Taking your pet on holiday abroad?
Now that the sun has arrived it has come to that time of year when most of us want to go on holiday. Some of us, with our pets!
Before you jet off I would like to bring some new recommendations, with regard to travelling in Europe, to your attention.
It is well known that a rabies vaccination must be given at least 3 weeks before travel and repeated every 3 years, and that tapeworm treatment must be given 24-120 hours (1-5 days) before your return to the UK. However did you know that if the tapeworm treatment is given more than 48 hours before your return there is a chance that your pet may become re-infected prior to your return home?
It is also recommended that tapeworm treatment be given…
- monthly during your holiday,
- given one month before you leave and
- continued for 1 month following your return.
Also if you are travelling to an area known to be endemic for Sandfly (Southern Europe + Alps) then we would recommend you minimise contact between your pet and these insects because they can carry a disease called Leishmania. There is a vaccination which can prevent disease and involves a course of three injections, each 4 weeks apart, but it does not prevent the flies biting.
To reduce the chance of infection we recommend…
- using a fly repellent collar such as a Scalibor (the only collar licensed to repel sandflies, and also ticks) and attaching it 1 week before you travel,
- using commercial house fly sprays,
- avoiding stagnant water, and
- keeping your pet indoors at dawn and dusk
Ticks are also a big menace all across Europe and can spread several diseases. Fortunately we do not have some of these species in the UK but we are seeing more of them. Now I’m sure you will have heard us drone on that removing them within 24 hours minimises the chance of them transferring disease. This is still true BUT… there is new information that some diseases can pass from the tick’s saliva in to your pet in under 3 hours! You can use tweezers or a tick hook to remove them but the hook is easier.
Recommendations for removing Ticks
- Tick Hook – Slide hook under body, twist and lift gently. Ensure all legs and mouthparts have been removed
- Tweezers – DO NOT TWIST – Grab tick as near its head as possible and pluck quickly. Avoid crushing the tick as it will release more saliva when stressed.
- BORING AND BROWN IS FINE – If it has pretty patterns on its body take a photo and come and show us as it is more likely to be carrying something nasty
Finally, not all parasites carry diseases so don’t let it ruin your holiday but do get it checked out, especially if your pet seems unwell.