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For pets to qualify for a passport they have to do the following:

  1. Be fitted with a microchip before its rabies vaccination. This is so it can be identified.
  2. Have a rabies vaccine given.
  3. Following the initial release of a PETS passport there is a 21 day wait before entry or re-entry into the UK is allowed.
  4. Before hand, it may be worth checking any additional requirements that you may need as some countries you will be travelling through or to will require an export health certificate.
  5. The animal must be treated against tapeworm one to five days before the return crossing to the UK, and even though there is no mandatory tick treatment preventative measures are still being recommended, (see diseases below.)
  6. On re-entry to the UK you are also likely to sign a declaration stating that your pet has not been outside any of the qualifying countries before re-entering the UK.

For anyone wishing to travel to an unlisted third country then please contact the surgery for more details as different rules will apply and these passports can take uo to a minium of three months. We also advise that you visit the defra website for the full information.

Other things to check before you go include the approved transport companies and authorised routes for travel. Do you have pet insurance? Is your accommodation pet-friendly? What breed of dog do you own, some countries vary with breeds to what they class under the dangerous dog act.

For further information visit



Or telephone Pets Health Line 08702411710


Tick and insect-borne diseases

Leishmaniasis: This is an infectious disease transmitted by sandflies. It has a variable incubation period; sometimes symptoms can take years to develop. The disease is a chronic one with periods of relapse and remission. Clinical signs include hair and weight loss, dermatitis, diseased eyes, liver and kidneys. If it is not treated then the disease is fatal, but at the same time it unfortunately incurable. There is now a vaccine available for leishmaniasis, as well as the spot-on and collar type preparations that you can purchase from the vets. This disease is of particular concern as it is also zoonotic (can be transmitted from animal to human). Leishmaniasis is found along the Mediterranean coasts, South America, the Middle East and the tropics.

Dirofilariasis (heartworm): This disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. The animal is infected with third-stage larva, which then grow into adult worms that migrate to the heart and lungs, therefore causing breathing difficulties and heart failure. However, heavy or long-term infestations may result in sudden death. This whole process can take about six months and clinical signs may not become evident for a year or so. Again there is no vaccine but by using a repellent that you can purchase from the vets you can prevent this disease. Heartworm disease is common in the Mediterranean regions.

Babesiosis: Babesiosis is transmitted by ticks. Clinical signs include fever, weakness, anaemia and lethargy. Sudden death can occur. Animals which survive the initial infection usually remain subclinically infected and can suffer stress induced relapses. Treatment is difficult and rarely curative, therefore prevention and control of the disease relies on control of the tick vector. It is found throughout Europe and in adjacent countries, being particularly prevalent in France.

Ehrlichiosis: This disease is spread again by the tick. It can be acute in onset, when it is often fatal, or develop into chronic illness. Most dogs will not survive, however healthy carriers can also exist. Clinical signs are fever, anorexia, dyspnoea, oedema, vomiting, nose bleeds and neurological signs. Prevention relies on tick control. Ehrlichiosis can be found in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Hepatozoonosis: Another disease spread by ticks. Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, weight loss, anaemia and kidney and lung disease. Prevention again is with tick control. This disease can be found in Southern Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.