What do I do if my pet gets sick in a foreign country?


When Your Pet Gets Sick

If your pet becomes hurt or ill when you're traveling in a foreign country,­ stay calm. Sometimes a minor ailment can seem worse than it is because you're anxious that it may be difficult to find help. Although emergencies should be treated immediately, minor problems, like vomiting and diarrhea, can occur as a part of traveling because of changes in your pet's diet and its reaction to unfamiliar situations. If you're sure it's more serious than that, evaluate what you've been feeding your pet and what it's been doing that might be causing problems. Have a sample of anything it may have eaten to take to a local veterinarian, and above all, don't panic. Isolate your pet and keep it comfortable. Injured or sick animals can become violent, so use caution.

If you're staying in a hotel, the concierge may be able to make a recommendation about a good local veterinarian, particularly if the hotel advertises that it allows pets. This may be your fastest means of finding help. If not, U.S. embassies abroad offer assistance to U.S. citizens 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can call the Office of Overseas Citizen Services, part of the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-501-4444. You can also check the State Department's online listing of Embassies and Consulates for more information on how to find help when visiting abroad [source: U.S. State Department].

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