Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Spain for the winter
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Some updated info on this long running topic. The decision to take your dog or cat to Southern Europe is an individual one which must be made based on the individual circumstances but for info.
We have brought our 2 dogs to Spain for the first time in January. In addition to the passport we have a very good vet who went through all the additional diseases listed in this thread in detail.
We are aware there is still a risk and on his advice use the following routine.
1. 2 weeks before departure - applied frontline, wormed with milbax and fitted a scalibor collar to both dogs. (Collars can be purchased on line from Vet.co.uk for as little as £9)
2. In Spain we frontline and milbax EVERY MONTH - not a problem according to our vet. Also they always wear the scalibor collar
3. Weekly we also spray legs, ears and tail with frontline spray
4. We try not to walk them near any 'marsh' type areas where there is likely to be stagnant water - sometimes you will just not know until you are upon an area in which case we do not dwell there.
5. We do not walk the dogs at dawn and try to avoid dusk as well
6. Dogs always sleep in the motorhome at night not in our awning.
7. whilst it is tempting and natural to allow your dog to interact with every dog it meets be selective and always avoid the stray dogs. (Although this can be very upsetting to those dogs lovers among us who naturally want to show kindness to abandoned dogs)
We have recently visited a very good vet in Oliva - La Safor (located in the Town centre and speaks very good English) for a minor problem who has also explained the' new vaccine' against Leichmaliasis that has been available sine Feb. Made by 'Virbac' - a brand most dog owners will recognize. Tested in Portugal which has the highest concentration of this disease. Similar to rabies the vaccine involves a blood test and an injection initially. this is then followed by 2 further injections at 3 week intervals ( 3 injections over a 6 week period). Unlike rabies though this needs to be boosted annually.
Although there has been good success with this vaccine, the vet still advocated the vaccination alone was not a replacement for the additional precautions our English vet had already advocated.
During this long running post there have been many examples of people who regularly take their pets abroad and never have a problem and in contrast those who unfortunately have not been so lucky.
So if you are thinking of taking your dog on your travels be aware of, and informed about the risks from professionals.
Consider the financial costs of various protections. ( I believe the new vaccine may not yet be readily available in the UK because the disease Leichmaliasis has luckily not yet reached our shores,)
Without a doubt there is a real problem in Southern Europe with this disease but it should not stop you travelling with your pet - just be an informed owner