Antivaccine Trend Extending to Canines

Not all trends are good to follow and can actually cause harm to others. An increasing number of people are extending their anti-vaccine beliefs to include their canines. It’s a practice that can have catastrophic effects to people, pets and wildlife.

Boston University School of Public Health Study

Researchers at the prestigious school interviewed 2,200 dog owners. The results showed that for their pets:

  • 40 percent believe vaccines aren’t safe
  • 30 percent believe they aren’t medically necessary
  • 20 percent believe they’re ineffective

Many of those decisions were tied to political beliefs, along with social and psychological pressure from friends. In other instances, people thought certain diseases no longer existed – but it’s due to vaccinations that they’re not as common. The rising cost of veterinary care was also a factor for some.

Most Surprising Response

Even more surprising was 37 percent of respondents believed that inoculating their dog would cause their pet to develop autism, a developmental condition in humans. The belief that human vaccination causes autism is a myth that’s been disproven. The doctor who originally made the claim admitted his study was fraudulent, that he manipulated data to reflect his personal bias against immunizations, and he lost his medical license.

Rabies Could Run Rampant

One of the most important canine vaccines is for rabies. The virus is spread through saliva or direct contact with an infected animal. It also occurs in wildlife. The most common way rabies is transmitted to people is through a dog bite or scratch. It also occurs when saliva from an infected animal comes in contact with mucus membranes. Rabies has an almost 100 percent fatality rate for dogs and people who don’t obtain prompt medical treatment.

Serious Public Health Threat

There are numerous viral, bacterial and fungi infections that can affect dogs and other animals. Distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and kennel cough are just a few.

Potential for an Epidemic

The pandemic amply demonstrated how quickly a viral infection can be transmitted throughout the human population. The same can happen in the canine realm. Illness and disease can be transmitted to other household pets, wildlife, and people. Individuals that protect their own pets are also protecting the health and well-being of others.

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