About 10 days ago, we made an appointment at Baring Village Veterinary (our vet) for Kiara to begin her export process.
After reviewing all the paperwork for exporting a pet to the European Union and Italy specifically we were happy to realize that on January 1, 2012 the process changed and actually became simpler. Yay for us. But although the process is simpler it still requires some attention to detail.
Kiara must have an international microchip (15 digit number) which will work with a specific hand wand brand used in Italy. No problem, the vet’s office had the right chip, so we had it implanted in February when she went in for her annual dental cleaning (surgical cleaning, chihuahua’s have horrible dentition) however the required rabies shot used in Nevada is a three-year shot done two years prior to her microchipping.
In order to export her to Italy she must receive the rabies vaccine AFTER being microchipped. So we brought her in for her appointment and had her vaccines updated. In addition to the full exam, including having her temperature taken (something she completely despises) it was also time to check her blood work for the medications she takes. So she was poked and prodded a bit more than she was expecting and was not happy about it at all, and then to add insult to injury we had the vet tech give her a pedicure. Displeased was only the beginning of how upset she was when we left.
The following day we noticed that her necked was all bruised and the following afternoon she was moving around in circles and crying. Usually the only time we see this circling behavior is when she is having seizures, so we were extremely worried about this particular behavior especially with the crying because she never, ever cries. By that afternoon we were back at the vet’s office for a sanity check up and set of x-rays to assure us that she hadn’t eaten something that was causing her great pain and making her cry. Thankfully, the x-rays came back clear and the vet didn’t think there was anything to be concerned about. The bruising on her neck was from a blood draw and would fade in a few days. We took her home and haven’t heard any further crying. Thankfully, we have used the same vet’s for over 15 years and they know us and Kiara very well since they see our baby often due to her seizures so they often discount our treatments and visits knowing we are repeat customers.
The next step for her exportation is to wait until 10 days prior to our departure and have the vet sign off on the export paperwork which will then go to the USDA office in Sacramento for certifying. Their web site states that they need 48 hours to turn around the paperwork and if we submit the paperwork with a return FedEx slip they will happily expedite shipping, or we are free to come by the office and pick up the paperwork. Seeing as we are leaving in January, we are planning to use the Priority Overnight option available from FedEx rather than attempting to get over Donner Pass on I-80 in January.
Once we receive her certified documents, she will be able to travel with us throughout the EU as well as in the cabin of the plane on Delta Airlines. Delta is one of the few airlines that transport pets in the cabin of the plane on international flights, a necessity for us as she needs medication twice a day and the flight is over 19 hours. There is another airline that transports in the cabin, but they are affiliated with United and United does not allow pets in the cabin. We are unwilling to take a chance on her being de-boarded or stuck in with the luggage or as cargo, so we are more than happy to fly Delta.
At least for now, she’s all ready to go once we get within our 10-day window. Whew.