Top dog vacation dogs travel diseases

On the next vacation it goes to the south. Of course, the beloved four-legged friend should come with you. Unfortunately, there are many diseases in the southern countries, with which a dog can be infected and about which you should inform yourself in advance.

Before traveling with your dog, you should check the current vaccination protection and seek advice from your veterinarian regarding necessary and useful vaccinations. To protect your dog from ticks, mosquito bites, worms and other parasites, you can buy various products from your vet or in specialized shops. Well prepared, most travel diseases have no chance in the dog. You can enjoy the time together with your four-legged friend.

Many of the so-called "Mediterranean diseases" Are transmitted by mosquitoes or ticks. You can have your dog vaccinated against some of these "vacation souvenirs". Leishmania infantum is a unicellular organism. Is transmitted by the bite of the sandfly. These mosquitoes are particularly active at dusk and dawn. Due to the transmitted leishmania all organs can be affected and thus damaged. The pathogens cause severe inflammatory reactions. The dog owner usually recognizes changes in the skin at the beginning, especially in the area of the head and elbows. Occasionally, fever, loss of balance, anemia and hoarseness also occur. The incubation period can be several weeks up to one year. Usually the dog is without any symptoms for a very long time. If the disease is not treated, it ends in most cases fatally. A cure is hardly possible. Dogs suffering from leishmaniasis require medication for the rest of their lives.

Babesiosis (canine malaria)

Babesia are protozoa transmitted by ticks that destroy red blood cells. Sick dogs suddenly get very high fever, show a poor general condition, appear apathetic, have anemia and a reddish-brown discolored urine. The incubation period is 1-3 weeks. If babesiosis is not treated, shock, jaundice, kidney failure, and ultimately death will occur. Acute babesiosis is always an emergency. The pet owner should immediately consult a veterinarian. With timely treatment, a cure is quite possible, but often associated with significant side effects.


In ehrlichiosis, bacteria are transmitted by the brown dog tick. The first, mostly unspecific symptoms appear ca. 7-20 days after the tick bite for. The dog develops a fever, seems lethargic, the lymph nodes are enlarged and he has no appetite. In some cases, breathing difficulties, balance disorders and seizures can also be observed. If the disease is not treated, it usually becomes chronic and a cure is no longer possible. Often there is a phase without symptoms before the disease returns again. In the advanced stage of the disease, the dog tends to bleed and develops joint problems. A treatment of the disease is possible, but a cure is usually not possible.

Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks. About 30% of all ticks carry the Borrelia (bacteria), in some cases the percentage is even higher. The borrelia get ca. 16-24 hours after the bite of the tick in the body of the dog. The bacteria spread via the bloodstream and primarily affect the joints, and in some cases the organs and nervous system as well. The first symptoms often appear only 4-6 weeks after the tick bite. The dog gets fiber, is dull and appetiteless. In the advanced stage, the dog gets joint pain and lameness. If the disease is detected and treated in time, a cure is possible. If treatment is too late, however, late complications and recurring complaints usually remain. The dog should therefore be checked for ticks every evening, so that they can be removed promptly with tick tongs.


The disease is caused by single-celled intestinal parasites called giardia. These attach themselves to the mucous membrane of the small intestine and thus damage it. The main symptom of an infestation with giardia is mucous diarrhea, which can also be bloody, and vomiting. Diarrhea often follows and then alternates with days of normal fecal consistency. Giardias are very persistent. It is very difficult for the dog to get rid of them. They can be transmitted very easily, z. B. drinking contaminated water or sniffing the remains of an infected animal. Treatment must be with a very strong antibiotic.

Dirofilariosis (heartworm)

The heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. The young worm larvae enter the blood through the bite of the mosquito. Migrate through the vessels into the heart of the dog. There they develop into worms. This process takes about 70 days. Heartworms can grow up to 30 cm long. Often the lungs are also damaged by the heartworms. A dog that has heartworms shows coughing and shortness of breath and is also hardly able to bear weight. The disease can be treated. If one travels into an endangered area, the dog should be dewormed after the journey absolutely with an appropriate means.


Anaplasmosis is transmitted by ticks. During an infection, the anaplasmas (bacteria) infect certain white blood cells. Often the disease is not recognized because the dogs show only minor symptoms, and sometimes no symptoms at all. Symptoms may be similar to those of Lyme disease: joint inflammation, lameness, fatigue and loss of appetite. If the infection is recognized and treated, the symptoms will quickly disappear. Again, removing ticks quickly is the best protection for the dog.


Many countries in the EU are considered rabies-free, but you should definitely protect your pet with a vaccination. In the countries of the EU an entry for the dog is allowed also only with a valid vaccination! rabies in a dog always ends fatally!! Attention: the disease is also transmissible to humans. Again, ends fatally or with permanent brain damage in most cases.

The article was written by Michaela Olbert Besides traveling, her second passion belongs to dogs. Since 2016 she lives in South Tyrol. Offers regular guided walking tours with dog. Besides writing articles for various newspapers and magazines, Michaela has already written her first book "Healthy dog with the right food".

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