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More cases of ‘travel’ diseases reported


Concerned at the rising number of pets returning from trips abroad infected with diseases such as Leishmaniosis and Babesiosis, the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation has relaunched its advisory leaflet ‘Taking your pets abroad - your guide to diseases encountered abroad’. Vets in the UK are dealing with more pets infected by these diseases than ever before.

The leaflet advises owners wishing to travel with their pets of things they can do to minimise the chances of their pets becoming infected. Prevention is always better than a cure, and as some diseases can appear cured but hide within the organs of the body, such as the spirochetes from infected tick bites, which will then reappear in times of stress or illness of the pet it is certainly better to know that the pet is well protected.

The leaflet outlines some of the more common diseases that pets might encounter when travelling abroad, and stresses the importance of seeing a vet on return to the UK if the pet appears to be unwell in any way after arriving home.

"Travelling with your pet needs careful planning well in advance” explained Carl Padgett, a veterinary surgeon and Chairman of the BVA AWF Trustees. “For example, to comply with rabies regulations owners need to get their pet vaccinated and then blood sampled to check that adequate immunity has developed. Six full months must then pass before the pet would be allowed to come back to the UK following a trip abroad.”

“We would therefore encourage pet owners to make good use of this time to research the possible health problems associated with their holiday destination, both for them and their pet, and to ensure that pets and people alike are then protected against the various diseases they could encounter”.

The ‘Taking your pets abroad’ leaflet is available to download from the BVA AWF website at www.bva-awf.org.uk or by writing to the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation (BVA AWF), 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ