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When animals are imported from abroad, there is always the risk that the animals will bring infectious diseases with them that have not yet been recognized.

These can be parasitic or bacterial infections known as motion sickness.

But it can also be infections that are triggered by viruses, or diseases that are not common in this country.


Travel sickness is the term used to describe diseases that have so far been widespread in southern Europe and in the warmer regions of Eastern Europe. The pathogens are often transmitted by parasites such as ticks or mosquitoes. Affected dogs rarely show clinical signs of illness immediately; the pathogens often withdraw into blood cells and organs and can lead to the onset of the disease after months or even years.


The following diseases are considered to be travel sicknesses;


a parasitic infection


was found in animals imported from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary and Poland.

Babesiosis already occurs in some regions in this country.

Cats can also get babesiosis!


The disease is transmitted by ticks (brown dog ticks, alluvial forest ticks). The single-cell parasite settles in the red blood cells, destroys them and thus leads to anemia.


The time from infection to the onset of the disease is two to five weeks.

There are acute and chronic courses of the disease. Acute courses are expressed in pale to white mucous membranes as a result of anemia, fever, refusal to feed up to yellow mucous membranes.


If the disease is recognized in time, a dog can basically be cured of an infection with large babesia. This currently requires medication to be administered twice at an interval of fourteen days.

If the disease is recognized too late, very intensive therapy with blood transfusions is often necessary. The disease can also be fatal at this stage.


You can prevent this with a suitable tick repellent.



a parasitic infection


The unicellular parasite is infected by the bite of a sand fly, which is particularly active at dusk and at night. So far, sand flies have mainly been found in southern Mediterranean countries and North Africa, but sand flies have also been discovered in Germany due to their introduction and climate change.

The disease can also be transmitted from blood to blood. Leishmaniasis affects both dogs and cats.


The time from infection to onset of the disease can take up to 18 months.

Symptoms usually develop slowly. The parasites attack the body's immune cells and multiply there and then retreat mainly to tissues such as lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and liver.

The body tries to fight the pathogens and forms antibodies against them, which can lead to deposits in the organs. Joints and kidneys in particular are permanently damaged as a result.


The symptoms can be very diverse. Skin changes such as inflammation, crusts and pustules as well as hair loss often occur, preferably around the eyes, ears, tail and paws. Changes in claws and balls can also be observed. Other symptoms are fever, swelling of the lymph nodes, emaciation and painful joints.


Since the pathogens can withdraw into many organs of the body, the disease is difficult to cure. Lifelong therapy, with regular veterinary checks, is often necessary


A combination of two drugs is currently recommended. One of which is intended to prevent the parasites from multiplying and the other to kill the existing parasites.

Since the kidneys of the animals are damaged, low-protein feeding is necessary to protect the kidneys.


People can also get leishmaniasis.

For this reason, good prevention is very important. To keep the sand flies away from the dog, you should wear these spot on collars that are effective against sand flies.



a parasitic infection also called heartworm disease


Heartworm disease is particularly widespread in the Mediterranean countries. But it is also common in the United States, Australia and Japan. The parasite is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. After infection, the larvae go through several stages in the skin, then migrate through the tissues of the body and after a few months settle mainly in the large pulmonary vessels and in the heart.

The adult female worms then release young heartworms into the bloodstream, which in turn can be ingested by mosquitoes and spread further.

Adult heartworms can survive in a dog for up to seven years and grow up to a foot tall. Dirofilariasis can also affect cats.


The first signs of illness are usually seen around five to six months after infection. However, some animals show no symptoms either. Chronic coughs and tiredness are often observed, and in severe cases it can also lead to difficult breathing, increased blood pressure and heart problems.


The therapy is very complex and freedom from pathogens cannot always be achieved.

The most effective way to kill adult worms is to use repeated injections, which can be very painful, in combination with tablets or spot-ons for the skin.

The therapy is not without risk, as it can lead to blockages of vessels. In some cases, this can be fatal, which is why the dog must be strictly rested.

In very severe cases, it is sometimes necessary to surgically remove the worms. If the lungs and the heart are already badly damaged, the prognosis for the future is cautious as the development cannot be clearly predicted.



Supplement to the dog skin worm:

The dog skin worm, which also belongs to the group of heartworms, is now on the advance in Europe and also in Germany. In dogs and cats it lives mainly in the subcutaneous tissue and forms small nodules. Humans can be infected by the mosquito. The therapy is the same as for heartworm.



is a bacterial infection


In the case of Ehrlichiosis, the bacterial pathogens are also transmitted by ticks such as the brown dog tick.

Ehrlichiosis is particularly common in the European Mediterranean countries, the Canary Islands, the USA, Asia and Australia. Their appearance has already been described in Germany. The bacterial pathogens mainly affect the white blood cells.


Most dogs show symptoms one to three weeks after being infected. In the first few weeks, these are often signs such as fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and enlarged lymph nodes.

This phase is usually followed by a few weeks or months without any symptoms. During this time, some dogs manage to eliminate the pathogen.

If the pathogen remains in the cells, the affected dogs develop symptoms of a chronic disease, such as a stiff gait and painful joints, changes in the eyes, pale mucous membranes, nosebleeds / shortness of breath.


If the ehrlichiosis is recognized and treated at an early stage, the prognosis is usually good after several weeks of therapy. If the disease is only noticed in the chronic stage, complications are more common.

It is often necessary to repeat the therapy several times.


The direct transmission from dog to human is not possible. However, a tick can infect an infected dog, and if it bites again it can infect humans or other animals with the pathogen.

Good tick prophylaxis can prevent the transmission.



a parasitic infection


This parasite is also transmitted by the brown dog ticks, which so far have mainly been found in southern Europe. In this case, however, a dog is not affected by the bite but by swallowing / biting a tick that is infected with the parasite. After the tick is swallowed, the parasite larvae burrow through the dog's intestinal wall. They affect various organs and ultimately also the white blood cells.

The pathogen is detected less often in cats, but it can cause symptoms similar to those in dogs.


The time from infection to onset of the disease is two to four weeks. In the acute stage, the animals often show fever, weight loss, pale mucous membranes, eyes and nasal discharge and possibly also bloody diarrhea. If the animals are sick for a long time, they show muscle weakness and pain, as well as a stiff gait and possibly also epileptic seizures.


In the early stages, the disease can often be treated, although complete elimination of the pathogen cannot always be achieved. Animals that have been sick for a long time and already show chronic symptoms can often no longer be cured because serious organic damage is already present.


A transmission to humans is very unlikely and not yet known. However, the infected dog is possibly a source of infection for other dogs, as ticks can become infected on the affected dog.



is a bacterial infection


Anaplasmosis is a bacterial disease and the pathogens are picked up by the bite of a common wood tick. The pathogen is closely related to Ehrlichiosis. Anaplasmosis is no longer a motion sickness in the original sense, as it can now be found in the USA, Asia, Australia and the Eastern European countries as well in all of Europe, including Germany.

The bacteria attack the white blood cells and multiply there. Cats can also get anaplasmosis.


The symptoms of a disease usually appear one to two weeks after the infected tick is bitten.

But there are also many animals that show no recognizable signs of disease. They can be an inconspicuous source of spread. Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, stiffness, and lameness are possible symptoms. Some animals also develop vomiting, diarrhea, coughing and sometimes epileptic seizures.


Antibiotic therapy for two to four weeks is sufficient in many cases to survive the disease.

But also here a proper tick prophylaxis applies so that the animal cannot be infected again.


People are also prone to anaplasmosis. As with almost all tick-borne diseases, dogs cannot be infected directly. However, the bite of an infected tick can be dangerous.

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