Whether a vaccine-autism link exists or not – despite being discredited – has been a hotly debated topic for years. With the CDC recently revealing that the rate of autism being diagnosed in children is continuing to rise, it makes sense that this particular topic would resurface.
According to an article in the New York Times, however, what truly has people baffled is the fact that the British Veterinary Association felt it necessary to issue a public statement to confirm that a vaccine-autism link was non-existent in dogs. To be clear, vaccinating your dog would not give him or her autism. This public statement came after public fear continued to spread about the side effects of vaccinating your pets.
The purpose of the statement was to encourage dog owners to continue to vaccinate their pets against diseases that can actually cause them harm including canine hepatitis instead of worrying about a non-existent link.
As those who have followed the hotly debated connection between vaccines and autism know, it was in 1998 when the theory first gained traction when Andrew Wakefield published a study in the medical journal titled The Lancet that showed a link between autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
The study created a huge wave of parents deciding not to vaccinate their children. In time, the study was thoroughly discredited. To this date, no medical evidence has surfaced to support the idea that vaccines cause autism.
The article on New York Times, however, speculates that it is likely individuals who believed and supported that initial study who are part of the anti-vaccine movement that has shifted to questioning the link in canine vaccines.
It didn’t take long for social media users to give their thoughts on autistic canines.
Leave the dogs out of your antiscience crusade. https://t.co/DNnpu9YXgd
— TotalBiscuit. (@Totalbiscuit) April 25, 2018
Dogs do not get autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. Do not let misinformation and scaremongering regarding vaccination safety put your dog's life at risk. https://t.co/990Od1NhCf #dogs #dogsoftwitter #veterinary #VaccinesWork pic.twitter.com/IfcvpFjBkX
— Veterinary Voices UK (@UKVetVoices) April 29, 2018
I saw this tweeted and I was gobsmacked. Not by the notion that dogs could have autism (I’ve never thought about it before, but who knows?) I was stunned, however, by the scaremongering and real fear people still have of… https://t.co/J236c6SOT5
— Kirsty @ PSNP (@PosSNParenting) April 29, 2018
— Timothy Caulfield (@CaulfieldTim) April 27, 2018
If a dog had autism, could you even tell? https://t.co/fA5k8rtaWQ
— JoS. S. Laughon (@paleomexicano) April 27, 2018
According to Detroit Free Press, there are several articles and blog posts published online that claim and support the notion that dogs can be autistic.
Robert Fisher, vice president and chief missions officer for the Michigan Humane Society, told Detroit Free Press autism was not a side effect he had ever seen from canine vaccines. In fact, he claimed the only serious vaccine side effect he’s ever encountered is an allergic reaction.
“Like any other biological product or drug or so forth, there can be side effects. Generally these are not life threatening. Generally, they’re temporary and we do not see longstanding problems associated with them.”
Veterinarians everywhere are urging dog owners to ignore this unfounded claim and continue to vaccinate their pets as it is extremely dangerous not to get your furry friends vaccinated properly.