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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
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Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My dog had a rabies vaccination which expired on the

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Hi, My dog had a rabies vaccination which expired on the 21/11/2019. I was planning to take him to france on the 2nd december. However, ive read that because his expired he would need a primary vaccination and then waiting period of 21 days before travel. Is there any was around this as his ONLY expired 9 days ago? thank you
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your dog?
Customer: Hi, My dog had a rabies vaccination which expired on the 21/11/2019. I was planning to take him to france on the 2nd december. However, ive read that because his expired he would need a primary vaccination and then waiting period of 21 days before travel. Is there any was around this as his ONLY expired 9 days ago? thank you
JA: Where does your dog seem to hurt?
Customer: ? he doesnt hurt
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: winter
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Winter?
Customer: no, just his rabies vaccination date expired 9 days ago, not enough time for vaccination to ware of completely
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Could Medivet do an in house Vaccicheck? if he has immunuty then a booster can be given? and possibly backdate it?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
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Customer: replied 8 days ago.
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Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response
Unfortunately you are correct. As the rabies vaccine was allowed to expire, there is no alternative but to get him vaccinated ASAP and then to wait the 21 days.
The soonest he can travel is 21 days after the new vaccine and there is no way of hurrying this Im afraid.
Frustratingly this happens rather commonly and, for now, we have no alternative but to wait the 3 weeks.
With regards checking immunity levels, this is not something I have ever heard of and I do not believe this is an option. The authority on that would be DEFRA and you could call them to discuss but I am sure this is not permitted.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
okay, and there is no period of days that a booster can be administered after expiry?
also, do you know if i lost my passport, can i use photocopies of the passport and all its pages ?
The booster can be given at any time. Just one injection is required. Depending on the brand it will be valid for 1, 2 or 3 years.
In future, aim to get the booster a few weeks before expiry as this will mean you can travel at any time and will not have to do the 21 day wait again. Technically, you could get the booster the day before expiry but I feel this is a little risky!
No, a photocopy would not be accepted. If you need a new passport the vet can make a new one when you get the rabies vaccine.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
okay, and there is no way a vet would backdate the booster 9 days? im sure immunity doesnt just disspear the day after expiry? I was under the impression rabies shot lasts 3 years which is why i didnt noticethe expiry date before, or htink to look.
If a vet were to do that it would be risking their license and career as you are asking them to write something that is fraudulent. So no, I'm afraid they will not do this!
I appreciate what you are saying about the immunity (it doesn't just disappear at midnight!) but these are the rules I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Okay thank you for the help. Is the booster vaccination and primary vaccination the same brand and type? is there any difference between them? thank you again. Also, Do you know how stringent they are at the dover ferry customs? will they notice the 9 day gap? Im tempted to try and if refused just go back and wait the 21 days. no harm in trying is there?
Correct, it would be the same vaccine regardless of whether it is the primary or booster. Which brand is used depends on what the vet clinic has in stock. Some will have a few types available so you could request the one that lasts the longest (3 years). The only difference in vaccines is how long they last and this varies from brand to brand.
I cant comment on how strict the border control will be, I suppose it really depends on which staff member is on on the day! You're right, all they would do is send you back (there wouldn't be any repercussions or fine) when boarding the ferry but they could potentially check the passport when disembarking and that would then mean quarantine etc.
Similarly, what about returning to the UK; the passport would need to be valid for this too.
Personally, I wouldn't take the risk but it is ultimately your decision!
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you, I will get the vaccination tomorrow anyway. meaning returning to the uk it will be fine anyway no? also for a rabies situation what does quarantine mean and how long is it? not 6 months ust for 9 day rabies vaccination gap? thank you
If the return to the UK is more than 21 days from the vaccine then yes, that's fine.
With regards 'quarantine ' in France it is not as it used to be and basically if the passport is not valid, you would be refused entry and would have to wait the 21 days until after the vaccine is effective.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
okay, one more thing. I went to the vet over a month ago to check my dogs weight and health. I told the vet i would leave to france with him at the beginning of december, and i asked if there is anything he needs before travel, i.e, working etc. She said no, but to come back and check his weight and health again. She must have been aware that his record showed his rabies expiry date and therefore knew that he would need a booster before it expired ?
If she had seen the passport then, yes she would have known.
Or, if Winter had the previous Raboss vaccine at that clinic, it would have been on the records (though the vet would have had to specifically search for this on the computer system, which normally wouldnt be done unless an owner requests it).
However, the onus to keep the vaccine up to date is on the owner and not the vet or the clinic.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
okay thank you for you help.
No worries !
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