Pet passports for pet: what do you need to know. Pete the Vet on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show

To listen to this week’s click on the link at the foot of this page.

Pet passports

It’s simple to travel  to another European country, but it has to be done properly.

  1. Dogs and cats to be microchipped.
    This is the easiest aspect, as many have already been microchipped as young animals (eg all dogs in Ireland must be ) If this has been done the vet simply has to scan his chip and make sure that it is registered properly.
  2. They need a vaccination against Rabies.
    Most of Europe is classified as rabies-free, but the disease is still commonly seen on the African continent. As part of European pet travel legislation, all pet dogs need to be vaccinated against rabies before travelling across any European Union border.This ensures that if there ever was any sort of outbreak of rabies in Europe, it could not be spread by dogs travelling from country to country. So all dogs and cats need to have a vaccination against rabies, given at least three weeks before travelling. The vaccine lasts for three years.
  3. The issuing of a pet passport.
    This is a formal document, similar in appearance to a human European passport, but blue in colour rather than mauve. Pet passports used to be issued directly by the Department of Agriculture, but these days, vets stock them in their own clinics, and are authorized to issue them directly. The passport contains important information about the animal (microchip number, details of rabies vaccination, and Owner’s name and address), and there are also pages to officially record the administration of medications. Before the pet comes back to Ireland from overseas, they need to visit a local vet to be given a special dose of worm medication to prevent exotic worms from being introduced into the Irish dog population, and the appropriate section in the pet passport will need to be filled in.

As well as the pet passport, owners need to talk to their own vet to make sure that their pets are protected at the more exotic health risks that may be encountered overseas: ticks that carry blood-borne diseases, mosquitoes that can carry a type of heartwork, and sandflies that can carry Leismaniasis, a microscopic bug. Simple measures, including anti-parasite medication, can reduce the risk of these problems.

How often should you wash a dog

  • If they are dirty (rolling in mud)
  • If they are smelly (roilling in poo)
  • If they have skin disease (up to twice weekly)

What should you use to wash a dog

  • Dog shampoo should always be used as human shampoo is too drying and has the wrong pH
  • Medicated shampoos should be used as per instructions … they contain ingredients like antibacterial and anti yeast and soothing antiinflammatory medication. Generally they need to be left on for 10 mins before rinsing.

Questions from listeners

  • We have a 3 yr old female Cocker Spaniel, we found a lump on one of her teats, it must have appeared over the last few weeks or we would have noticed it. The vet is removing it and sending it for Biopsy as he thinks it may be breast cancer and is worried as she is so young. Is this normal in such a young dog?
  • My 12 year old jack Russell was recently treated for pancreatitis and responded very well. She is on royal canin special diet low fat tinned food. She doesn’t love it and I have to liquidize it and feed her by syringe. Is there any other low fat food I can give her as a change now and again i.e Boiled chicken or White Fish which I know she will eat?
  • I’m really worried about my 7 year old jack russell. Since 3am this morning she is up constantly swallowing & licking all types of surfaces. She’s an indoor dog very healthy & on a good food. She has no opportunity to ingest anything. What is causing her to do this please?
  • Last week you said that it was an awful idea to get sibling pups as they mature around two years and will kill each other with little to be done to prevent it !! We have 1 year old cockatoo pups (both male) and brothers and thought it was a great idea as they have tremendous fun and are great company for each other. They also have completely different temperaments and there is a more dominant pup (called Bear) who is larger but lazier and a smaller bouncier and forever trying to escape pup called Teddy. Please advise as it is unthinkable to think they may kill each other as they are very much part of the family and very very loved. Karina
  • My dog was licking in between her toes the other evening, it was almost obsessive and only on the one paw. I couldn’t find any irritant, and I hosed it out but it didn’t relieve it so I used sudocream. It seemed to relieve it for her – but is sudocream ok for pets?
  • Is baby shampoo ok to wash the dog in?
  • I have a 1 year old collie, is it possible for me to brush her teeth? They’re in good nick but starting to build up a bit of tartar. Can I use baby toothpaste and a super soft toothbrush on her?

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