Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Pets

Anti-vaxxers extend flawed reasoning to pets

A recent story in a New York publication has made some wonder if humanity is a failed experiment: It suggested the anti-vaccine movement has leapt between species, with some Brooklyn dog owners now refusing to vaccinate their pets from fear that doing so would cause their animals to become autistic. As Colin Mixson reported in the Brooklyn Paper:

"A Clinton Hill-based veterinarian said she has heard clients suggest the inoculations could give their pups autism, echoing the argument of those who oppose vaccinating kids. But even if pooches were susceptible to the condition, their owners probably wouldn't notice, according to the doctor. 'I had a client concerned about an autistic child who didn't want to vaccinate the dog for the same reason,' said Dr. Stephanie Liff of Clinton Hill's Pure Paws Veterinary Care. 'We've never diagnosed autism in a dog. I don't think you could.' And some anti-vaxxers are not content with just withholding shots from their pets, according to a Park Slope dog owner who has run into skeptics that have encouraged him to forgo inoculations."

The Brooklyn Paper was rightfully incredulous that people wouldn't vaccinate their pets out of their misguided belief that it might make them autistic. Vaccines don't cause autism in pets or in humans — the research that originally claimed that they did has long since been exposed as fabrication and fraud. Tina Wismer, medical director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Animal Poison Control Center, confirmed that there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim vaccines cause autism in dogs.

Vaccines in humans protect us from deadly diseases — and canine vaccinations do the same. The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force divides its vaccination recommendations into three categories: core, noncore, and not recommended. Core vaccines, which are canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies, are considered "core" in large part because of the diseases' transmissibility to humans. Only the rabies vaccination is required by law, though, and even then regulation varies tremendously. While all states require rabies vaccinations, the amount of time a dog can go without a booster shot changes state-by-state.

The obvious repercussions of not vaccinating your pets is transmission. According to the World Health Organization, 55,000 people worldwide die every year from rabies, and "the vast majority" of those deaths are from dog bites.

The Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control also points out a nightmarish outcome that can result from not vaccinating pets:

Dogs and cats that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should receive a rabies vaccination and be placed in strict isolation for 4 months. Isolation in this context refers to confinement in an enclosure that precludes direct contact with people and other animals. Vaccination seems preferable.

Comments
Find a Friend: Dax the Retriever/Terrier Mix

Find a Friend: Dax the Retriever/Terrier Mix

In stock market circles, DAX is commonly known as the German blue chip index. The term may have been inspired by glistening pool profits, or perhaps the Deutsche translation for "adorable water dog?" Introducing Dax of Tampa: a 6-month old, 40 pound ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Find A Friend: Pixie Stick the Terrier mix

Find A Friend: Pixie Stick the Terrier mix

Few deserve a day at the beach more than Pixie (short for Pixie Stick). Her classic candy namesake harkens back to a simpler time, because in her 5 years to date, Pixie’s seen unfathomable acts of cruelty upon both pets and people. She’s emerged as t...
Published: 08/17/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 24

Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 24

Humane Society of the Nature CoastMadonna is a 2-year-old calico. She gets along with other cats and loves to be held. Inquiries about adopting Madonna or other dogs and cats can be made at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast shelter at Wiscon and...
Published: 08/16/18
Updated: 08/21/18
Find A Friend: Paddington the Black Cat

Find A Friend: Paddington the Black Cat

Sweet! Friday (Aug. 17) is National Black Cat Appreciation Day. Love has no color, but Paddington and his black kitten siblings are all ready to celebrate. There are lots of reasons to adopt a black cat — and you’ll never need a lint brush during bla...
Published: 08/13/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 17

Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 17

Hernando County Animal ServicesPhoenix is a red, male terrier mix and a volunteer favorite. He is participates in "Project Protege," a basic obedience training program, and is doing well. He loves to play and has settled into the routine at the shelt...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/14/18
Find A Friend: Norbert and Johannot, the tuxedo twins

Find A Friend: Norbert and Johannot, the tuxedo twins

Do back-to-school preparations leave you feeling like an empty nester? Let Norbert and Johannot fill your lonesome days and nights with their bonded-sibling salutations. These fluffy tuxedo twins (brother and sister) promise happiness, enthusiasm, a...
Published: 08/06/18
Find a Friend:

Find a Friend:

Moses the domestic short-haired kitten was a stranger in a strange land. He was rescued from the mean streets and truly appreciates life in the great indoors. Moses is only three months old but already possesses the most commanding eye-brow whiskers ...
Published: 08/03/18
Updated: 08/08/18
Find A Friend: Ralphie the mixed breed

Find A Friend: Ralphie the mixed breed

Ralphie doesn’t have a big head, it’s more like a jumbotron for his huge and welcoming smile. At just 50 pounds, Ralphie’s not exactly supersized, but he sure does light up a room. For Ralphie, the dog days of summer have become the season of hope. H...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 10

Hernando Pet of the Week for Aug. 10

Humane Society of the Nature CoastHarriet is a 1-year-old domestic short hair. She gets along well with dogs, but would prefer to be the only cat in the home. Harriet loves to talk and snuggle with her people, and is a very outgoing, lovable girl. In...
Published: 07/31/18
Updated: 08/07/18
Find A Friend: Toot Sweet the Calico cat

Find A Friend: Toot Sweet the Calico cat

Miss Toot Sweet is just too cute. This 4-month-old Calico kitten was rescued at just 4 weeks of age when she and her hungry litter mates were being given away at a famous coffee shop. Little Toot Sweet, the runt of the litter then, remains a tiny tot...
Updated one month ago