Refusing to get vaccines for children has become a trending topic for self-professed “healthy living gurus” and others worried about potential side effects. But a whole new kind of resistance against vaccines has now come out of Brooklyn, New York. Dog owners in the popular borough of New York City are now refusing to get the required vaccinations for their pets because they’re afraid their dogs will develop autism. Vets are reporting increasing numbers of Brooklyn dog owners refusing to vaccinate their canines because they think they’ll develop autism. These people are terrified that the vaccines will harm their dogs and are now refusing to vaccinate dogs against rabies, distemper, and hepatitis. Although these vaccines are required by law, the Brooklyn pet owners are banding together to fight the law and allow their un-vaccinated dogs roam the streets of Brooklyn.
One vet said the trend was most popular in the hipster areas of Brooklyn like Williamsburg, Park Slope and Bushwick.
“We do see a higher number of clients who don’t want to vaccinate their animals,” Dr Amy Ford of the Veterinarian Wellness Center of Boerum Hill told the Brooklyn Paper. “This may be stemming from the anti-vaccine movement, which people are now applying to their pets.”
Dr. Ford admitted that most of the people refusing to vaccinate their pets live in the hipster neighbors in Brooklyn. Often these people adopt rescue pit bulls.
“It’s actually much more common in the hipster-y areas,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood, which is home to the Pratt Institute, an art college, Dr Stephanie Liff of Pure Paws Veterinary Care said clients often tell her that vaccines give dogs autism.
“I had a client concerned about an autistic child who didn’t want to vaccinate the dog for the same reason,” she said. “We’ve never diagnosed autism in a dog. I don’t think you could.”
Because people who are against vaccines often claim that vaccines increase risk of autism in children, they’re now applying this principle to their pets.
“Autism could very well occur in dogs,” Jennifer Coates, DVM, writes on PetMD.com. “But, it’s important to acknowledge that until more research is done, reaching a definitive diagnosis in an individual dog is anything but straightforward. Our understanding of typical and atypical canine behavior is simply too limited. Also, a number of other difficult-to-diagnose canine conditions (e.g., anxiety disorders and pain) can cause clinical signs similar to those associated with autism. Therefore, in all but a few exceptional cases, like the Bull Terriers mentioned above, the best veterinarians and owners can do for now is to say a dog might have autism.”
Meanwhile internet readers have a lot to say about this issue. Here are some comments shared on Mail Online:
“I think my dog has autism. Has terrible social skills (like barking up strangers and farting a lot) and has this repetitive behavior concerning her tail – she keeps flapping it. Wish I never got her vaccinated.”
“Because you’d rather your pup get parvo than make believe doggie autism. Right. Our ability to vaccinate ourselves (and our pets) is one of the greatest achievements in all of human history. These anti-vaxxers should be ashamed– putting others at risk for their bogus, unfounded beliefs. Despicable.”
Do you think dogs can have autism? Do vaccines increase risk of autism?
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