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International Animal Travel and Quarantine

Transporting your pet to another country can be a very complicated process due to the varying legal requirements of the importing country. These legal requirements include specific vaccinations and blood tests and a lot of detailed paperwork. But have no fear because this is one of our specialties. We are here to help!

As you consider transporting your pet to another country, please feel free to call us and make an appointment to discuss the details. We also offer a detailed guide below that will help provide more information about this complicated process!

The following information details the pet animal quarantine inspection process for safe and legal overseas travel. Please note that these are only guidelines. Some requirements are subject to change, and/or other requirements may

apply in the future. Most countries will reinforce the quarantine regulations to protect against the spread of animal diseases. All the requirements must meet the importing country quarantine regulations exactly.


For owners intending to ship their dogs and cats into foreign countries, please verify the epidemiological situation of the exporting country and the shipping schedule, and then proceed according to quarantine instruction.

While your veterinarian needs to help you with the pre-arrival requirements, you should be directly knowledgeable of the requirement to avoid errors or omissions in meeting any of requirements. You may also obtain further assistance via E-mail consult (


Basic Guidelines


Generally, transporting your pet to another country will include the following details:

  • Consultation with clients

    • Cost

    • Departure timing

    • Arriving area

    • Type of international transport

    • Cabin

    • Baggage

    • Cargo

  • Design the quarantine testing schedule

    • vaccination schedule

    • blood test schedule


  • Microchip implant

    • Dogs and cats must be identified by a microchip that can be read by ISO standard reader.

    • ISO Standard (ISO 11784/11785, FDX B 15digits)

    • FDX A 10 digits

    • AVID type 9 digits (use only for Hawaii, Guam, Hong Kong)


  • Rabies vaccination

    • Inactivated (Killed) only


  • Rabies Antibody Titer test

    • Testing will be done in the approved laboratory


  • Required general vaccination


  • Application for import permit (Notification for import)

    • Application document


  • Confirm the flight schedule


  • Required blood test

    • Testing will be done in the approved laboratory

    • Australia: Brucella canis, Leptospira canicola, Leishmana infantum, Ehrlichia canis

    • New Zealand : Brucella canis, Leptospira canicola, Ehrlichia canis, Babesia gibsoni

    • South Africa : Brucella canis, Leishmana infantum, Babesia gibsoni, Trypanosoma evansi

    • Japan : Leptospira canicola(Optional)

    • Thailand : Leptospira


  • Deworming

    • Internal Parasite: Praziquantel, Pyrantel Pamoate

    • Ectoparasite): Fipronil

    • Heartworm : Ivermectin, Milbemycin, Moxidectin, Selamectin

    • Trypanosoma evansi: Suramin, Diminazene aceturate (South Africa only)

  • Veterinary Certificate (Final document)

Please be advised that if any noncompliance is found in the statement of the original certificate, the dogs and cats will be re-exported, destroyed or detained at the designated post-entry quarantine premise for 180 days or more. Required documents include:

  • Resident certificate

  • Microchip certificate

  • Rabies vaccination certificate

  • General vaccination certificate

  • Rabies antibody test result

  • Import permit(import approval)

  • Deworming certificate

  • Serologic test result

  • Form A, C1/2, C2/2(only for Japan)

  • Application for import inspection(only for Japan)

  • Flight with quarantine document

Export and Regulatory Testing Policy

Due to stringent regulations for export of animals, Laboratories will be unable to accept test requests that omit critical information needed to fulfill travel requirements (i.e. unlabeled tubes, draw dates, name of the animal). The critical information necessary is specific to the test(s) and/or the travel destination of the animal. Veterinarians are responsible to determine the critical information needed specific to the testing requested prior to submitting the samples to Laboratories. Tubes, at a minimum, must be labeled legibly with the animal’s name and/or permanent identification (i.e. microchip number, tattoo, tag number). If the tube(s) and submission forms(s) cannot be “unequivocally associated,” Laboratories, in the best interest of the client/owner safety and for reasons of legal liability, will cancel the testing request.




Questions not answered on this page are welcome! Please email us at


Rabies Serology for Animal Export


Do you run the RNATT?

  • RNATT stands for Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titer Test. Both the RFFIT and FAVN are methods that measure Rabies Virus Neutralizing Antibody (RVNA) titers. RNATT is a general term for the RFFIT and FAVN methods.


How long should I wait after my pet has been vaccinated before drawing the sample?

  • We advise waiting a month between vaccination and draw date. However, some countries have different requirements and because of this we recommend directly contacting the country of destination. For example, Sweden requires a 120 day wait period between vaccination and sample draw date.


How long does the test take?

  • Once the sample has been received, the test normally takes about 2-3 weeks to complete. We process samples in the order they are received, and we recommend checking with the laboratory since the turnaround time varies with sample load and holidays.


How can the test be expedited?

  • Since we process the samples in the order they are received, we do not expedite or rush samples. We are also unable to guarantee specific dates for results. The laboratory works as quickly as possible to process the samples and provide test results.


Where is the original result document?

  • If the pet is traveling somewhere other than Hawaii, Guam or the Caribbean Islands, we send the original document to the submitting laboratory or clinic. If the pet is traveling to Hawaii, Guam or any of the Caribbean Islands, the original document has already been forwarded to the destination.


My pet’s rabies titer failed (was <0.5 IU/mL), what’s next?

  • Most rabies-free countries have extended quarantine periods for pets that don’t meet minimum requirements. If you want to revaccinate the pet and try testing again, we recommend waiting three weeks after the booster before drawing a new sample. Please double check the results to make sure the pet actually failed (<0.5 IU/mL).


When does the 120 day countdown begin for Hawaii?

  • The day the sample is received at the KSU Rabies Laboratory begins the countdown. As long as the titer result is of a passing level (>0.5 IU/mL) and within 120 days after the received date, the animal will be eligible to enter Hawaii.


Rabies Serology for Vaccine Response


What do the rabies titer results mean; is 1:50 greater or less than 1:5?


What is measured?

  • Rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (RVNA) are antibodies with the ability to neutralize rabies virus and prevent the virus from infecting cells. The testing we perform does not measure the amount of rabies specific antibodies but the neutralizing activity of the antibodies present in the serum. In the test, serum (the non-cellular portion of blood) is first diluted in a diluent (e.g. 1 part serum in 4 parts diluent). Further dilutions are performed, each of which contain less and less serum.

  • These serum dilutions are mixed with a standard amount of live rabies virus and incubated. Whatever RVNA is present will neutralize the virus. Next, some tissue culture cells are added and the serum/virus/cells are incubated together. Whatever rabies virus is left (i.e., that which has not been neutralized by the antibody in serum), will infect the cells and this can be seen under the microscope through the use of specific staining. Calculation of the endpoint titer is made from the percent of virus infected cells observed on the slide.

What does the result mean?

  • The result of this test can be expressed in two ways: as a RVNA endpoint titer (e.g., 1:5) or as a value for RVNA potency (e.g., 0.5 IU). The IU stands for international unit and is calculated from the titer by comparing it against the titer of a standard reference serum. If there is no RVNA present in the serum, it will not neutralize the virus and the titer will be LESS THAN 1:5 (i.e. the 1:5 diluted serum did not prevent the virus from infecting the cells). RVNA antibody will neutralize rabies virus to an “"endpoint titer”" – to a specific dilution where the virus is neutralized.

  • For example, if there is a little RVNA in the serum low dilutions (e.g. 1:5 or 1:25) will neutralize the virus, but higher dilutions will not. In contrast, if there is a lot of antibody in the serum the virus will be neutralized by high dilutions of the serum (e.g. 1:500 or 1:1400) and not infect the cells. Therefore the further the serum can be diluted and still neutralize virus, the more RVNA in the serum In summary, the bigger the denominator in the reported titer, the more antibody in the blood sample (e.g., a titer of 1:125 has more antibody than a titer of 1:5 because it still neutralized at a much higher dilution).

What does the level of RVNA mean?

  • A detectable RVNA titer means that there is evidence of a humoral immune response to the rabies virus. The test does not differentiate whether the immune response is to rabies virus exposure or to rabies vaccination. Nor is there an established level of protection. Though titer levels are evidence of an immune response to the rabies virus, they are not directly correlated with the degree of protection. This is because there are other immunological factors which are involved in the protection from rabies infection. An overview of rabies challenge studies indicates RVNA levels predict survival on more a qualitative rather than quantitative basis [1]. Whether an animal requires a rabies booster vaccination is not determined by the level of RVNA in the serum, but by local regulations. As stated in the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control report by the CDC, RVNA levels are not to be used in place of current vaccination for either management of rabies exposure or for determination of booster vaccinations for animals [2].


1. Aubert MF. Practical significance of rabies antibodies in cats and dogs. Rev Sci Tech


2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and

Control., 54 (RR-3) National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc.(NASPHV),



My unvaccinated/overdue pet was bitten by a known/suspected positive animal. Will a titer test tell me whether my pet has rabies?

  • Titer testing is not generally a diagnostic tool. But is the animal has never been vaccinated, a titer would indicate disease. Unfortunately, the absence of a titer is not a rule-out for rabies diagnosis, since some rabid animals may not have detectable levels of rabies antibodies. If an animal has a vaccine titer, then a sudden spike might indicate disease.



General rabies serology


Does the sample need to be frozen?

  • No, refrigeration is all that is required. The sample should be sent with coolant packs when shipped. Please find additional shipping requirements on our submitting information form.


Are the results available by the website?

  • No, the results cannot be obtained through the internet. They will need to be obtained from the submitting laboratory or clinic.



Serologic Testing by the Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN) Method


The Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN) test is a virus neutralization assay developed at CNEVA in Malzeville, France. The FAVN consists of a three-fold serum dilution series. It is used to detect rabies virus neutralizing antibody after vaccination and is required by many rabies free countries in order for dogs and cats to qualify for a reduced quarantine period from qualified areas. Some of these regions are Hawaii, Guam, Japan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Australia, New Zealand, France and the United Kingdom. Always check with the destination authority to verify pet importation requirements.


Results will be reported in International Units per milliliter (IU/mL). A titer of greater or equal to 0.50 IU/mL is generally required for travel to rabies-free areas accepting titers.


Specimen Requirement

1ml serum without preservatives; spun and separated from the clot.

Microchip identification must be implanted prior to sample draw.


Note: A waiting period of at least 30 days between rabies vaccination and sample draw is advised for optimum antibody response.


Shipping Information

  • Serum should be packed in a leak-proof plastic bag with absorbent material. This should then be placed inside a second container with ice packs. We recommend that an overnight or next day carrier be used since the regular mail can take up to two weeks. All laboratories will not accept packages sent “bill recipient;” shipping charges are the responsibility of the shipper.



  • Currently, the cost is by money order or credit card. Please include payment at time of submission. A delay in testing may occur if payment is not included. If payment is not received or the payment does not clear, the balance due will be billed to the submitting clinic.


Processing Time

  • Results can be expected three weeks after receipt. We will fax results upon request. KSVDL receives packages 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. However, the lab is only open Monday through Friday and the sample will not be dated until it has reached our laboratory.


If you have additional questions, please email or check our website at


Required conditions of Samples

  • Please Read Prior to Submitting FAVN samples for testing: The Rabies FAVN Submission Form is required and should be sent with each sample for rabies antibody titers for export animals. The results (sticker) of the FAVN test are placed on a copy of this FAVN submission form –- this is the official FAVN report.

FAVN forms should be typed. The form listed above can be filled out online prior to printing. Handwritten information is open to the laboratory’s interpretation and corrections will not be made to errors on results due to misinterpretations. If the form is handwritten, please use black ink as copies will be made of the FAVN submission form. The original submission form is kept by KSU Rabies Laboratory and the original result (sticker) is placed on a copy of the submission form.

Some destinations require that the original report (stickered) be sent directly to their office. In this case, a copy of the report is sent to the veterinarian/clinic. Currently these destinations include Hawaii, Guam and islands in the Caribbean.

The FAVN form should be filled out completely and signed by the veterinarian. By signing the FAVN form, the veterinarian acknowledges that the microchip identification has been checked and information submitted is correct. Information cannot be added or changed on the formonce the test is complete.

Tubes must be labeled with animal name (first and last) and/or microchip number. Unidentified tubes are cancelled and destroyed upon receipt.

Under no circumstances can microchip identification be added or changed once the sample is received. 

1 mL of serum is required for testing. If the quantity is not sufficient (QNS) due to leakage, crushed tubes, or not enough sample submitted, the tubes are cancelled and destroyed upon receipt.

The laboratory communicates any problem with the submitting clinic primarily via fax. Please make sure the fax number is included on the submission form. Reference laboratories and some destination websites may have pre-printed FAVN forms with their information typed as the submitting clinic or the country name already typed on the form. Please make sure you are indeed using that reference laboratory to submit the sample as results and billing inquiries will be sent to them; also, make sure that the client is traveling to the destination listed.

The client should confirm with the government authority of their destination to ensure all requirements are met for export including vaccination and timing of the titer test.

The Rabies Lab can only release results to the submitting clinic/veterinarian or to a government authority such as the USDA or destination authority. Owners must obtain results from the veterinarian.


Samples are tested in the order received. Reports are mailed via USPS; please allow time for regular mail delivery. Overnight delivery of reports is available by submitting a Rabies Authorization to Charge Overnight Delivery Form with your Fed Ex or DHL account number for billing.

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