Health for humans, animals & plants

Rabies antibody determination for pets

Taking pets on a trip takes a lot of time and administration. Timely information prevents many a hassle. Take time to make travel arrangements.

To prove the effectiveness of the rabies vaccination, a blood test with determination of the rabies titer is required. This must be at least 0.5 IU/ml. For travel to a non-listed third country, the following applies: there must be at least 30 days between the vaccination date and the blood collection date!

Also note that you need a positive serological rabies test (rabies titer ≥ 0.5IU/ml) when re-entering the EU with a pet resident in the EU. Apart from the journey home, a journey through a third country - e. g. e.g. through Serbia when driving from Austria to Greece - is considered as re-entry into the EU. When re-entering the EU, a valid pet passport must be carried, in which the valid rabies vaccination and also the serological rabies test are entered. Within Europe, the rabies titer determination is valid for the life of the animal, provided you comply with the vaccination schedule. Therefore, have the rabies titre determination carried out in good time - this will save you, your veterinarian and us the stress before the journey.

ATTENTION: If you travel without complying with the legal requirements, you must expect problems at the border, in the country of travel or when re-entering Austria.

The rabies titer determination for entry into the EU may only be performed in an EU-approved laboratory. Our laboratory is approved by the EU (2004/233/EC) and all countries for testing the effectiveness of rabies vaccination in domestic animals (dogs, cats, ferrets). It is not possible to rewrite a certificate issued by a NON-EU approved laboratory.

Our advantages:

  • We are an EU recognized accredited laboratory (annual review by the EU).
  • We are the National Reference Laboratory for rabies (well-founded information due to knowledge of EU legislation).
  • We are a listed accredited laboratory for entry into Japan and China.
  • Each sample is examined within 1.5 weeks at the most, if not announced otherwise on the homepage (see also examination period).

Sample Quality & Form

Do not bring your pet to us - we are a diagnostic institute and are not responsible for blood draws or travel information. Your veterinarian is responsible for taking the blood. He/she must also sign the completed rabies titer form and confirms the accuracy of the information with his/her signature.

For travel to a non-listed third country, the following applies: there must be at least 30 days between the vaccination date and the blood collection date! We would like to point out that serum without added anticoagulants is required for testing for rabies antibodies (FAVNT) - quantity: at least 500µl "pure" serum or approx. 5ml whole blood. Please fill the correct blood tube from the beginning. Do not use LI-Heparin or EDTA tubes!

The serum can be stored in the refrigerator (4°C) for a short time or in the freezer (-20°C) for 1 week until transport. The quality of the sample may decrease slightly during this period. Transport should always take place in a refrigerated state (4°C or lower) (see also sample packaging and transport).

Please fill out the sample request form completely and send it to the Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling. In case of samples from several pets, please fill out a separate form for each animal and label the samples in such a way that we can assign the correct sample to each form. The veterinarian is responsible for the correctness of the data on the form. The veterinarian who drew blood from the animal must sign the form (a signature from the pet owner is invalid!). The veterinarian will determine who will pay the bill and whether the test report may be sent to the pet owner.

The rabies antibody titer testing application and other forms and information can be found here.

Correct Data: The data you provide will be transferred to the test report after testing is complete. Since the test report is a document (please keep it carefully!) and your pet is identified by this data, it is important that you enter the data correctly and, above all, legibly. A subsequent correction is only possible to a limited extent.

If possible, please include your telephone number and e-mail address for any queries. On the form you can also add notes such as "self-collector" or "urgent" (only in really urgent cases!).

Specimen Packaging & Transport

Sample packaging

Samples from third countries are animal blood subject to transport regulations - the packaging of the sample must be labeled "Exempt Animal Specimen - Serum from a dog/cat". The specimen containers must be labeled "For laboratory use only". The packaging must be three-layered.

Information on correct sample shipping can be found here - your transporter will also provide you with information!

Attention: The sender is liable for improper packaging during transport! The blood must/should be transported refrigerated (4°C and cooler).

Sample transport to the examination laboratory

The transport of the blood (serum) sample to the institute is the responsibility of the pet owner - all costs incurred due to the transport, including the costs of border control (customs) or other taxes are to be paid by the owner. As the sender of the sample, please make sure that "Sender" is marked in the transport documents under "Transport costs" as well as under "Duties and Taxes" and not "Recipient". If the designation is not correct, the sample will be returned to the sender and will not be examined!

Make sure that the transport company is allowed to transport the sample - some transport companies accept samples even though they are not authorized to transport them. The samples are then returned by post at the EU border.

In case of samples from third countries, please ask us for the current notification for the transport of the serological blood samples(servicezentrale@ages.at). You then enclose this (together with the completed and signed form) in the packaging with the samples.

You can also bring the sample to us yourself at any time and collect the test report from us in urgent cases (please note "self-collector" on the form!). We accept samples for rabies antibody determination not only on weekdays but also on weekends and holidays outside office hours - trained staff will take care of the samples properly until they are processed. You can find the opening hours of the Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling here.

Transport of the samples by airplane

Should you take the serum sample from a third country by airplane during a pre-trip conditional stay in Austria, please consider the following:

In case of samples from third countries, please ask us for the current notice for the transport of serological blood samples(servicezentrale@ages.at). Please enclose this (together with the completed and signed form) in the packaging of the samples and show it to the inspecting customs officers.

Please choose the red exit at the airport to have a customs control - otherwise you commit a customs offense! Blood (serum) samples from third countries, which are intended for rabies antibody determination at IVET Mödling, do not have to be declared to our Biorisk officer (BRO)! (Please also observe the packaging instructions for correct sample shipment!)

Investigation period

Please note that samples received by Sunday evening will be scheduled for Monday. Samples received later will be processed on the following Monday. On the following Thursday, the results will be sent to the sender by mail (subject to change, e.g., at Christmas!).

With this arrangement, each sample (except for holidays, such as Christmas) can be tested within 1.5 days. The duration of the testing procedure is three days. ATTENTION: the postal transport of the sample to the laboratory can take one week in Austria!

The test report will be sent to the customer (the veterinarian or, if the customer agrees, the pet owner) by mail and, if an e-mail address is provided, by e-mail.

Does it have to be quick? - You can also bring the sample to us yourself at any time (for opening hours, see Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling) as well as collect the test report from us in urgent cases (please note "self-collector" on the form!). We accept samples for rabies antibody determination not only on weekdays, but also on weekends and holidays outside office hours - trained staff will store the samples properly until they are processed. You can also pick up the test report on holidays and after hours.

Costs

For citizens with EU address:

Each sample costs € 78.12. You will receive an invoice with the findings.

For citizens with address outside the EU - the test report will then also be sent to an address in a third country:

Each sample costs € 65.10. The costs must be deposited for citizens with address outside the EU before testing. Only when we receive a scan of the deposit slip, we will test.

Bank account:

AGES GmbH Vet Med Moedling Bank: BAWAG Bankcodenumber: 60 000 Accountnumber: 000 9605 1513 IBAN: AT 85 6000 0000 9605 1513 BIC: BAWAATWW

Please keep the test report carefully. We charge a special rate for reissuing!

Examination Lab & Contact

Address of the testing laboratory:

Please send the sample only with the completed form to the following address:

Department of Serology and Virology Rabies Antibody Testing AGES Institute of Veterinary Medicine Mödling Robert Kochgasse 17 A-2340-Mödling.

You can also bring the sample to us yourself at any time as well as collect the test report from us in urgent cases (please note "self-collector" on the form!). We accept samples for rabies antibody testing not only on weekdays but also on weekends and holidays outside office hours. Trained staff will take care of the samples until they are processed. The opening hours of the Institut für veterinärmedizinische Untersuchungen Mödling can be found here.

Contact the testing center:

Information on rabies antibody testing for pets for travel abroad (worldwide): Service telephone(+43 50555 38112); in urgent cases also servicezentrale@ages.at

Dr. Susanne Richter susanne.richter@ages.at Tel: +43 50 555-38112 Robert Koch-Gasse 17 2340 Mödling

Please do not use other e-mail addresses or telephone numbers.

Important information for travel planning

We cannot give you any advice for traveling to your vacation country. Please inform yourself about the vaccination regulations of non-European countries at the embassy of the respective destination country. Motorist clubs also have useful information on their homepage. General information for re-entry into the EU (you also have to consider this!) can be found on the homepage of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection. We will help you with information, but you are responsible for the transport of your dog and for the correct compliance with the regulations.

Important information for entry, travel, re-entry and import:

A) Pet entry - no trade:

A maximum of 5 pets per person may be taken on trips.

Identification of the pet (dog, cat, ferret):

A prerequisite for the import or entry of your pet is a correct identification of the animal by means of a microchip. The microchip identifies your pet (not the name or other data): Please indicate the number correctly - if incorrect, the test must be repeated.

B) Vaccination:

A valid vaccination with an inactivated rabies vaccine or vector vaccine approved in the country of origin and conforming to the WHO/OIE standard is required for entry in all cases. The animal must be clearly identified by microchip prior to vaccination, and repeat vaccinations must be given within the intervals prescribed by the manufacturer of the particular vaccine. The rabies certificate loses its validity if the time intervals are not observed (and if it is only one day) and the test must be repeated.

Further important information from the BMSGPK:

Vacations with pets

Traveling abroad with pets

Travel with dogs, cats and ferrets within the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Entry and re-entry with pets from third countries to Austria

Information on the illegal puppy trade can be found on the homepage of the Austrian Veterinary Chamber.

Last updated: 29.09.2022

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