Some anti-vaxxers are now refusing to vaccinate their pets for fear they will become autistic.
Due to this fear, vets in the US have reported an increase in the number of dog and cat owners who are opting not to have their pets vaccinated against conditions such as parvovirus, adenovirus and distemper.
This worrying trend is particularly disquieting when you consider how vulnerable dogs and cats are to diseases which can be easily prevented through vaccinations.
Pets spend more time outdoors than their human parents, and consume disease spreading items such as mud and feces. Opting against vaccination can leave them vulnerable to harmful conditions.
This just popped in my head. Do anti-vaxxers not get their pets vaccinated? #vaccines
— Paul Michaud (@pp_michaud) February 21, 2019
Do anti-vaxxers take their pets in for their annual shots?
— Becky Curnow (@becky_curnow) February 17, 2019
Practitioner at California’s Adobe Animal hospital, Brennan McKenzie, MA, VMD, told the American Veterinarian:
Over the last 10 or 15 years, there has been an increase in mostly unfounded concerns about vaccine safety for people,
And that, I think, has raised people’s awareness and level of concern about vaccinations for their pets.
According to McKenzie, there is no real way of keeping count of the number of anti-vaxxer owners who are keeping their pets from having vaccinations. This is due to a lack of oversight in terms of pet vaccinations, aside from the rabies shot.
Owner of New York’s Saratoga Veterinary Hospital also spoke with American Veterinarian regarding the risks involved with leaving your dog or cat without vaccinations:
The fewer animals that are getting the vaccine, the greater the likelihood that you’re going to have a firestorm if something that is that highly communicable comes along.
Apparently, the trend for not vaccinating your pets is more prevalent in ‘hipster-y’ areas such as Brooklyn.
Lol an anti vaxxer trying to argue about pets/ vaccines. Geez
— georgia gal (@thatGApeach) January 23, 2019
There is no evidence to confirm a causal link between vaccinations and autism, whether in humans or with animals.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.