Overseas travel with pet is a challenge

There's money to be made in scooping poop

We’re planning a trip to England and we’d like to take our dog,
Winston. The airline advised us that he needs a health certificate.
They also said he might need extra vaccines. What’s with all
that?
Q: We’re planning a trip to England and we’d like to take our dog, Winston. The airline advised us that he needs a health certificate. They also said he might need extra vaccines. What’s with all that?

A:

Overseas travel with your pet can be challenging, mainly because some countries have strict requirements that include blood tests and vaccinations. England is very careful with regards to rabies control. Blood tests and inoculations must be done according to a rather tight schedule (there’s a small window of time during which a blood test for rabies must be taken). Problem is, these requirements change from time to time.

It’s important that you follow the rules carefully. Otherwise, Winston may be refused entry. To start, you should contact the British Consulate to get the latest regulations. Don’t procrastinate! Some testing must be done many months before travel. So you’ll need plenty of time to plan all that’s necessary for an enjoyable adventure across the pond.

Q:

There is no 24-hour emergency clinic in South County. At the moment, we have to drive either to San Jose or to Santa Cruz. Why can’t we get emergency care around here?

A:

Until about 15 years ago, many local veterinarians took care of their client’s emergencies, answering calls and seeing patients day or night. But that practice was discontinued for a variety of reasons. First, it became difficult to staff a hospital; most people found it difficult to do nighttime emergency work, followed by a 10-hour day shift. In addition, there were some cloudy legal issues that discouraged many of us from offering emergency service. Vets were advised that someone had to be on the premises at all times if 24-hour care was advertised.

Several attempts to start an emergency service have failed. I spoke with several individuals interested in this, and I was told that demographic studies show that there might not be enough business to support an emergency small animal hospital. Cost of construction is part of it. But I wonder, like so many of you: With the large pet population in this area, don’t you think an emergency clinic could be successful?

At least Sunday service is available. There is an animal hospital in San Martin and one in Morgan Hill that hold office hours on Sundays. Who knows? Maybe they’ll expand their services to include 24-hour care. We can only hope.

Q:

My daughter decided she wants to get two rabbits. I’m worried about the heat. Is there an easy way to protect them from severe heat, other than using an air conditioner?

A:

Rabbits can be very sensitive to heat. But caring for them isn’t all that difficult. Here are two ways to prevent your bunnies from suffering in the heat without building an air-conditioned room and spending a lot of money.

Water misters release a cool spray. And with a fan blowing through the area, you can cool a rabbit pen to a very comfortable temperature. This cooling technique is used at many fairs and other rabbit shows. Spray misters are available at most hardware stores.

Here’s an even simpler idea. You can freeze water-filled plastic bottles (two-liter soda bottles work great) overnight and put these in the cage during the day. They slowly thaw during the day. Run a fan to move air through the area and this will keep most bunnies comfortable.

South County lost a good friend last month. Huck Hagenbuch was active in the community, even writing a column in the Gilroy Dispatch for years. Many years ago, he urged me to write this column. Huck smiled through adversity, and made others smile as well. Thanks, old friend, for all you did for all of us.

Leave your comments