LAPORTE, CO--(Marketwired - Aug 27, 2013) - LaPorte Animal Clinic announces that its veterinarian, Dr. Marta Dean, has recently updated her accreditation status with the USDA for animal health certificates, in accordance with the new USDA regulations. This allows her to issue health certificates for large or small animals that are taking trips, including animals going to other countries. (Dr. Andrew Dean's accreditation status is still current and will be updated in the fall when needed.)
Obtaining a proper health certificate for an animal to travel between states, or countries can be a simple or a lengthy process, depending on the species of animal and where they are going. Transporting birds, for example, or exotic pets involves very different requirements than for dogs. Costs for health certificates may vary, depending on the costs of required blood tests, and whether the certificate is for domestic or international travel.
For most travel within the United States, health certificates for small animals and horses must be obtained from an accredited veterinarian within 10 days before departure. The veterinarian at the animal clinic must complete an actual physical examination on the animal at the time of writing the certificate. Horses need a Coggins (Equine Infectious Anemia) blood test done and the results reported back before the health certificate can be completed. Paperwork for some other countries can take months to complete, so owners must plan ahead. Animals must always have proof of rabies shots and, when going to some countries, blood tests for other diseases.
When traveling internationally, owners should check with the USDA website or the embassy of the country where they're going, to ensure they've completed all the necessary steps and can take their pets with them. Some countries even have quarantine periods for pets coming into the country, and some countries require the health certificates to be completed in the native language of the country, which can make getting the right paperwork done even trickier.
Each airline has different standards for traveling with a pet. Some require a health certificate along with statements of whether the animal can withstand certain temperatures for certain amounts of time. For example, some pets might be sitting on the runway for a little while or traveling in the baggage compartment.
Accreditation is different from a state veterinary license, and right now, the entire system is being overhauled. Over the next 2 years, all veterinarians nationwide are being required to complete the new USDA accreditation training in order to keep their veterinary accreditation. New laws are also coming into play that mandate different accreditation licenses for vets who complete health certificates for large animals compared to small. Not all animal clinics will be able to write health certificates for farm animals, horses and other livestock under these new regulations. These lines aren't clear-cut either. Pot-bellied pigs, which are pets, still fall under the accreditation status of livestock, just like all other pigs.
Having accredited veterinarians around the country who have current training in spotting unusual diseases can help keep the United States food and fiber animals, as well as pets, safe from incoming foreign diseases. This will also keep humans safe from some diseases that can be transmitted from animals. Accredited veterinarians can conduct testing for important contagious diseases like tuberculosis and brucellosis in cattle.
"The whole thing is a little crazy right now," admits veterinarian Dr. Marta Dean. "I just finished the ordeal myself. The recertification process (which requires completing multiple online modules covering diseases of concern worldwide in many species of animals) was involved and time consuming but we're happy that we can continue providing health certificates to all the pets and large animals that need them. This is an important service we provide for our clients and a way we can help keep the spread of animal diseases around the world under control."
For more information or to schedule your pet's health certification, please call (970) 490-1999 or visit www.laporteanimalclinic.com.