U.S. Pet Owners Seeking Lower-Cost Vet Care in Mexico

Equine veterinarians should be aware of the trend where animal owners are seeking cheaper veterinary care in Mexico.
The USDA warned horse owners against trying to move horses across the Mexican border without following U.S. regulations. Getty Images

USAToday reported a trend with small animal owners to seek Mexican veterinary care for U.S. pets. Owners are taking their pets across the border to Mexico for lower-cost veterinary care. There are even companies springing up that will facilitate the courier service across the border for U.S. pet owners.

We asked the USDA for a statement about Mexican veterinary care potentially be sought for horses.

They said: “Due to disease concerns, movement of horses between Mexico and the United States is not the same as movement of horses between the United States and Canada. In 2021, Mexico had a positive detection of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) virus in a horse. As a result, we implemented the import requirements for horses from VEE-affected countries, which includes a 7-day entry quarantine. Any horse traveling into Mexico for any purpose would be subject to the 7-day quarantine and blood testing in order to return the United States. The full requirements for horses imported from Mexico can be found at USDA APHIS | Bring Horses into the U.S. from Mexico.”

Equine veterinarians should warn their clients that trying to obtain equine veterinary services in Mexico probably is not easier or cheaper than working with a veterinarian licensed in the United States.

And keep in mind that the USDA does have regulations in place for small animal export and import that must be followed or the animal can be denied entrance into the United States.

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