Friday, January 05, 2007

A Dog Can't Leave Italy without a Health Test

Americans living in Naples who want to fly their dogs home on commercial airliners must first get their pets tested for leishmaniasis, a disease spread by the bite of an infected sand fly, before a pet passport will be issued, officials said. The law is an effort to curtail the spread of the sometimes-fatal illness to other countries. The sand fly thrives in the heat and has been a problem for troops serving in the Middle East. Leishmaniasis affects the skin; the mouth, nose and throat and which can disfigure; and the internal organs. Left untreated it can be fatal. Symptoms in dogs include hair loss on the rims of the ears or scaling and crusting of skin on their noses, Price said.Dogs should wear what is called a Scalibor collar between the peak season of April through October. The collars are available at Italian pharmacies and at the base vet clinic. Dogs infected with the disease should wear the collars year-round.
It’s better to treat infected dogs in Europe because diagnosis and treatment are more effective than in the States, where the disease is not as prevalent.
Cats don’t seem to be attacked by sand flies and do not require the test. Learn more about it here.

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