Categories: vaccinations

Refusing to vaccinate your pet because it might cause autism?!

There is a slightly bizarre, almost April Fool story on the website only it is not April 1st.. The headline is, “Anti-vaxxers are refusing to vaccinate pets over fears they will become autistic”

Vaccination Necessary?

It is clearly a hyped up headline because most pet owners should know that there is no evidence that dogs and cats can develop autism never mind that vaccinations can cause it.

It is a story rooted in the genuine fact that some parents are concerned about vaccinations causing autism in children despite no link having been found and the work of Dr Wakefield having been debunked.

The Mirror story builds on the long running issue of the concern over the triple MMR vaccine for people.

In fact the BVA have made it quite clear that there is no link between canine autism and vaccinations. Moreover, there is no evidence of autism in dogs.

The balance of risk of cat vaccinations

However, according to the, the PDSA report a drop in vaccinations for dogs by 25% in the UK. I don’t have information for cats. The RSPCA issued a warning about a failure to vaccinate pets.

If there is a decline in pet vaccinations it is possibly due to the recent history of pet vaccinations during which veterinarians routinely over-vaccinated by administering unnecessary boosters.

This got around on the internet resulting in a backlash from cat and dog owners who pushed back and decided to vaccinate less often because they decided that it was unnecessary and because vaccinations do carry some risk of cancer at the site of the vaccination (at the distal point on a hind leg to minimise the risk).

The risk is slight but it is risk based decision by the pet owner. Also some cat owners don’t vaccinate because they have decided that they live in an area where cats are well vaccinated creating a disease free zone which protects their pets. If everyone thought this way the system would collapse of course.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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