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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PetRelocation Team

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By Lyzzie Miles on July 31, 2017 at 8:08 am

I have a pet that will be traveling to Hawaii at the beginning of December. I need to know when do Rabies Titers expire for Hawaii??
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By caitlin@petrelocation.com on July 31, 2017 at 9:13 am

Hi Lyzzie, thanks for your question! Here is a link to the import requirements for Hawaii. If you find that this brings up more questions or if you're interested in hiring some assistance, please contact us here for a consultation. Thanks and good luck with everything!
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By Hi , on October 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

Hi,I have two cats whom I'm taking to Itay (from India). I want to know the time period during which I can draw their blood for the titer test, after vaccinating them. They were vaccinated on june 10th. Is there a specific time period within which I need to draw their blood? If i have exceeded the days required, please suggest on an alternative.
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By bethany@petrelocation.com on October 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

Hello and thanks for reaching out!

Most veterinarians and labs advise that the blood draw occur at least 30 days from the rabies vaccination and not past the due date. Therefore, if your cats' rabies vaccination is still valid, we would advise getting the blood draw done soon.

We hope this helps! Let us know if there is anything further we can help you with here and good luck!
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By marwa on October 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

hello,im relocating to greece by the end of this month and im taking my dog with me. we are from tunisia and he need the blood test.If i do him the test how long should he wait before travelling?? thank you
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By bethany@petrelocation.com on October 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

Hello Marwa, thanks for the question!

Because Tunisia is considered an "unlisted" country by the EU rules, you will need to have your dog tested and wait 120 days from the blood draw before your dog can enter Greece. If you have further questions on the requirements, you can find them here.

We hope this helps and good luck to you!
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