Paw cor­ner

Island Life - - Contents - With Dr. Karin O'con­nor from Port Vila Vet Clinic

With Dr. Karin O’con­nor from Port Vila Vet Clinic.

It’s that time of year when many peo­ple are fin­ish­ing con­tracts and leav­ing Van­u­atu. So…….what do we do with the fam­ily pet? With a lit­tle care­ful plan­ning you can take your pet back with you to al­most any coun­try in the world. Some coun­tries have min­i­mum re­quire­ments and it is fairly straight for­ward, while for oth­ers it can be a dif­fi­cult process. How­ever dur­ing the last 12 months we helped many an­i­mals fly or sail out of Van­u­atu to their new homes in Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Eng­land, Canada, Malaysia, New Cale­do­nia, France, Thai­land, Viet­nam and USA.THE most com­mon mis­take peo­ple make is leav­ing it to the last minute be­fore de­cid­ing that they re­ally want to take their beloved pet back with them! Please al­low at least 8-12 weeks plan­ning time be­cause there are a few very im­por­tant steps that need to be taken. Firstly, all dogs and cats go­ing to another coun­try must be up to date with their vac­ci­na­tions. These are the an­nual vac­ci­na­tion against Par­vovirus, Hep­ati­tis, Dis­tem­per, Parain­fluenza, Bor­datella for dogs and Fe­line flu and En­teri­tis for cats. These vac­ci­na­tions need to be done more than two weeks and less than 12 months be­fore you go. In ad­di­tion, any an­i­mals fly­ing to Europe, USA or Ja­pan must have an ad­di­tional vac­ci­na­tion against ra­bies. Many other coun­tries also re­quire a vac­ci­na­tion against a dis­ease called lep­tospiro­sis. All an­i­mals go­ing over­seas re­quire iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in the form of ei­ther a mi­crochip or ear tat­too. The mi­crochip is a rel­a­tively sim­ple and very ef­fec­tive form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion which can be done at the vet­eri­nary clinic. Once the mi­crochip is in­serted a scan­ner is used to en­sure that it is in the right place and read­ing cor­rectly. This will re­main as iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of your pet for the rest of their life. Aus­tralia and New Zealand are the most com­mon coun­tries that we send pets to from Van­u­atu. Both coun­tries now only have a ten day quar­an­tine pe­riod if all the cor­rect pro­ce­dures are fol­lowed. How­ever both coun­tries have very strict reg­u­la­tions about tick con­trol. If any ticks are found on your dog when it ar­rives in the coun­try the author­i­ties will do ex­tra blood tests and ex­tend the quar­an­tine time. Blood tests and treat­ments against in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal par­a­sites need to be done at spe­cific times ac­cord­ing to the par­tic­u­lar coun­try’s reg­u­la­tions. For ex­am­ple, Aus­tralia re­quires most blood tests to be done within 21 days of de­par­ture, while New Zealand re­quires only 16 days for some of its blood tests and up to 30 days for oth­ers. Quar­an­tine in these coun­tries is very strict and if these re­quire­ments are not met your pet will not be al­lowed into the coun­try. If you de­cide that you can­not bring your an­i­mal back with you and you want to re­home it here in Van­u­atu, you will need to al­low plenty of time to find a good home. A bit of plan­ning can help you get a great home for your dog or cat, things such as no­ti­fy­ing the vet clinic at least three months be­fore you go, email­ing all of your friends, shar­ing it on Face­book, etc. Get the word out as much as you can! O bvi­ously the health­ier your dog or cat is, the eas­ier it will be to find a new home so make sure your pet is up to date with its vac­ci­na­tions, worm­ing, heart­worm and flea treat­ments. A de-sexed an­i­mal is also al­ways eas­ier to re­home, as no-one wants to have to deal with some­one else’s preg­nant dog or cat. The best ap­proach is to make the de­ci­sion of whether you will be tak­ing or leav­ing your pet at least two or three months be­fore leav­ing and act ac­cord­ingly. If ex­port­ing, please bring your pet to the Vet Clinic to do all the nec­es­sary vac­ci­na­tions, mi­crochip­ping and work out a time line for the next vis­its based on the de­par­ture date. It is eas­ier than you think, with the cor­rect plan­ning!

Nico, Chillie and Scoo­bie.

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