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Old 11-08-2008, 19:47   #1
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Health Certificate for Cruising Dog

My vet in Minnesota gave me a health certificate today after examining my dog, however she said it was a "domestic" certificate and could not give me an "international" certificate unless I had an address I am visiting outside the states. The form is for both US and international. The only thing that appears to be missing is a box where USDA Seal or stamp and the signature of a USDA veterinarian is required. I suspect my vet could have signed this but since I didn't have an address where I will be visiting, she wouldn't. Has anyone else run into this problem? We will be in the Caribbean beginning in the late fall, but will avoid destinations where we know it will be a problem bringing our dog in. Any suggestions on how to get an international health certificate or information on whether or not it is needed would be appreciated. We won't have an address as we won't be staying any place for very long. I suppose I could make one up, but then maybe it would only be good if I visited that country.
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Old 11-08-2008, 20:02   #2
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I believe your vet is over-cautious in her reading of her responsibilities, Jan.

As you state that your trip to the Caribe isn't until this fall anyway, some customs people may not accept a health certificate from mid-summer in any event. If, for example, you're going to the Bahamas, the certificate is supposed to have been issued within the last ten days before your arrival there. (This is often honored more in the breach, however, as those people understand that cruising sailors may be stuck in Florida more than ten days just waiting for an appropriate weather window. Also, you must have prior written authority to bring your dog with you into the Bahamas.)

If you will be stopping in Florida before heading down-island, you would be wise to wait until you're there, then have a local Florida vet issue the appropriate certificate. They are much more used to the request.

I suggest that you visit Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors and do a search there for "Pets." Noonsite will have the most up-to-date information for all of the islands down in the little latitudes, and yes, they don't all see this issue the same way.

Good luck to you (and your canine companion) in your travels.

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Old 11-08-2008, 20:07   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. I am familiar with Noonsite and will be using it often. I suspected that a vet closer to the Caribbean would be a little wiser. We'll be in Ft. Lauderdale for about a month, and I'll visit a local vet then, before we leave the states. However, if they require a certificate issued within 10 days of arrival, how do you get that if you are cruising between islands?
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Old 11-08-2008, 20:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan B View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I am familiar with Noonsite and will be using it often. I suspected that a vet closer to the Caribbean would be a little wiser. We'll be in Ft. Lauderdale for about a month, and I'll visit a local vet then, before we leave the states. However, if they require a certificate issued within 10 days of arrival, how do you get that if you are cruising between islands?
Jan
Well, that just refers to a Bahamian requirement, which they generally overlook anyway (depends on who checks you in). Once you're checked into the Bahamas, the issue of the dog is handled as long as you're in their waters, but if by "cruising between islands" you mean entering other country's waters, then it will be those other countries' rules and regs that apply.

The one item they (Bahamas) do insist upon, in my experience, is the prior authorization. It's simple to get - you can download the form in PDF format, I believe, print it out, fill it in and send it to them with, IIRC, $10, and you will receive the authorization before you depart. Again, noonsite will have the latest information on this, for the Bahamas and the others, as well.

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Old 12-08-2008, 05:52   #5
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Hi, Jan.

The USDA international health certificate works in the Bahamas since it's a required part of their procedure, but it won't really do you any good here in the Caribbean.

If Nevis is any example, and I'm pretty sure the other rabies-free islands are the same, the procedure to bring a pet ashore is impossible to comply with if you're cruising. Before we moved here with our cat, we had to have two rabies titer tests done on her, and they had to be performed a prescribed amount of time apart. The blood samples were drawn by our local vet, and FedEx'ed to Kansas State University, the only lab in the entire U.S. that was acceptable to Nevis. Of course we needed proof of up-to-date rabies inoculations, too. A final examination was required the day before departing for Nevis, and then I had to go to the state capitol to get an international health certificate signed by the head vet at the US Department of Agriculture office.

We had to wait in the Nevis airport for the government vet to come and inspect the cat, and then had to keep her quarantined inside our house for six weeks, with weekly visits from the vet to check her health status. Whew! And the little bugger never even said, "thanks" for all the trouble we went to for her!

You can take your pet ashore on certain islands, the ones that already have rabies present. If you declare that you will keep your pet onboard at all times, you can visit the other, rabies-free islands as well. We cruised extensively here, visiting all but three of the Lesser Antilles islands, and never had any problems clearing in, since our cat never left the boat.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:41   #6
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Thanks for the great information. I realize in some cases we won't bring Daisy ashore. Its good to know that if we keep her onboard, we can go ashore for short visits. Regarding health certificates, my one big question is if we are already out of the US and are going somewhere else outside of the US which requires a health certificate issued in the last 10 days, will there be vets available who can examine our dog and give us the required certificate? I got the domestic one simply to have it in case we need it somewhere before we leave the states, although I doubt it. It was just one more item on the $500 vet bill yesterday to get Daisy ready to travel!
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Old 12-08-2008, 16:54   #7
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health certificate information- learn more its important

. The only thing that appears to be missing is a box where USDA Seal or stamp and the signature of a USDA veterinarian is required. I suspect my vet could have signed this
Jan
If its a USDA form and has a box to be signed for the state vet, then you can send it to your state vet and have him/her sign and put their seal on it.
When i travel internationally with my dogs I get an international vet cert, signed by my vet, then i put it in the mail to the state vet (with prepaid return0 they sign it and seal is attached.. but if im going to bahamas i must also down load the form for the bahamas (all the countrys and islands have different rules) fill in the forms have my vet sign the form for bahamas send in the fee by mail (they take US postal money orders btw) and they return it in 6weeks..
If you want no hassles and know your doing this annually, get a pet passport, your vet draws blood after the rabies shot has been given to your dog and an amt of time passes, the sample is sent to kansas state university who spins it down, and does the titer test to see if your dog possess enought titer factors within the internatinally set limits to be considered rabies free, as many countrys do not have rabies
after that test is passed , the vet can issue a pet passport, that can be used in the UK, westindies, many of the british protectorates, australia, new zealand and most of the EU countrys..
THe test is $50 at KSU, the transport is $50 so its not a cheap way for the pet passport but it is a multi step and a permanent thing to do
check on the internet searching pet passport for all the rules

on the internatonal certificate, ask your vet for a state one, that has usda signature box, refil it in and then call your state vet find out the address and the fee (yes there is a fee) send it to them (with prepaid return )
and your set on that

many vets do not have experience in doing international certs or pet passports, do your home work and learn on the internet it will save you time and money and headaches, if you dont have doccumentation many countrys can and will impound your dog
yes really@!
they do have their own laws

best of luck
kathleen
s/v legacy at port in oriental
owner of two cavalier king charles spanials who travel too!)
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Old 12-08-2008, 19:35   #8
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Get a rabies titer and have all shots up to date. When you check-in don't lie about the pet but tell them the animal will not leave the boat. There is no rabies in the Caribbean. Some islands - the French ones- like dogs. In four years I have not had any problems. I havn't got the certificate in 3 years.
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Old 17-08-2008, 14:26   #9
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i just got the paperwork for the bahamas, it is $10 per dog for each 1yr permit, they require a vet to check your dog insuring no worms, parasites and they allow a 3yr and 1 yr rabies shots, you fillin the paperwork, send it to the bahamas government and wait
takes 4-6 weeks to process, they send you back the entry permits per dog, the reciept of what you paid (its either international mo or postal moneyorder) and you keep it in the cabin
when you report in at the bahamas (they do ask for where your bound) you present paperwork to their vet on site, and that is it

Each island has a different protocol, in france as ive exported puppys to france thru germany (france and its protectorates are no rabies areas) they do not allow puppys under 7months old wihtout titer values, and health certificates

Its wise whether your dog is going off the boat when you arrive or not, to get the paperwork done, pay the agricultre fee in that country and enter legally, if you dont they do have steep fines, they can confiscate your dog and make your life very unhappy..

Im sure there are those like speciald who have not gotton health certificates or forms and gotton away with it, but i have visited alot of countrys where they dont tolerate you bending or breaking the rules.. id rather be legal and pay the fee upfront

$30 is alot cheaper than $3000 or confiscating your dogs


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Old 10-09-2008, 16:24   #10
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BVI

Any personal experience with dogs going into the BVI. The regs as I read them seem to indicate that a 3-6 month quaratine no matter what you do. Any eperince or advice. Thanks Russ
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Old 10-09-2008, 17:31   #11
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Jan, if you need an address overseas there are two ways to conveniently get one.

You can supply the address of a US embassy or consulate, you've already paid for it. You might not find the mail waiting for you--but at least the address is real.

Or, if you have a "full" American Express card (as opposed to what they call a "junior" card, they have about 50 different "products" now) you are entitled to use their overseas offices to collect mail and parcels, among other things.

The last resort would be to send the mail "c/o Post Restante" to the main post office in any city. That mail is usually simply sorted and held at overseas POs for some limited time, and you walk up to the counter and ask to collect it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 20:49   #12
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go to the internet do a search on dog rules for BVI, you need a passport for each pet, after 100yrs of quaretine all british states now allow a pet passport, you have to do a blood sample at kanas city to show they are rabies free and some other requirements
you can read on line// I have passports for yrs on my dogs as i showed dogs for many yrs and traveled to shows many places with differnt laws on dogs
there is quarenteen only in FIIJI, HAWAII (90days)Australia ( limited with pet passport) Uk none with pet passport... Bora bora doesnt allow dogs, and some places in the bahamas dont allow pets ashore due to the animals on land (lizards)
But i urge you to read the british rules they are very gracious and will extend every courtesty to you if you have a pet passport, it does take a while to get but its worth the time.. it takes investigation to find it all out
if you need help send me a reply privately i can look it up where to find out more if you have no luck

Kathleen
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soliel cavaliers ( cavalier king charles-Uraine and Eve on board)
at port in oriental
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Old 17-09-2008, 08:15   #13
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Recommending vet in Fort Lauderdale

We stopped in Fort Lauderdale to provision before our Atlantic crossing this past summer. As part of our preparation, we needed to get a veterinary certificate for the EU (form 998/2003 available online). We picked Gentle Care Animal Hospital because they were closest to the New River waterfront where we were moored. We couldn't have been happier. The vet, Dr. Brandon Cox, was super nice, and the whole clinic was cheerful. I'm sure any other vet there would be good too.

On another note, we never found a vet in the U.S. who issued pet passports, and we've visited vets in Washington, Oregon, California (several cities), and Florida. We were asked for one in the Cayman Islands, though, so apparently they're available somewhere. When we didn't have one, the officials in the Caymans just said not to take our dog ashore.
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:10   #14
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Health Certificate for the Bahamas

I have the permit for bringing my dog to the Bahamas and just got the health certificate signed today. Now it looks like we won't be leaving until the weekend due to the weather. Can anyone give me advice on the timeframe limit for the health certificate? How strict is the 'signed within 48 hours' rule? Should I plan on getting another certificate signed later in the week? What kinds of problems might I encounter if we arrive in the Bahamas and the form is several days beyond the 48 hour requirement? Thanks!
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Old 15-12-2008, 17:15   #15
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Any info how to actually get a "Pet Passpot"??? What is it and who issues it????? Seems they exist ut one one seems to actaully know whrer or ho wto get on. Is it the same as some other document, are we just confusing titles????
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