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Anti-vaccination movement spreading to pets

Some people would rather their pets go barking mad with distemper than get them vaccinated.

The anti-vaccine movement that has some people afraid to have their children inoculated against diseases that are all but eradicated in the U.S. — like small pox — seems to now be spreading to pets.

There is a new but growing fear among pet owners that vaccinating their furry friends could lead to serious illness, injury or even autism.

“I had a client concerned about an autistic child who didn’t want to vaccinate the dog for the same reason,” Brooklyn veterinarian Dr. Stephanie Liff told The Brooklyn Paper. “We’ve never diagnosed autism in a dog, I don’t think you could.”

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“Obviously most are unfounded. (I’m usually) able to convince most (owners) to do at least the puppy vaccines because it gives base immunity.”

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Others have observed an uptick in people who refused to vaccinate their pets, attributing the fear to their own personal feelings about how they believe vaccinations affect people.

“Often issues in veterinary medicine spill over from human medicine,” Brennen McKenzie, past president of the Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Association, told New York magazine in 2015. “There has been an increase in mostly unfounded concerns about vaccine safety for people — and that, I think, has raised people’s concern about vaccinations for their pets.”

Every state in the nation requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated for rabies, but vaccines for distemper, measles, parainfluenza, hepatitis and others are left up to the owner. Some blogs and websites are also pushing the anti-vax movement into the realm of pets, making the choice harder for people who may already be on the fence.

“The excessive numbers of vaccines given to domestic pets are wreaking havoc on their health,” reported The Healthy Home Economist, citing scant evidence and conspiracy theories. “These vaccines have the ability to disrupt, disregulate and in some cases virtually destroy an animal’s natural, innate immune function.”

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Some people would rather their pets go barking mad with distemper than get them vaccinated.

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“The veterinary industry often does not acknowledge (the) connection,” the website said.

Real experts disagree.

“People fear (a lot of) ‘issues,’” Queens vet Dr. Jodie Smith told the Daily News. “Obviously most are unfounded. (I’m usually) able to convince most (owners) to do at least the puppy vaccines because it gives base immunity.”

Tags:
vaccines
animals
pets
autism

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