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The rabies titre test explained

When you are preparing your pet for international travel, there are several things to keep in mind – pet import regulations of the destination country, the veterinary requirements, microchipping – the list goes on. Many countries require a rabies titre test, also called rabies neutralising antibody titre (RNAT) test for your pet to enter the country.

The rabies titre test is an important step in the international pet relocation process, and it is crucial that this test is conducted at the exact recommended time by an authorised laboratory. Some rabies-free countries will not permit your pet dog or cat to enter the country even if they are vaccinated and fulfil all veterinary requirements if the result of the rabies titre test is not satisfactory.

What is the rabies titre test?

When your pet dog or cat has received a rabies vaccination, the only proof of the vaccination is the vaccination record that the vet fills in for you. Sometimes, there is a need for further proof that the vaccination has been administered, and a titre test is performed to test if your pet has been immunised against rabies.

The rabies titre test is known as rabies neutralising antibody titre test as the test checks for the presence of the antibody that neutralises rabies in your pet’s blood. The presence of the antibody in sufficient amounts signifies that the pet has been vaccinated and is immune to rabies. This test measures the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine on your pet.

How is the rabies titre test performed?

The rabies titre test is generally performed 30 days after the administration of the rabies vaccine. Sometimes the test is administered earlier, but 30 days is the recommended waiting period for the antibodies to form. Make sure your pet is microchipped before vaccinating him or her against rabies and before administering the titre test.

Your vet will draw blood from your pet and send it to an authorised laboratory to test for the level of antibodies in the sample. There are about 40 laboratories in the world authorised to run this test for international travel purposes. Your pet transport partner can help you with the sample collection and despatch. The laboratory will run the sample against infected cells to determine rabies neutralising titre value in your pet’s blood sample.

Most countries require a level of 0.5 IU/ml or greater to prove that your pet is adequately immunised against rabies. Sometimes, a small percentage of pets fail the blood test. In such cases, you can give your pet a booster vaccination and collect the sample for the second test 14-28 days later.

Different countries have different regulations for international pet travel, and it is recommended that you check the regulations for the minimum period of time between vaccination and blood sampling in the destination country.

Why is the rabies titre test important for pet travel?

If your pet is travelling from a country where rabies is prevalent to a country that is free from rabies, the RNAT test establishes that your pet is sufficiently immune against rabies. This test is necessary for international pet travel to safeguard the local animals from rabies. Some countries have reduced or no quarantine time for pets with a satisfactory rabies titre test.

Does my pet need a rabies titre test to travel internationally?

Countries that require the RNAT test as part of the pet import regulations are Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. If your pet is travelling to the EU, the blood titre test can be performed only once and the results are valid for the lifetime of the pet as long as the rabies vaccinations are kept current. However, in countries like Australia, the titre results are valid only for a specific period of time.

International pet transport specialists

International pet transport is a complex process with detailed rules and regulations that change according to every country. Pet relocation can be overwhelming and stressful, and it is recommended to take the services of an accredited pet travel company to help you with the move. An experienced pet transport agency is aware of all the rules and regulations of international pet travel and can help make the move easy and stress-free.

If you are planning to move to a different country with your pet dog or cat, contact our expert team at Petraveller for more information and a detailed pet travel itinerary.