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 Laura on December 20, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I am traveling with my cat to Israel and he needs to have the rabies titer drawn. I have been unsuccessful finding a veterinarian in Tampa or the Tampa bay area to draw the lab.I leave on Jan 4,2018. Is there a list of veterinarians in my area that offer this and will I get results back in time ti leave as scheduled?Thanks for assisting me Laura
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By cquezada@petrelocation.com on December 20, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Hi Laura,

Thanks for your question! Here are some tips from the USDA for finding an accredited veterinarian who can do this. The laboratory that processes all these samples is at Kansas State University, which offers a STAT service to expedite results. I would contact them to make sure they would be able to work within this time frame, as the window on their website states two weeks or less.

Hope this helps!
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By Colette on January 4, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Hello! I have cats that will be traveling to the U.K with me. I would like to know if and when Rabies Titers expire for the United Kingdom?? ie. could I get them done this year if I will only move in 2019 (as long as I keep rabies up to date)? Thank you :)
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By cquezada@petrelocation.com on January 5, 2018 at 9:57 am

Hello Colette,

Thanks for your question! Generally speaking, you should be able to do that as long as you keep your cats up to date on their rabies vaccines. It’s always a good idea to Check with DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) to make sure this is okay, though. Happy travels!
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By marisa hunter on January 21, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am moving to Australia on March 25, 2018. I am bringing my dog with me. She needs the titre and can't find an accredited lab in the San Francisco Caifornia area. Woud you know of any? How long will she need to be in the US before she can go to Aus.? I am in the process of reserching pet transportation services and still waiting on quotes.
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By cquezada@petrelocation.com on January 22, 2018 at 9:56 am

Hi Marisa! The lab for this test is at Kansas State University, so your dog’s blood sample will be sent there. You will need to make sure the veterinarian who performs the titer test is USDA accredited. You can learn more about finding a USDA accredited veterinarian here. As far as timelines go, your dog must remain in the United States for at least 180 days after the titer test is received by the lab. For more information on import regulations and timelines, you can visit our Australia page.

If you would like a quote for our services, you can fill out our Arrange a Move form and a pet relocation specialist will contact you as soon as possible! Hope this helps.
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By Evgenya on January 28, 2018 at 7:24 am

Hello! I am planning to travel to Netherlands from Ukraine with my dog. If the blood test will be done when it is 1 month before current vaccination expiry date and then the dog will be revaccinated timely, will it be compliant with legislation? I am asking because 3 months period after blood test is required and I am confused if the test will be valid in the case of revaccination done during this period (3 months after test). Thank you)
Reply

By cquezada@petrelocation.com on January 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Hello Evgenya!

Great question. As long as you renew the rabies vaccine on time, the titer test will remain valid and you do not need to renew it. This means you can continue working with the original time frame. Happy travels!
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