We refer to exotic diseases as those which are not normally found in the UK.
In the UK, we have been particularly fortunate to have few really nasty pet diseases for which there are no available vaccines. Unfortunately, with the increasing movement of pet animals into the UK from abroad (either direct importation or due to holiday travel), we are now seeing exotic disease cases more regularly.
It is rather unfortunate that the PETS Passport system is simply designed to prevent the importation of zoonotic diseases such as Rabies and Echinococcus (a tapeworm that can be fatal to humans) rather than to prevent pet disease transmission.
This year, we have seen our first case of Babesiosis, caused by a parasite that is transmitted by ticks. Despite all our efforts, this was sadly a fatal case. The owners had recently travelled to Europe and their dog must have picked up an infected tick while abroad. There is now an additional risk that "exotoc" infected ticks may also be present in the UK.
Other exotic diseases such as heartworm, Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichia, eye worm and tongue worm are also increasingly likely to be seen in the UK. So, if you are travelling abroad with your pet, please do take appropriate precautions. AlphaPet can give you advice on this and there is an excellent website giving more details on travelling with pets: https://www.esccap.org/travelling-pets-advice/