious disease.

What diseases do we vaccinate against?

Canine Parvovirus
drawing up vaccineThis is a highly contagious, potentially fatal viral disease. It is spread through infected faeces and can survive in the environment for several years. Symptoms include severe fever, vomiting and severe diarrhoea.

Vaccination is the ONLY certain method of preventing this devastating disease. Unfortunately, we still regularly treat unvaccinated dogs with this disease but treatment is very costly and a number of dogs die despite the best treatment.

Canine Distemper
This, less common, but highly contagious viral disease can be fatal. It affects the breathing, digestive and nervous systems and usually leads to death.

If they survive they can suffer from seizures, twitches and tremors for the rest of their lives. It is spread as an airborne infection and vaccination continues to be the only effective means of prevention.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
This is a viral infection that effects the liver and can cause permanent liver damage and sometimes death. It is fairly uncommon in Ireland, but it still exists and can be fatal

This is a bacterial infection which targets the liver and kidneys leading to jaundice, kidney failure and death. This bacteria can be contracted from the environment, especially around waterways and areas exposed to rat urine.

It may also be transmitted to people causing an equally serious disease called Weil’s disease.

Kennel Cough (Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis)
This is a highly contagious cough caused by a complex of both viral and bacterial infections. These infections cause inflammation of the dog’s voice box and windpipe resulting in a persistent dry cough. In some cases it can lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia or further lung damage.

Kennel cough can be spread through aerosols in the air, directly from dog to dog, or through germs on contaminated objects. Therefore if your dog is going into kennels or is in regular contact with other dogs we would recommend regular vaccinations

See passport section for more information

When do we vaccinate?

• Puppies should begin their vaccinations between 7 and 10 weeks of age. A second injection is given 2-4 weeks later to complete the course but the puppy must be at least 10 weeks old to receive their second vaccination.
Puppies should not be in contact with or allowed access to any place visited by unvaccinated dogs until 1 week after their second vaccination – we advise keeping your puppy in the house and/or your enclosed garden until then.

• Older dogs can be vaccinated at any age with two injections given 2-4 weeks apart.

• Thereafter, annual vaccinations are required to maintain immunity against these potentially fatal diseases.

At each annual vaccination your dog will receive a full health check up – this is important as early detection of diseases/conditions can prevent further suffering in the long term particularly as the dog ages

Worming your Dog

1. Intestinal Worms:

Dogs commonly harbour both roundworms and tapeworms. Most infected dogs do not show signs of having worms; however heavy burdens of worms can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea, and failure to thrive.

It is also important to be aware some worms can be passed to humans (young children in particular are at risk) and on rare occasions can cause serious disease in people. For these reasons, regular treatment of dogs to prevent or eliminate worms is very important.

Tapeworm can be transmitted to your dog through ingestion of raw meat or fleas (fleas carry tapeworm). Therefore if your dog has fleas or has access to raw meat then it is possible they also have a tapeworm infection and it is therefore vital to worm your pet regularly if they are at risk.

When and how often should I worm?

The frequency you treat your dog against worms depends on their many factors including age, lifestyle, and environment.

In general we recommend:

Puppies: Roundworms are extremely common in puppies, and can cause serious illness. As they can be infected before birth and from the mother’s milk, it should be assumed they all have worms and you should start worming at an early age.

They should be treated with an appropriate wormer, normally starting when they are 14-21 days old, continuing at fortnightly intervals until two weeks after weaning and then monthly treatments to six months of age.

Nursing bitches should be treated concurrently with the first treatment of their offspring since they may have patent infections.

Adolescent and Adult dogs: Deworming every three months is the general recommendation, any less than this will not effectively reduce the number of worm eggs in the environment. Monthly treatment with a suitable wormer will minimise the risk of patent infections ( that is where the dog is passing worm eggs in the stools) and can be recommended in high-risk scenarios such as the pet living in a family with small children and with access to gardens or parks.

If you prefer not to use a worming treatment regularly then monthly or three-monthly faecal examination may be an alternative.

However low numbers of worm eggs will be missed on such examinations so this method is not as reliable in preventing seeding of the environment with worm eggs.

Types of wormers:

There are many different worming products available and while worming products are available in the pet shop and supermarket these are often old or less effective products, some of which can be less safe particularly in cats.

Wormers can come in tablet or spot-on formulation (some of which are combined with a flea treatment) – not all of these treatments cover all types of worms.

We have several options available for parasite prevention in your dog available in our clinic – please contact us to discuss the best options for your pet.

2. Lungworm

snail and dogLungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) is a parasite that infects dogs. The adult lungworm lives in the heart and major blood vessels supplying the lungs where it causes many problems.

It is carried by slugs and snails, and dogs become infected through eating these common garden pests – usually accidentally through eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor bowls, or playing with their toys.

Infection with lungworm can cause serious health problems in dogs, and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Infected dogs also spread the parasite in their faeces which increases the chances of other dogs becoming infected.

Currently, lungworm is not common in County Kildare, but it is very common in some areas of Dublin. The pattern elsewhere is that it spreads gradually to surrounding areas so you need to be aware of the risks particularly if you have slugs or snails in your garden.

Signs of illness:

Lungworm infections can result in a number of different signs which may be easily confused with
other illnesses

– Breathing problems – coughing, tiring easily
– Poor blood clotting – excessive bleeding from minor cuts, anaemia, nose bleeds
– General sickness – weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea
– Behaviour change – depression, lethargy, seizures

Keeping your dog lungworm free:

1. Treatment:

If you think your dog may be showing any signs of lungworm please contact us for advice – early diagnosis and treatment is key to be successful.

2. Prevention:

If you think your dog is at risk then it is important to consider prevention:
– Pick up faeces from the garden to help prevent slugs and snails picking up larvae and perpetrating infections
– Clean food and water bowls daily – beware of feeding outside as slug/snail trails can infect the dog
– Only certain worming products are effective in preventing lungworm:

Advocate – this is a spot-on treatment which can be applied monthly to prevent lungworm infection. (Advocate also covers fleas so it can be a very cost effective way to manage both issues at
the same time)

Milbemax/Milpro – this is an oral wormer normally given every 3 months for roundworm/tapeworm. However if your dog is at risk of lungworm, then this wormer can be given monthly to prevent infection.

If you are travelling abroad please speak to us for advice on parasite prevention. With the exception
of the UK, Europe has many diseases which are spread by parasites which we do not have here in Ireland.

Please speak to us about how best to protect your pet when travelling abroad.


Please click the following link for more in-depth information on parasites and how to protect your pet both at home and in particular if travelling abroad:


Fleas are small brown insects that infest dogs and cats (and rabbits/ferrets). They are just visible to
the naked eye and they have strong legs that are adapted for jumping.


flea life cycleFleas spend their adult life on the dog or cat, rarely moving from one host to another and feeding by piercing the host’s skin and sucking blood. After feeding for 1-2 days female fleas begin to lay eggs – each flea is capable of producing 20-30 eggs per day!

Flea egg’s drop off the dog or cat into the environment, particularly in areas where the pet lies. After an interval that is temperature dependent, flea larvae hatch from the eggs and grow whilst feeding on debris.

When fully mature, the flea larvae pupate and metamorphose (change) into adult fleas. Pupae are generally found in the base of carpets as flea larvae migrate downwards and away from light.

The adult flea does not have to leave the pupal case immediately and can wait for several weeks until suitable environmental conditions are sensed. The summer months, or when central heating is on, are all key times when pupae hatch.

If each female flea can produce 20-30 flea eggs, all of which can develop into pupae and hatch out into new fleas, it is easy to see how a flea infestations can quickly develop!

How to tell if your pet has fleas:

flea droppingsThe best way to check if your pet has fleas is to comb their coat out with a fine tooth ‘flea comb’ over a clean white surface so that any fleas or ‘flea dirt’ (flea faeces is digested blood) will fall onto the surface.

Place any debris onto damp cotton wool – if there is flea dirt present they will dissolve slowly giving red-brown ‘halos’ around the debris. If you find these, it means your pet has fleas even if you can’t find an adult flea.

How do fleas affect pets?

• Flea bites are itchy and pet owners often report their pet is scratching particularly over their back and tail base
• Some cats and dogs can be allergic to flea bites and develop a severe itch which results in self trauma and damage to the skin. This is called ‘Flea Allergy Dermatitis’.
• Heavy infestations of blood sucking fleas can cause anaemia particularly in young kittens and puppies
• Fleas can carry the larval stage of the tapeworm which can infect your pet if they ingest the flea during grooming

How do fleas affect people?

• Fleas will bite people causing localised itching and soreness, The most common site for flea bites is around the feet and legs as these parts are most accessible for newly hatched fleas as they emerge from a pupa lodged in carpet.


Regular treatment of all pets with an insecticide to kill adult fleas will prevent a flea infestation but once you get fleas in your home then not only your pet needs treatment, but your home too.

1. Flea prevention:

• If you want to be certain your pet does not ever bring fleas into your home you need to use an effective flea treatment regularly. Depending on lifestyle some pets are at less risk of fleas than others – we are happy to discuss a treatment regime that would suit your individual pet’s needs
Most spot-on treatments only protect your dog for one month. Bravecto, a tablet for fleas, prevents fleas for 12 weeks.
Note: If your live in or walk your dog in an area where there are ticks we recommend Bravecto tablet every 12 weeks.

2. If you have a flea infestation:

The key to eliminating a flea infestation is to deal with all stages of the flea life cycle, not just the adult fleas on the pet. This means several products may be necessary to ensure successful flea control.

• Treat ALL pets with an effective treatment to kill adult fleas
• Regular vacuum cleaning of all carpets and furnishings will reduce, but not eliminate, flea numbers
• Wash all bedding above 60 degrees or dispose of it
• Use an environmental spray containing an insect growth regulator to kill eggs and larvae that are developing in the house. Pupae are extremely difficult to kill and will continue to hatch out for several weeks until their population is depleted (It is therefore normal to see fleas on your pet after treatment as new adult fleas continue to hatch out from pupae in the environment – these new fleas will be killed within 24 hours of contact with your treated pet.
• Allow treated pets access to all infested areas (areas which they were previously allowed).

This will encourage the pupae to hatch out and the new adult fleas will be killed by your pet.

We have several options available for parasite prevention in your dog available in our clinic – please contact us to discuss the best options for your pet.


Please click the following link for more in-depth information on parasites and how to protect your pet both at home and in particular if travelling abroad:

Bringing your dog in for a general anaesthetic / surgical procedure

Fasting: We will usually ask you not to give your dog any food after midnight, the night before the procedure.

It’s often useful to allow them a late night snack that night so they are not starved for an unnecessarily long time. In very young patients, it is better if they are not without food for more than 6 hours before the anaesthetic so we will give instructions depending on the planned timing of the procedure.

• Drinking: Allow free access to water (but no other fluids) at all times.

• When you come in Please keep dogs on a short lead. We will weigh your pet and we will ask you to fill in a consent form for the procedure.

dog with et tube under GAThis will include some important questions about your pet’s health and will take a few minutes to read and complete. Ensure we have a contact phone number for the day.

Please allow at least ten to fifteen minutes for hospital admission. Most procedures will be ‘day surgeries’ so we will usually be able to discharge your pet between 4 and 6 o’ clock the same day.

Please phone the clinic if your dog is particularly nervous or anxious, we will recommend that you stay with them for ten to fifteen minutes after they have had their pre medication injection.

They should then be a little drowsy and a lot less anxious when they are admitted. In these situations it is wise to budget at least half an hour for ‘drop off’.

Consider leaving an (unwashed) item of your clothing with your pet so they have the comfort of your scent while they are in hospital.

Neutering in Dogs


Neutering a female animal is referred to as spaying. Spaying or ovariohysterectomy involves removal of the womb and ovaries to prevent ‘heats’ and unwanted pregnancies.

shi tzu puppies• Prevents them from coming into season (usually happens approximately every 6 months) and becoming pregnant
(*Did you know? A female dog can have up to 12 puppies in a single litter!)
• Prevents false pregnancy – this commonly occurs in female dogs when, after a ‘heat’, the body (and sometimes her mind) think that she is pregnant. This can result in lethargy, inappetance, nausea and even milk production. They may even show nesting behaviours and gather toys into her bed to nurture. This period can be distressing for the pet and owner alike.
• Prevents pyometra (womb infection) – this is a life threatening condition in dogs in which the womb gradually fills up with pus which can eventually lead to septicaemia and death.
• Reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer – many older females develop mammary cancers which can be malignant or benign. These usually require surgery to remove to reduce the risk of spread around the body which can be life threatening. Spaying at a young age reduces the risk of mammary cancer dramatically.

• Spayed females need fewer calories than unneutered females – this does not mean that all spayed females should be allowed to become overweight! With the correct balance of exercise and nutrition we can easily maintain an optimal body condition

• Spayed females have a slightly higher risk of urinary incontinence in later life, though this can occur in unneutered females too. It is uncommon but usually can be managed very easily with medication.

When do I spay my dog?
We are happy to discuss the individual needs of your dog to decide the optimal time to spay her. In general we recommend:
• For small/medium breeds to be spayed at 6 months before their first season.
• For large breed dogs (>25kg) we usually wait until they are skeletally mature (approximately 1 year old)
• If your dog comes into season then the ideal time to spay her is 3 months later. This allows the hormones produced during her season to return to normal.



In view of the large numbers of unwanted dogs and dogs euthanased in rehiming centres every year, the number one reason to recommend routine castration of all male dogs is the prevention of breeding and unwanted puppies.

When dogs are carefully minded, so there is no chance of an unplanned mating (or of chasing sheep or cars.) then population control is a less important concern than is the health and welfare of each animal.

We therefore prefer to have a discussion about the pros and cons of castration for each individual as our recommendation on when or whether to castrate will vary depending on the breed, age, temperament and circumstances of each dog. This discussion will typically be at the free six month old puppy health check appointment.

Castration and health

anaesthetised boxerRecent research suggests that castration might increase the risk of some health problems in male dogs (e.g. weight gain, certain cancers, cruciate rupture) while it reduces the risk of others (e.g. testicular tumours, prostate enlargement). There is not currently enough evidence to know how reiable these findings are.

It may be necessary to castrate your dog later in life if he develops prostatic enlargement, prostatiis or testicular tumours. This is generally curative.

Castration and Behaviour

This information is provided by the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.

Castration involves removal of both testes, the main source of testosterone in males. Testosterone acts as a behaviour modulator: it does not directly cause behaviours, but increases the likelihood that certain behaviours will occur, including:

• Escaping/roaming to find in-season bitches
• Urine marking
• Confident aggression to other male dogs
• Excessive mounting of bedding, people, other dogs

Testosterone can also influence other behavioural traits, increasing:

• “Risk-taking” behaviours: entire animals may be more likely to engage in a risky situation rather than withdrawing.
• Arousal and intensity of aggression shown during a conflict: entire males tend to become aroused more quickly, show higher arousal levels and remain aroused for longer than castrated males.
• “Self-confidence”: research in other species suggests that testosterone is associated with confidence and castration with an increase in fearfulness/anxiety. This has not been adequately researched in dogs.
• Interest in other dogs, especially bitches, making it harder to get their focus when working/training.

The longer term effects of castration before puberty compared to afterwards on the development of social behaviour in male dogs have not been fully evaluated and again, more research is needed before we can assess this more accurately.

Whether or not castration will affect the likelihood of a dog showing a particular behaviour will depend on a number of things including:

• Whether or not that behaviour is influenced by testosterone: many problem behaviours are not influenced by testosterone at all, and some of those that are, such as mounting or urine marking, can occur for other reasons including frustration or anxiety.

• How long the dog has been showing the problem behaviour: learning increases the likelihood of a dog continuing to show a particular behaviour after castration.

Castration most likely to be beneficial in:

Dogs showing behaviours that are likely to be influenced by testosterone esp:

◦ Escaping/ roaming/ distractibility due to nearby in-season bitches
◦ Indoor urine marking
◦ Confident aggression to other male dogs (particularly entire males)
◦ Excessive mounting of bedding, people, other dogs

NB: castration can reduce the severity of these behaviours but may not completely eliminate them; behaviour modification may also be needed.

Castrating sooner rather than later should reduce the effect learning has in maintaining behaviours longer term, and castration before puberty should reduce the likelihood of these problems occurring, although it does not always prevent them altogether.

• Dogs that live with or near entire bitches and become very frustrated when they are in season and/or if there is any risk of unwanted mating.

Castration MAY be beneficial in:

• Aggression between two entire male dogs that live together: castration of one or possibly both of the dogs can potentially help to reduce tension between them but ONLY if done alongside BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION, and ONLY after the dogs have been assessed carefully by a qualified behaviourist before castration is considered.

• Dogs showing aggression that does not seem to be motivated by fear, but ONLY if done alongside BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION to address the reason why the dog is showing aggression (advise behaviour consult before castration).

Castration unlikely to be beneficial (or detrimental) in dogs showing:

• Unruly, over-excitable adolescent behaviours: these will respond better to reward-based training and appropriate mental and physical stimulation.

• Inappropriate predatory, hunting or herding behaviours e.g. chasing inappropriate targets, digging etc.

Castration could potentially be detrimental in dogs that are generally fearful/unconfident or specifically fearful of unfamiliar people, places and being handled:

There are many anecdotal reports of fearful dogs becoming even more fearful after castration. This could be related to the effect of losing testosterone on their self-confidence, although more research is needed to verify this. This could also occur as a result of aversive experiences associated with castration itself.

• These dogs might benefit from being left entire if showing no testosterone-related behaviour problems, and if unwanted mating can be reliably prevented.
• If castration is necessary for behavioural reasons or to prevent unwanted mating, behaviour modification to reduce fearfulness should ideally be implemented first.
• Care should be taken to make the experience of being castrated as minimally aversive as possible for a fearful dog:

What to do if you are not sure whether to castrate or not?

Deslorelin (Suprelorin, Virbac) is currently the best reversible indicator of the effect of castration and can be used to assess the potential behavioural effects of surgical castration from 4-6 weeks post-implantation.

NB Testosterone initially increases for 2 weeks after implantation and then falls to post-castration levels after 4-6 weeks.

Caroline Warnes BVSc MSc CCAB MRCVS May 2015
References available on request:

A microchip is a tiny computer chip about the size of a grain of rice which contains a unique microchip number.

microchip dogThis number can be read by a scanner. The microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades.

No anaesthetic is needed – the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard injection and we routinely microchip puppies and kittens with their initial vaccination course.

How does it work?
The microchip contains a unique 15 digit number – this can be read by a microchip scanner. The vet can then check the database for the unique number and get the owner’s contact details.

Who has a scanner?
All veterinary clinics and most local authorities and animal welfare/rescue centres have a scanner. If a stray dog/cat is found and they have a microchip they can be returned to the owner easily

Why microchip?
Microchipping is a successful way of reuniting owners with lost or stolen pets. Microchipping is far more effective and permanent than identification methods such as dog tags which can fade or fall off, or tattoos which can be altered and which are more painful for the dogs.

It is also now the law to microchip your dog – this was introduced to relieve the pressure on animal charities and dog pounds by significantly reducing the amount of time they need to house dogs while the owner is located.

It will also protect the welfare of dogs by promoting responsible dog ownership. It can also be used to locate owners where a dog has been involved in worrying livestock or other crimes.

The law:
All dogs born after June 1st 2015 must be microchipped and registered with a government approved database before they are 12 weeks of age or before they leave their birth home.

It is compulsory for all dogs older than this to be microchipped by March 2016. You must have a certificate of registration for your dog which you will receive from the database once you are registered. Your details must be kept up to the date and the database must be informed if your dog changes ownership.

Currently approved databases meeting the requirements are as follows:
• Fido
• Animark
• Irish Coursing Club
• Irish Kennel Club

If you are unsure if your pet is microchipped or if your pet is registered with a government approved database then please call us at the clinic and we will be more than happy to check for you and help you make sure everything is in order.

How to avoid catches on Pet Insurance

Nobody likes to think of their pet being unwell or getting injured, but as with humans, accidents can happen and pets can get sick.

It’s a worrying fact that in an average year, one pet in three will require veterinary treatment for some form of illness or accident. Therefore, when something goes wrong it is nice to know that you can concentrate on caring for your pet without worrying about the cost of treatment.

puppiesWhen buying your pet insurance, take the time to choose the right policy because if you buy the wrong policy it can be very difficult to change to a better product later on. Here’s how to choose the right policy:

1. Buy insurance while your pet is young and in good health – if you wait until your pet is older or has developed any health problems you may struggle to get cover and/or end up paying more. Also, many insurers won’t accept pets over seven years old.

2. Get a policy that pays out throughout your pet’s lifetime – Some policies will exclude conditions after one year from first diagnosis – this is not very helpful if your pet has any chronic illness such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or skin infections.

There are 3 types of insurance policies:
– Lifetime cover is the most expensive option but offers the best benefits. Your pet is covered for its entire lifetime for any illness or injury, up to a maximum amount each year.

– Maximum benefit also allows you to claim for ongoing illnesses year after year but there is a preset limit to the total amount that will be covered for each condition.

– Twelve month policies will only allow you to claim for any one condition for twelve months after the condition is first noticed.

Other things to be aware of when choosing an insurance policy:
– ‘Normal’ fees aren’t included – Insurance won’t cover routine things such as vaccinations, microchipping, neutering and pregnancy.

– Vaccinations must be kept up to date – While insurance doesn’t cover your pet’s vaccinations, you’ll need to keep these up to date. If you don’t, and your pet gets an illness it should have been vaccinated against, you won’t be covered.

– Consider third party liability – this only applies for dogs but it is important to realise you are liable for any accidents or injuries they cause.

Pet passports

These days, taking your pet on holiday with you is much easier, especially if you’re travelling within Europe, Canada, the US and a selection of other listed countries.

What you need to know:

pet passport1. Your pet needs an ISO standard identification microchip. This can be done any time before a rabies vaccination or even on the same day, but it must be before the vaccination.

2. Rabies vaccination. The microchip will be read immediately before vaccination so that it’s all recorded. A rabies vaccination can be carried out once your pet is 12 weeks of age

3. A passport can usually be issued at the vaccination appointment. But your pet can’t travel until 21 days after the rabies vaccination has been administered.

4. Additionally for dogs, before travelling back into Ireland from mainland EU they will need to be seen by a vet 1-5 days prior to re-entry to be given a tapeworm treatment, and this will need to be recorded on their passport. This is to prevent entry of a specific tapeworm (Echinococcus multilocularis) into Ireland that is widespread in certain parts of Europe and, whilst harmless to dogs, can infect humans causing serious illness and even death. Ireland is free of this disease, and we want to keep it that way!

5. To further protect animal and human health and welfare, it is also strongly recommended that your pet be treated for ticks at the same time as the tapeworm treatment.

6. There is no requirement for tapeworm treatment for dogs travelling between Ireland and the UK as both countries are free of this parasite, but your pet does still need a Pet Passport and rabies vaccination to go to/from the UK.

Travel from Rest of World

The rules for travelling into Ireland (and the rest of the EU) from certain ‘low-risk‘ non-EU countries are the same as above – microchip identification, rabies vaccination at least 21 days prior to entry and tape-worm treatment 1-5 days prior to entry (as well as the recommended tick treatment).

If you want to bring a pet dog or cat into Ireland from any other ‘high-risk’ countries (i.e. all others apart from those on the ‘low-risk‘ list) then your pet will also have to have a blood test done at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination to ensure the vaccine has been effective, and can only travel back to Ireland 3 months after the date of the blood test.

Dogs will also require tapeworm treatment as above. Again the most up-to-date information regarding the requirements is available on the Department of Agriculture website.

Travel to Rest of World

The general principle is that the importing country sets the rules, so it is best to consult with their embassy or Department of Agriculture for the exact requirements.

If for example you wish to bring your pet to Australia you will need to consult with the Australian authorities who will send on all the required information on what you need to arrange and have done prior to travel.

Below are links to the relevant governmental website sections of each country listed:

Australia –
New Zealand –
Canada –
United States –

Diseases Abroad

When you’re abroad, remember that a Pet Passport is designed to protect human health rather than your pet’s. So we recommend taking a few extra steps to guard your pet from any exotic diseases that can be transmitted from animal to animal.

We strongly advise tick prevention while travelling due to the risk of serious tick-borne disease, such as Babesia and Ehrlichia, which are not currently in this country. Heartworm and Leishmania are present in some parts of Europe. Ask us about disease risks and the best treatments before you travel.

Keeping the passport up to date

Following the first vaccination, the passport will have a ‘valid until’ date. To keep the passport up to date, a rabies booster vaccination must be given on or before that expiry date. We cannot guarantee a rabies vaccination reminder, so please put a note in your diary to have it administered in time.

If you miss the revaccination date, even by one day, the 21-day rule will be re-applied before you can travel again. The vaccine we use currently requires boosters at least every 3 years.

Long stays abroad

If a pet stays in another country for more than a certain period of time, it may become subject to that country’s rules. That may mean rabies vaccinations are required more frequently. We recommend registering with a local vet.

Rules for particular breeds

Certain breeds of dog, classed as dangerous dogs, may be forbidden entry to certain countries. For some countries this includes Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Bengal cats require documentation proving that they are status F5 or beyond and a certified pedigree certificate.