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What flag has a dog on it?

Pet travel from the U.S. to Japan

Accredited Veterinarians can submit health certificates for electronic signature through VEHCS (Veterinary Export Health Certification System).

Digital endorsement varies by species — see requirements listed on this page for more information.
The health certificate either bears the original ink signature and embossed seal or digital signature/seal.

IMPORTANT: The printed paper endorsed health certificate must accompany each shipment. For digitally endorsed health certificates, USDA Accredited Veterinarians can print the health certificate from VEHCS once it is endorsed. For non-digitally endorsed health certificates, you can arrange to have your endorsed health certificate returned via pick-up or by mail (a pre-paid, pre-addressed return label must be provided during certificate submission).

— — A L E R T — —

The CDC’s temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies implemented in July 2021 will be extended through July 31, 2023; all current requirements will remain in place. Effective March 1, 2023, new documentation requirements will go into effect for all dogs imported from high-risk rabies countries that have been vaccinated for rabies in a foreign country. Learn more on

General Requirements

For all pets other than those listed* below to Japan, USDA Accredited Veterinarians may issue health certificates electronically through the online Veterinary Export Health Certification System (VEHCS). These certificates will be digitally endorsed by APHIS once received in the system and available for printing by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian once the endorsement is completed by APHIS. An APHIS-endorsed, printed paper copy must accompany the shipment.

Health certificates for the types of pets listed* below, may be submitted by the USDA Accredited Veterinarian through VEHCS; however, the APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer’s ink (wet) signature with the application of the APHIS embossed seal must appear on the health certificate. Certificates received by APHIS through the VEHCS system will be printed and endorsed in our offices, and the hard copy will be returned when complete. This APHIS-endorsed and embossed paper copy must accompany the shipment.

* Pet Birds
Pet Ferrets

Pet Dogs and Cats from HAWAII or GUAM

Taking Dogs and Cats into Japan from Hawaii or Guam

If you are traveling from Hawaii or Guam to Japan, visit Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service Website for more information.

STEP 1: Advanced Notification

The importer must provide advance notification of the animal to be imported to the Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) with jurisdiction over the intended air or seaport of arrival at least 40 days prior to arrival in Japan by fax or mail.

  • DOGS – Notification of Import Inspection of Dog
  • CATS – Notification of Import of Animals under the Rabies Prevention Law

STEP 2: Individual Identification by microchip

Dogs and cats must be individually identified by an ISO compliant microchip. If the animal is not fitted with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip, the importer must bring a microchip reader with the pet.

STEP 3: Health Certificate

Dogs and cats must be inspected by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and confirmed free of clinical signs of infectious disease including rabies and leptospirosis (for dogs) prior to departure.

  • Export Health Certificate (Form AB): Form AB may only be used for U.S. origin pet dogs and cats traveling to Japan from the state of Hawaii or the U.S. territory of Guam. Form AB contains the information required for both the owner declaration and health certificate. The exporter will need to have this form endorsed by APHIS-VS.

NOTE: The “Clinical Inspection by Veterinarian” and the “Certification by Official Government Veterinarian” attestation sections of the health certificate should be completed by the issuing USDA Accredited Veterinarian. When completing these sections, note that Hawaii and Guam are considered “Rabies-Free Designated Regions” of the United States. As such, when Form AB refers to the “exporting county” this should be interpreted as either the state of Hawaii or the territory of Guam, and not the entire United States. For instance, when the statement says “The animal has been continuously resident in the exporting country for at least 180 days immediately before shipment to Japan, or since its birth,” this means the animal has been a resident of Hawaii/Guam for the last 180 days or since birth.

The “Endorsement by Official Government Veterinarian” section should be completed by the USDA-APHIS-VS endorsing Veterinary Medical Officer.

Other Options for Acceptable Health Certificates Include:
Using Form AB above fulfills all health certificate requirements for U.S. pet dogs and cats from Hawaii/Guam to Japan. However, the exporter may choose to use the following other option instead of the Form AB:

International Health Certificate (APHIS Form 7001): The APHIS Form 7001 can be obtained from the issuing USDA accredited veterinarian. This form must contain all the information required on Form AB, and must be accompanied by an Exporter’s declaration (Form A). The traveler needs to prepare the Exporter’s Declaration (Form A) with the assistance of their USDA accredited veterinarian. Both the Form A and the APHIS Form 7001 need to be endorsed by APHIS-VS, and both must accompany the shipment.

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Flag Poisoning in Dogs

Flags (also called Iris) come in almost 300 types in many different colors and can be bearded (referring to the furry area on the inside of the petals) or beardless. This beautiful flower grows all over the northern hemisphere and multiplies every year, so even a few flags can become dozens in less than five years. Some styles can grow up to three feet tall or more. These beauties are also helpful in water purification because they drink the nutrient pollutants from the water while leaving only clean water. The flag is the national flower of Tennessee and part of many decorations, such as flags, paintings, and it is part of the fleur-de-lis and coat-of-arms. With all of this beauty comes another problem; the toxic substances contained in the roots as well as the plant itself.

Flag poisoning is due to the consumption of any part of a flag plant (the roots are most toxic) and can be moderately serious in some dogs. In most cases, if just one root or flower is eaten, your dog may show signs of gastrointestinal distress (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain) and may also have contact dermatitis in areas of exposure. While the side effects may not seem severe, this painful episode can lead to ulceration of the intestinal tract and lack of appetite. There are several toxic substances in the flag plant including pentacyclic terpenes and quinines that have the ability to cause stomach and small intestinal bleeding, among other side effects.

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Symptoms of Flag Poisoning in Dogs

The signs of flag poisoning are determined by how much and what part of the plant was eaten. Also, if your dog is very young, older, or is not in good health, the symptoms may be more severe. Some of the most common symptoms reported by owners of pets who consumed flag plants are:

  • Contact dermatitis (red rash and blisters where exposed)
  • Skin and eye irritation
  • Blisters on face and mouth
  • Excess drooling
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulceration of the intestinal tract


The flag is another name for iris, which is a huge family of close to 300 species in the Iridaceae family. Flags come in hundreds of color combinations and styles (bearded/non-bearded, tall, etc.), but they are all equally toxic to dogs. There are many different names to go with all the different types of flag. Some of the most common are:

  • Iris
  • Bearded iris
  • Blue western flag
  • Iris missouriensis
  • Rocky Mountain iris
  • Snake lily
  • Water iris
  • Yellow flag

Causes of Flag Poisoning in Dogs

The flag plant contains several pentacyclic terpenes and quinines.

  • Irisin in the roots
  • Irisoquin in the roots
  • Missouriensin in the whole plant
  • Missourin in the whole plant
  • Zeorin in the whole plant

Diagnosis of Flag Poisoning in Dogs

If you cannot get an appointment with your family veterinarian, take your dog to a local veterinary hospital or clinic. It is essential that your pet be seen by a veterinary professional to be sure there will be no serious complications from the toxins in the flag. A physical examination of your dog will reveal any abnormalities or side effects from ingestion of the flag plant. The veterinarian will examine your dog’s coat and skin condition and take a look at your pet’s ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. In addition, body temperature, blood pressure, weight, reflexes, and heart rate will all be recorded. Urine and stool samples may be taken for microscopic examination for infection and parasites.

To rule out other disease and illnesses, a biochemical profile, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), complete blood count (CBC), creatinine levels (CREAT), packed cell volume (PCV), and liver enzyme panel will be done. The biochemical profile and CBC provides the general health of your dog’s internal organ function and the PCV and BUN show whether your pet is dehydrated. Abdominal x-rays or ultrasound may be performed to give the veterinarian a closer look at your dog’s intestinal tract so she can tell if there are any blockages or inflammation. If necessary, an MRT or CT scan may be done as well.

Treatment of Flag Poisoning in Dogs

Similar to other poisoning cases, your dog will be treated depending on the amount eaten and symptoms shown. The general steps to treat poisoning are evacuation, detoxification, medication, and observation.


If it has not been more than six hours since ingestion, the veterinarian will induce vomiting by giving your dog ipecac or hydrogen peroxide by mouth. Activated charcoal will also be administered to absorb the toxins that have not yet been absorbed by the body. This step may be repeated depending on the amount of flag your pet ingested.


To detoxify your pet, the veterinarian may perform a gastric lavage. This is done by using a long tube to rinse the plant materials and toxins from your dog’s stomach. Your pet will be sedated to prevent movement during the procedure. Intravenous (IV) fluids will also be administered to flush the kidneys and prevent dehydration.


It may be necessary to give your dog stomach protectants and antacids to help with the gastric irritation. If your pet has any dermatitis or eye irritation, your veterinarian will rinse the area thoroughly and administer dermal cream and eye drops for the redness and pain.


The veterinarian may admit your dog to the hospital for observation if the side effects are serious or if the treatment is not working as it should.

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Recovery of Flag Poisoning in Dogs

The prognosis for flag poisoning is generally good as long as there have been no serious symptoms or signs of complications. For the next few weeks, you should continue to monitor your pet’s eating habits and general health and call your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Flag Poisoning Average Cost

From 485 quotes ranging from $500 — $6,000

Protect yourself and your pet. Compare top pet insurance plans.

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