How to Obtain a Rabies Titer Test for Pet Transport
Among other things, preparing for international pet travel means understanding the pet import rules for your destination country, securing an airline approved pet travel crate, and booking a flight on a pet friendly airline.
It also means making sure pets are up to date on their rabies vaccine, and in some cases -- when going to Australia, Singapore, and other rabies free countries -- a rabies titer test is also needed.
The titer test is administered 1 to 30 days after the rabies vaccine and is meant to test the effectiveness of the vaccine. The titer test is essentially a blood draw that is sent to an approved lab, and the verified results are an important part of assuring a pet's smooth passage from one country to the next.
You may choose to rely on the help of a pet travel professional to properly carry out all international requirements, but for reference here are a few frequently asked questions about how to obtain a rabies titer test.
Who performs the test?
After the blood is drawn by a USDA accredited veterinarian, it needs to be sent to an approved lab. (Your assigned PetRelocation Specialist will guide you through this process and make sure your pet's sample goes to the right lab.)
How do I know if my pet needs a titer test?
Research the rules before you go: here is a list of rabies free countries.
What if my vet isn't accredited?
Your PetRelocation Specialist can help you find an accredited vet if necessary.
Can I get the titer test at any time?
Rabies titer test results have an expiration date depending upon the country you are moving to, so any changes to the move plan could affect the validity. Also important: you need to make sure that your pet is microchipped before the blood draw. If your pet has multiple microchips, they all need to be recorded on the test submission form.
What else do I need to know?
You need to make sure that you have an original rabies certificate to match the dates of the rabies vaccines listed on the test submission form.
Note that using a third party lab such as Antech or Idexx and/or seeking a test during a peak time like summer can result in longer than normal reporting of the test results.
Many vet offices are paperless and will scan the results into their system and discard the official results. You need to make sure that you tell your vet office to keep the results or mail them to you because they are required for travel and/or documentation. Also, some countries require the original to be automatically mailed from the approved lab and the original results will not be needed for transport.
For pets allergic to rabies vaccines, KSU offers the alternative of RFFIT testing.