The anti-vaccine movement has spread to pet owners.
A story in the Brooklyn Paper chronicles how some pet owners are refusing vaccinations for their animals because of concerns about how vaccines will affect the health of their dogs and cats.
The author examines the pet “anti-vax” trend as an outgrowth of the preexisting anti-vaccination movement in human medicine. In this movement, parents refuse to have their children vaccinated because of fears the inoculations are linked to autism and other potential health problems.
However, healthcare systems in the United States and Europe are still struggling to deal with the fallout.
“The decrease in vaccination rates, due in large part to the misinformation spread by the ‘anti-vax’ movement, is responsible for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Stephen Lauer, vice chair of pediatrics at the University of Kansas Health System, in an interview with Healthline earlier this year.
Is there a movement?
Experts say there is scarce data available on rates for animal vaccination, making it nearly impossible to determine whether or not the pet anti-vaxxer movement is in fact growing.
“We don’t have any statistics to show that this is an increasing trend. But we have heard from veterinarians who are worried that the anti-vaccine movement in human medicine may be gaining traction among some pet owners,” Dr. Michael J. Topper, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), told Healthline.
This year’s occurrence in Brooklyn is not the only time pet anti-vaxxing has made headlines. The issue has popped up on a few occasions in the past two years.
In 2015, New York Magazine noted veterinarians’ concerns over the apparently growing movement.
However, Dr. Link Welborn, chair of the American…