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.

Looking for assistance with your upcoming pet move? Please contact us for a pet travel consultation.

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By Vanessa on September 10, 2018 at 3:52 am

Hi! We are moving to Sabah, Borneo Malaysia from Germany February or March 2019. Sabah is rabies free and requires a titre testing and vaccination. My dog hat his last vaccine last year, since here it is valid three years. Do I have to make the required vaccine before the antibody test? Or could I have the test done now and renew the vaccine after that? Thank you!
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By Maegan at PetRelocation on September 12, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Hi Vanessa! If the rabies vaccine was given after your pet's microchip and the vaccine is under a year old, you can get the blood drawn for the titer. The order of requirements is 1)microchip, 2)rabies vaccination (must be less than 1 year old), 3)titer test. Then your pet must wait 90 days before import and your dog will need to undergo 30 days of quarantine in Sabah.

If you are looking for a company like ours to assist with your pet's move, feel free to fill out our Arrange A Move form and a representative will reach out to you. We just sent a pet to Sabah so understand how complex this process is :) hope this helps!
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By DC on August 17, 2018 at 10:17 am

Hi,I’m looking to relocate from Austria to Singapore and will likely move there with my 4 year old dog sometime around the end of the year - as described on this site Singapore is strict with animal imports. I have a couple of questions if it’s not too much trouble:- The current rabies vaccination is valid from December 2016 until December 2019. Is it fine for me to try and arrange a titer test now? Or does it need to be done closer to the actual vaccination time? The Singapore import requirements simply state “more than 30 days after vaccination”, but your site states “The titer test is administered 1 to 30 days after the rabies vaccine”.- Do you know, how long does it usually take to get the test results back (from within Europe) after a visit to the vet to take the blood sample and submit it?Many thanks!
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By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Hi DC - thanks for your comment! For Singapore the blood titer test must be done at least 30 days after rabies #1. Each pet will require a second rabies vaccine. This can be done at the same appointment as the titer test blood draw. If done at the same appointment, the rabies vaccine must be given AFTER the blood draw. It typically takes 2-6 weeks to get the blood titer test report back from the lab. Hope this helps!
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By Tatiana on July 31, 2018 at 10:06 am

Hello, We would like ro travel with our Samoyed( dog) from France to Ukraine, he has his chip and all the immunization up to date, including rabies., europian passport. Also we are going to take Health certificate from our doctor. We want to know if we need analysis of rabies antibodies for entering Ukraine? We can’t find proved official information anywhere.Thank you for any informationSincerely
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By Maegan at PetRelocation on August 2, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Hi Tatiana! In our experience, Ukraine import requirements vary and are quite difficult. We've always had our clients complete a blood titer test for import into the Ukraine. However, you may not need this test as France is considered "rabies free". It would be a good idea to hire a local pet shipping company in the Ukraine to help with the import requirements and clear your pet through customs. Our recommendation is that you refer to the International Pet and Animal Transportation Associate (IPATA) to find a company in the Ukraine who can assist. Hope this helps!
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By Thomas on July 9, 2018 at 6:54 am

Hello!We are moving from the UK to sunny Hawai'i with our dog, and I have been looking all over for information about the FAVN blood test. As far as I understand, with United putting their pet travel programme on hold, our dog needs to transfer flights because of that needs to have the FAVN blood test done (despite going from one rabies-free zone to another). Does the system in the UK work the same as in the US, where my local vet will send the blood and required forms to the KSU labs and get the results back. Or do things work differently on this side of the pond? Also, not sure how to find a USDA accredited vet in the UK (Portsmouth area).
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By Christina at PetRelocation on July 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

Hi Thomas! Great question. Pets arriving from the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand may qualify for exempt status. You can find a checklist of requirements for pets who meet these criteria here. If arriving from another country, you must comply with one of the other programs for Hawaii quarantine by making sure you meet these requirements (including using an approved lab) detailed here. If you would like a consultation about your move, we have a team of experts ready to help! Just fill out this form at your convenience and someone will contact you as soon as possible.
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By Tomris on June 20, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Hello! I am going to move from Turkey to Holland with my chihuahua. I have that rabies titre test already since november 2016. Can I still use it or do I have to make that again?Thank you.
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By Maegan at PetRelocation on June 22, 2018 at 9:35 am

Hi Tomris! According to Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture as long as the rabies vaccination has not expired, the blood test does not need to be completed again. Hope this helps!
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By Tomris on July 11, 2018 at 10:22 am

Thank you so much !
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By Cleo del Prado on April 26, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Hello, is there a laboratory in Miami where rabies titer of dogs can be tested?
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By Christina at PetRelocation on April 27, 2018 at 9:05 am

Hello Cleo! All rabies titer tests performed in the USA are sent to the veterinary lab at Kansas State University.
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By Nia Turn on April 26, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Hello,I'm moving overseas and my cat got her titer test a few months ago. They mailed us the paper work and all was good to go, but now it appears that the movers packed up the original results. Negligence on my part, for sure.I'm wondering if there's a way I can get another copy of the results from the vet or the blood lab sent to me?
Reply

By Christina at PetRelocation on April 27, 2018 at 9:02 am

Hi Nia! Different destination countries have varying policies on this. It also will depend where you're coming from. For example, if you are going to New Zealand, you would be required to furnish an original, but some other places accept copies, and some get a result sent to them straight from the lab. If you got the titer test done in the US, it was sent to Kansas State University and you can request a reissue here.
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By Tracey on April 2, 2018 at 1:25 pm

Hi ,I will be travelling from Colombia to Nairobi Kenya with my dog. We will be travelling through Turkey and spending 24hrs in a hotel. I have read that they require a rabies blood titer 90 days prior to entry. In this case we are only entering for a stopover this is not final destination. I can get a blood titer in Colombia but it may not meet the requirements expected as they do state from an approved lab. Any information you could provide would be so helpful thank you.Tracey
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By Maegan at PetRelocation on April 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Hi Tracey,

Typically if pets are just transiting a pet hotel, they do not need to meet the import requirements of the country. However, I’d suggest reaching out directly to the airline to confirm that your pet will not be clearing customs in the transiting country. If your pet must clear customs, then your pet must meet the country requirements. Hope this helps!
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