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Animal Education





The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) started on 28th February 2000 and allows cats and dogs resident in the UK to visit certain other countries and return to the UK, without quarantine, provided that certain conditions are met. To use this system, you need to comply with the law, down to the last detail. This is to prevent the transmission of disease from country to country.

The conditions of the scheme:

All cats and dogs must:

  • Be fitted with a microchip that meets an ISO specification so that it can be read by a standard microchip reader.
  • Be vaccinated against rabies with an approved vaccine and have booster vaccinations as recommended.
  • Pets must be at least 3 months old and be already fitted with a microchip before they can be vaccinated.
  • Be blood tested about 30 days after vaccination. If your pet fails the blood test it will have to be vaccinated and tested again.
  • Wait at least 6 months after a successful blood test result before being allowed entry or re-entry into the UK (unless your pet was resident in the UK and microchipped, vaccinated and blood tested before 28th February 2000).

It is important to make sure that your microchipping documentation is updated when you move address.

Beginning October 1, 2004, all animals will be identified with either a tattoo or a microchip compatible with standards ISO-11784 or ISO-11785 (check with your veterinarian). If the animals are identified with a non-compatible microchip, the importer must supply the appropriate reading equipment.

Tags on Dogs



One of the easiest and cheapest things to do to safeguard your pet is to have a tag on its collar. This should have at least your telephone number or other contact information. It is much easier for someone who finds your pet to locate you if it has a tag rather than having to take it to a vet for the microchip to be scanned.

This tag should be in addition to microchipping not in place of it.




All dogs should be vaccinated against serious diseases such as Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza. Your puppy or dog can get these viruses from other dogs or simply by going for their regular exercise and walks. The best time to vaccinate your dog is when it is a puppy at six weeks old and then again after two weeks time. It is important that your puppy receives both rounds of injections to prevent against disease.




What is rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection of certain warm-blooded animals and is caused by a virus in the Rhabdoviridae family. It attacks the nervous system and, once symptoms develop, it is 100 percent fatal in animals, if left untreated.

Vaccination against rabies is compulsory. It is also advisable to have dogs vaccinated against other diseases such as distemper and hardpad. Cats should be immunised against feline gastro enteritis and typhus.  It is necessary for the rabies injection to be administered once every 12 months - (do not leave it any longer than 12 months or your Pet Passport will be invalid). 




Heartworm is mostly prevalent in southern France, Spain, Italy and the Mediterranean. Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting the disease to dogs and many different species of mosquitoes can carry heartworm larvae.

Who is at risk?

British dogs could be more vulnerable as they have never encountered the disease and therefore have no resistance.

How is it spread?

The larvae of this worm (which eventually resides in the heart) are present in the bloodstream and can be transferred to an unaffected dog via a simple mosquito bite.

The life cycle of heartworm is developed in the following stages:

  • Adult heartworms reside in the right heart chamber.
  • Heartworm larvae are released into the dog's blood and the mosquito ingests the larvae with the dog's blood.
  • After 10 to 30 days, the infective larvae appear in the salivary gland of the mosquito, so when the mosquito bites another dog, it transmits the infective larvae.
  • The larvae then migrate around the dog's body for about four months before reaching the dog's heart. The larvae mature into adult worms over the next three months.
  • The process repeats itself.

Signs and symptoms

Heartworm disease is caused by damage from the adult worms once they get into the blood vessels of a dog's lungs.

  • The worms cause the blood vessels to swell and become scarred. As the blood vessels shrink in diameter, blood flow becomes restricted and blood pressure begins to rise.
  • Eventually, the increasing blood pressure will lead to heart failure. Signs may take several years to manifest and include soft cough, tiredness, weakness, loss of weight and condition.
  • Eventually heart failure may ensue.

Prevention and control

There are products available in the UK that may be obtained from your vet prior to your trip, or from a local vet on arrival. They kill the larvae after infection. An alternative would be to use a deltamethrin collar that prevent the mosquito from taking a blood meal.

Also it is essential for a dog to have heartworm tablets which are obtained from the vet.  The weight of the dog must be known to ascertain the right size of tablet.  This should be given to the dog EVERY month.




Leishmania: A Disease of Dogs from the Mediterranean Canine Leishmaniasis is one of a number of diseases which occur in Mediterranean and Tropical areas.

It is transmitted by a species of sand fly which does not occur in the UK. There is always a possibility that your dog may acquire this disease if they accompany you to any of the areas where it is endemic e.g. Spain, Italy etc.

The disease may remain dormant in the dog for years before showing any symptoms. It is also very difficult to diagnose. There is a great variation in symptoms. Some dogs suffer from severe skin lesions while other dogs have none at all. Tests for Leishmaniasis can often be unreliable, giving a negative result when the disease is actually present. Bone marrow samples give a better result but this involves a general anaesthetic and an often painful procedure. This is not something you would want to see on a dog which is already ill.

If anyone is worried that their dog might be suffering from Leishmaniasis, they should visit their vet for tests to be done. A small amount of blood can be taken from the inside of the ear flap and sent away for analysis. The results take only a few days though they are not always conclusive.

There is no cure for this disease but it can usually be contained, though the dog may have relapses. It is not transferable to other dogs but is only passed through the bite of the particular species of sand fly.


It is highly advisable for anyone taking their dog abroad to purchase a Scalibor Protector Collar for their dog, in addition to the usual vaccinations etc. These have been shown to be reasonably effective in protecting the dog from the sand fly.

Fleas and Tics



To treat your dog or cat against these nasty little creatures use X-spot or Frontline. Fleas and tics are prevalent in Spain due to the warm climate and long mating season. Apply one of these products once a month

Worming Your Dog or Cat



Dogs are victims of several internal parasites frequently referred to as worms. The most common are the roundworms that infest most puppies at some time in their young lives and tapeworms that can be a big problem when flea infestations are high.

Evidence of roundworms and tapeworms can be seen without the aid of a microscope, but other worms are not so easily diagnosed. Occasionally adult whipworms can be seen in the stool when the infestation has already caused some debilitation or weight loss in the dog. Early diagnosis of the presence and species of intestinal parasite is important, for not all worms respond to the same treatment. Therefore, stool samples should be taken to the veterinarian for microscopic examination if worms are suspected.

Many veterinarians include the stool check as part of the annual health examination. Most worm infestations cause any or all of these symptoms: diarrhea, perhaps with blood in the stool; weight loss; dry hair; general poor appearance; and vomiting, perhaps with worms in the vomitus.

However, some infestations cause few or no symptoms; in fact some worm eggs or larvae can be dormant in the dog's body and activated only in times of stress, or in the case of roundworms, until the latter stages of pregnancy, when they activate and infest the soon-to-be-born puppies.


Several worms that infect and reinfect dogs can also infect humans, so treatment and eradication of the worms in the environment are important. Remove dog faeces from back yards at least weekly, use appropriate vermicides under veterinary supervision, and have the dog's faeces checked frequently in persistent cases.

Do not mix wormers and do not use any wormer if your dog is currently taking any other medication, including heartworm preventative, without consulting the veterinarian.

When walking the dog in a neighborhood or park, remove all faeces so that the dog does not contribute to contamination of soil away from home as well.

Dogs that are in generally good condition are not threatened by worm infestations and may not even show symptoms. However, it's a good idea to keep the dog as worm-free as possible so that if disease or stress do take a toll, you're not fighting worms in a sick pet.

Weigh your dog, or ask your vet to weigh your dog or cat, so you can purchase the right size of tablet from your vet.  Treatment should be given once EVERY 3 months.

Neutering and Spaying



Why neuter?

Many dogs can end up wandering the streets, being dumped in shelters and dog pounds or even worse, ending up in the hands of the galguerros( hunters), or the gipsies. These people allow them to breed unchecked, pick what they want and treat the rest as truly disposable. Spain has this problem and we see the terrible consequences of it every day.

Neutering does not harm the animals, not make them unhappy. In fact, it tends to preclude the possibility of the development of various cancers in later life, and removes the angst sometimes associated with the desire to find a mate, resulting in greater contentment.

Also, if you've had experience of coping with a 'whole' male dog who scents a female on heat, or a female dog 'on heat' being pestered by male dogs, or mopping up around the house after her whilst she is on heat, neutering the dog brings peace of mind to everyone.

Dog Fouling



If you are a dog owner, could you please act responsibly and clean up after your pet, if it fouls the pavement. Dogs have a bad name for fouling the pavement, but actually it is the owner that is at fault.




To summarise what you should be giving your dog or cat:

Once a month:

  • X-spot or Frontline or equivalent
  • Heartworm tablet

Every three months:

  • Worming tablet

Every 12months:

  • Booster vaccinations

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Feeding an injured animal will help it survive but it will not relieve its pain and suffering.  It must have veterinary care.

Donations Page now Live

Our donations page is now completely up and running after we set up our bank account and Paypal account in order to take these donations. Please feel free to use this page to make donations directly to our bank account. There are 4 options for payments.

Foster Homes Urgenty Needed

We always need Foster Homes where we can place rescued dogs whilst we search for a permanent new home for them.

Until we are able to support the funding of a Dog Sanctuary we have to rely on the kind help offered to us by Foster Carers. If you feel you can help us please contact us.