Holidaying abroad

Vets in the UK are no longer allowed to issue or amend EU pet passports. If you wish to travel to the EU with your pet (including Northern Ireland) you may need an Animal Health Certificate, known as an AHC. Further information about these can be found here.

It is important to think about additional diseases that your dog may be at risk of while abroad:


Travelling to the Mediterranean might expose your pet to this severe, often fatal disease which is spread by sand fly bites. The sand fly season begins in May and ends in September.

Signs of the disease are variable and may take several years to manifest. Affected dogs may have a fever, show signs of hair loss (particularly around the eyes), lose weight and develop skin sores and nail disease. Over time, many organs may become involved, leading to problems like anaemia and kidney disease.

Treatment may be quite complex and often non-curative, so preventative treatment is recommended.

Preventative treatment can be obtained from your vet prior to your holiday.


Most prevalent in the Mediterranean area and hot countries, the larvae of this worm (which eventually resides in the heart) are present in the blood stream and can be transferred to an unaffected dog via a mosquito bite.

Signs which include a soft cough, tiredness, weakness, loss of weight and condition may take several years to manifest. Eventually heart failure may occur.

Preventative treatment can be obtained from your vet prior to your holiday.


Also called Lyme disease, it is caused by a parasite commonly found in the Mediterranean area and in hot countries.

The parasite is spread by ticks and destroys the red blood cells causing anaemia and jaundice. Susceptible dogs can die within a couple of days.

It is vital to protect your dog from ticks so check its coat every day, while abroad and at home. Your veterinary surgeon can prescribe a special Anti-parasite that can help prevent infestation.


This infection is also spread by a tick that is prevalent in the Mediterranean basin and Rhone Valley. Signs include fever, severe depression, weight loss, anaemia, swollen glands and bleeding problems. e.g. nosebleeds. It is vital to check your dog for ticks, so check its coat every day.

Anti-parasites can help prevent infestation.

There are many more tick-borne diseases. Please ask your vet for advice.