Apparently, somebody has to say it: dogs cannot get canine autism from vaccinations. It should go without saying, yet the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have had to reaffirm this week the importance of vaccinating our animals against highly contagious and potentially fatal diseases.
The anti-vaxx movement believes that vaccinations can have harmful side effects and could be the cause of autism in children. Now that seems to be applied to pets too.
“We are aware of an increase in anti-vaccination pet owners in the US who have voiced concerns that vaccinations may lead to their dogs developing autism-like behavior,” the BVA told The Telegraph. “But there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest autism in dogs or a link between vaccination and autism.”
All medicines have the potential for side effects – like rashes and joint pain – and your pup is no different. But, according to the BVA, in the case of vaccines these are rare and the “benefits of vaccination in protecting against disease far outweigh the potential for an adverse reaction.”
“Vaccinations save lives and are an important tool in keeping our pets healthy,” said BVA Vice President Gudrum Ravetz. “We know from the example of the MMR vaccine and its now disproven link to autism in children that scaremongering can lead to a loss of public confidence in vaccination and knee-jerk reactions that can lead to outbreaks of disease.
On the same day, Good Morning Britain, a UK morning chat show, was condemned for a tweet requesting to speak with a pet owner who had opted out of vaccinating their pet "because they're concerned about side effects", as well as "people who have done so and now believe their pet has canine autism as a result."
It’s not even known whether non-human animals can even be considered as having autism. It all started back in January when the Brooklyn Paper reported some New York bozos decided it would be wise to skip their pets’ standard inoculations like distemper, hepatitis, and rabies.
Vaccinations don’t cause autism in people (read this and this and this), so they certainly don't cause it in pets. The whole association is due to Dr Andrew Wakefield's 1998 study that purportedly showed a link between autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children. The lie persists despite the fact that the paper was later retracted as no one has ever been able to recreate those results, and Wakefield, who was proven to have faked his data, was stripped of his medical license and title.
We'll let Twitter take it from here.