Infectious diseases in dogs imported to Norway

The programme was initiated in 2017 and aims to include sampling of 100 imported dogs by the end of the year.

The aim of the surveillance programme is to document the status of imported dogs, with respect to selected exotic infections and the level of antibodies against rabies.

The dogs are blood sampled shortly after arrival in Norway and serum is tested by an antigen tests for Dirofilaria immitis and Angyostrongylus vasorum, and for antibodies against Leishmania infantum, and Erlichia canis. In addition, the level of antibodies against rabies is measured to evaluate the effect of the compulsory rabies vaccination.  In 2018, the dogs are also tested for antibodies against Brucella canis


A total of 72 dogs imported to Norway from 8 different countries were included in the surveillance programme in 2017. The majority of included dogs (79%) were imported from Spain. Documentation of rabies vaccination is compulsory for entry of dogs into Norway from most countries. Eighty-seven percent of the dogs had a rabies antibody level greater than 0.5 IU, and 8.6% of the dogs had so low antibody levels that one may question the validity of the rabies vaccination document. The most frequently detected infection was Leishmania infantum (6.9%), followed by antibodies against Erlichia canis/ewingii (2.8%) and heartworm Dirofilaria immitis (1.4%). No dogs tested positive for French heartworm (Angyostrongylus vasorum).

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