In the UK cat owners are going off the idea of vaccinating their cat. Is the same trend occurring in the US? The Internet has had an effect on the opinion of cat owners about vaccinations. Back in the old days people, often unquestioningly, took the advice of their veterinarian and vaccinated their cat as advised. That advice tended towards over-vaccination because vaccinations are a way of bringing the client to the clinic at which point the veterinarian can advise on further treatments and sell products. “Over-vaccinations’ through unnecessary boosters have declined in my opinion because vets are aware of client sensitivity on this issue.
So the Internet has undermined the advice of veterinarians regarding vaccinations. This has resulted, it is said, in pet owners putting their pets at risk of diseases which were not a threat before this trend.
In short, across the Internet and perhaps more so on Facebook there is scaremongering, it is argued, with respect to vaccinations leading to a loss in public confidence and a knee-jerk reaction against vaccines. Pet owners might argue that this is not scaremongering but a genuine concern for their pet’s health and a distrust in vets because of their tendency to over-commercialise their work.
A survey found that 98% of veterinarians had been challenged by owners about vaccinations. Most of these pet owners had based their challenges on Internet research.
According to the PDSA charity about 35% of cats were not vaccinated in the UK. The figure is 25% of dogs. In dogs there are fears that diseases such as parvovirus are increasing after years of being all but eradicated.
This opposition to vaccinations is in line with the very high profile story of Andrew Wakefield’s research on the measles, mumps and rubella jab which he links with autism. Although his research has been discredited there are now many people both in the USA and UK who are very sceptical about the damage that vaccinations can do to their children.
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