Before going on vacation, dog owners should seek advice from a veterinarian a few months before they travel. Because in addition to the risk of a leishmaniosis infection, the risks of an infection with heartworms, babesiosis, erlichiosis or hepatozoonoses are considerably higher in the holiday areas than in Germany. Although these diseases are mainly native to the Mediterranean region, other holiday areas also harbor the pathogen. Therefore, find out before you travel whether there is a problem with it at your dream destination.
Like leishmaniasis, heartworms are also transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm infestation can be prevented with mosquito repellent measures and special antiparasitic drugs from the veterinarian. A protector band against leishmaniasis has been available from the vet since 2001, but it must be put on the dog at least two weeks before the start of the holiday so that it works reliably. The carriers of babesiosis, ehrlichiosis or hepatozoonosis are ticks. Only consistent tick protection can help against infection with these diseases.
The Bavarian Chamber of Veterinarians recommends pet owners who have spent their vacation with their dog in countries in the Mediterranean or on the Canary Islands to have their pet checked for motion sickness. Motion sickness can only occur many months after the trip. They can lead to fever, emaciation, diarrhea, anemia, heart failure and jaundice. In particular, dogs that have not been protected from ticks and mosquitoes by effective prophylactic measures should urgently be presented to the vet. This also applies to dogs that come from these regions and have been taken with them. A blood test can be used to determine whether the animal was infected with the pathogens of so-called travel diseases while it was in Mediterranean countries, and the veterinarian can initiate treatment before these infections lead to the outbreak of symptoms in the dog. In unclear cases, the examination must be repeated after three to four weeks.