Since the beginning of this year it has become easier to take your pet abroad to mainland Europe. Your cat or dog has to have a rabies vaccination and a passport but it is important to remember that your responsibility to your pet’s health doesn’t stop there. There are diseases on the continent which we do not see in the UK, which can be very serious for pets and humans, and which can be prevented by simple steps.
1 Leishmaniosis is spread to dogs through the bites of infected sand flies. It is endemic in countries in southern Europe, including Spain, Southern France and Italy, where 2.5 million dogs are already believed to be infected with the parasite. It is spreading northwards as more people travel with their dogs or import infected animals from endemic areas. There is a new vaccination against this disease and alongside it, the other preventative measures available are fly repellent ‘spot-on’ preparations and collars and keeping your dog in at dawn and dusk – the times of the day when the sand fly is most active. The disease is also transmissible to humans.
2 Heartworm is a worm that can cause severe heart and respiratory problem, it is spread by mosquitoes so can be prevented by repellents as above and there is a pill that acts as prevention too.
3 Ticks can spread a variety of infectious diseases, they are prevented by anti-parasitic preparations
4 Tapeworms, in particular one called Echinococcus which is a potentially fatal infection and can be spread to humans.
If you are planning on taking your pet abroad it is worth talking to us well in advance so we can help make the trip safer, Withy Grove Veterinary Clinic will be producing an ‘all in one’ offer for all these measures for 2013.