moving dog w/ health issues
I'm looking to move to St. Croix and will be bringing small dog with me. It's not home without him. However, he does have seizures and is on medication that has almost wiped them out. Stress can trigger them as well though. I'm wondering what options there are to transport to the Virgin Islands that I can keep him with me. Momma is kind of a safety net that can calm stress levels. I'm also looking for a vet that will prescribe his normal meds since we know that they work, instead of wanting to see his seizure pattern again or wanting to use him as a guinea pig for a new medication. This part is probably the most important as his seizures have caused brain damage in the past.
Thanks a lot!
My best advice is to call Dr. Michelle Mehelic at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center at (340) 778-1650. Call her today and it may relax you!
She's probably the best vet on the island and whom I know well. Ask her your questions and I'm sure she will help you. You might tell her that a former client referred you through this forum.
Animals can fly in the cabin (in an airline approved carrier) if they are 20 pounds and under (I believe that is the weight limit). As for a vet, I would recommend Progressive Animal Hospital - their number is (340) 718-1256. I also hear good things about Sugar Mill Vet on island. Either one that you decide to go to, I would contact them, explain the situation with your dog and see if they will prescribe his/her meds.
Best of luck with your move!
Does your pup have epilepsy?
He does. We've noticed that some of his senses have been affected by the brain damage from his seizures (eyesight and smell) but he's the happiest dog you'll ever see. Thankfully, he hasn't had another since we started the phenobarbital but I do worry about the moving stress. One of my concerns, after talking to American Airlines they said that is up to the gate agents discretion about how many animals are allowed in the cabin and others have to go to cargo. I'm trying to find if there is any other option for getting him to the islands. I'm one of those people that has to have a backup plan for my backup plan. lol.
Do a search on the forum. I think there was a recent post regarding company the specialize in pet air transport. The airlines do not allow animals too ride in cargo during hot summer months and some planes can't take them at all.
Depends on size/weight of dog if they'll allow in cabin.
My Shadow had epilepsy as well and she was on the phenobarbitol and something else which I can't remember. She was diagnosed with it when she was 3 and 130 lbs. Sweetest dog ever. Grand mal seizures were no laughing matter but usually only occurred at nighttime while she was sleeping. Hagen Daz Vanilla ice cream (just a tablespoon) after a seizure helps stabilize blood sugar levels after an event. She was always incredibly thirsty after she would finally come back to herself after an event. Really tough on animals.
They won't fly any pets in cargo during the summer months due to heat conditions. I'll post some links and more information for you but you can find info on Airline websites. No pets in cargo at all on AIRBUS planes so if you have to change planes be sure of type plane you're going on.
They do have a limit on how many pets allowed on a flight and it's first come, first served basis. They don't take reservations for dogs/pets being transported. Unless you have to fly private charter.
There are companies that offer this service and you can share a flight with others in similar situations but it's still on the expensive side compared to flying commercial.
some airlines dont allow certain breeds . keep that in mind too.
That can be gotten around in certain circumstances, especially if dog is flying cabin and not cargo. I flew Hershey up with me tho in cargo as she's 60 lbs. and if you look at the picture of a pit bull that AA has on their website, it looks like her twin but her veterinarian paperwork lists her as a Terrier mix which she is, for all intents and purposes.
You'd have to check tho on snub nosed or brachycephalic dogs.
Please check for a private message here I sent you by clicking on the "private message" button on top of the page.
When Shadow began having seizures, @ 3years old. we put her on phenobarbitol.
Later vet recommend to add potassium bromide.
She was 10 years old when I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go. It was difficult keeping her on meds every 12 hours, every single day and trusting house sitter, for the first time, or anyone else who has no experience, previously to deal with an epileptic dog if I had to be off island.
Between the meds and continuing seizures,she was deteriorating.
No way I'd leave her in a kennel at any vets boarding facility, overnight.
Her litter mate/sister, my Sheba, the runt of that litter@ 90 lbs, full grown, luckily didn't have that issue. Sorry if I'm rambling but having lost any animal to something you do to combat every single day and finally make a decision that is one of the worst ever when you're standing there, watching your beloved pet just pass on.
I'm still heartbroken for each and every single one that I've loved and lost.
Sorry if I sidetracked the thread.
Don't be sorry. I haven't found anyone to talk to about all of this that has been through it before. A dog with health issues isn't anything new to me but seizures are. I was an absolute wreck after the first one because I didn't know what to do. We've had pets all my life and I have never seen a seizure that severe. Now talking about moving with him when he hates to ride five minutes in the car, it's a little stressful. Knowing that there are others that have had the same issues with their pets and found good vet care on the island makes me feel a whole lot better about the whole thing.
When Shadow had her first seizure, I thought she'd bitten or eaten a toxic toad we have on island. I had no idea dogs got epilepsy even tho I had dogs from childhood on. It was absolutely frightening and life changing for both of us. You might research special diets and there are several good books on canine epilepsy.
What kind of pup is your dog and what does he weigh?
When I moved with Hershey, and we had to go through TSA, they wanted the dog out of the kennel to inspect dog and kennel for contraband. Have a leash with you. After dog is back in kennel, you've got to secure all 4 sides of door with zip ties. I wouldn't have known about this, except for speaking with St. Thomas Humane Society for advice as they send lots of dogs stateside with their Pets with Wings program for adoption. They rely on traveler volunteers to accommodate transporting dogs both in cargo and in cabin.
I don't know if the zip ties are a requirement for in cabin flight.
That information wasn't listed on Airline website.
HSSTT phone number is 340-775-0599.
They may be able to answer zip tie questions for in cabin travel with dog. Ask for Reah or Kathy
You'll need rabies shot to bring dog in as well as a vet certificate within 10 days of travel. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
I was living on STT so can't recommend any vets on STX but I'm sure others on STX on this forum can.
Winston's a chihuahua min-pin mix. He's only twelve pounds so I know he fits the weight limit. I had seen someone in another thread had said that they brought their dogs down by boat and wondered if that is an option or if they had their own boat? It was just a mention in something else...
Moving by boat will only prolong the stress.
Cruise ships don't take dogs.
Don't consider it an option.
Your baby is small enough to fly in cabin.
Go for it.
Discuss with vet your anxiety and concerns.
Don't give any sedatives to pup (recommended) unless you've tried them way in advance. Get pup used to being in travel kennel prior to flight.
Use reward training. Feed, give treats, rub inside kennel down with clothing you've worn, place their favourite toy in there, feed in there, etc.
The more comfortable the pup is, the better.
Zip it up once Winston is used to it and walk around your home with him inside.
I'm glad all my pups at a very young age,were used to being in their kennels on the deck.
I'd often find them in a kennel, chilling. It really helped with transporting Hershey in cargo, having her not freak out and be comfortable for the long duration of the getting to Tampa. On e my driver picked us up she was out of kennel, on the blanket I took from AA, in the backseat, snuggled up.
There's really no rhyme or reason for seizures.
It's a hugely random occurrence, even when you've done everything possible. Your worrying and anxiety can result in pup's stress.
Breathe, relax, do your best.
It might be a good idea to have vet write a note that your pup is subject to seizures so if an event does happen in flight, if you're required to zip tie kennel door, you can request stewardess to get you something to remove ties and hold, water Winston in that event. Just in case.
When you've done all you can, covered all your bases, the rest is left up to the whims of the disease.
If you have a ton of money and can afford to fly private doggy charter, go for it otherwise, Don't beat yourself up about it.