A new report from the United Kingdom appears to confirm the worst fears of veterinarians, suggesting that pet vaccination rates in the country have dropped significantly in recent years
that vaccines are safe and will not give pets autism (seriously). But it was not entirely clear whether pet owners were really diverting from vaccines. The new report was courtesy of the People's Hospital for Sick Animals, which claims to be the leading veterinary charity in the United Kingdom. Since 2011, the PDSA has been conducting an annual survey of pet owners in the country called the PDSA or PAW Animal Welfare Report. This year's report includes just over 5,000 pet owners. Most of them are owners of cats and / or dogs, but few are owners of rabbits.
In addition to questions about the overall health of the pet, such as how often their dog walks, owners ask about the pet's vaccination history. In 2016, 84 percent said their pets received their photos when they were little. But by 2018, that percentage has dropped to 66 percent, continuing the trend seen the previous year.
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There is no direct evidence in the review that pet owners buy into propaganda fueled by the vaccination movement – he did not seem to ask people whether they thought pet vaccines could cause autism, e.g. . The most common reasons for not being vaccinated are that it is too expensive or that their pets have never interacted with other animals (both 17 percent); 10 percent said they had never dealt with it.
But there is definitely some reason to believe that vaccine hysteria may play a role. On the one hand, people have not reported going to the vet or using other pet health services less frequently in 2018 than in previous years – just vaccines are avoiding more. And some owners say they don't think vaccines are needed (16 percent).
The authors of the PDSA report explicitly state that the myths and misinformation of human vaccines spread through social media can also affect pet owners.
"These negative vaccine messages can be designed on pets in surprising ways – for example, the false connection between vaccines [measles, mumps, and rubella] and autism is also applied to pet vaccines by skeptics, although every connection is deeply denounced by people and autism is not documented in pets, "they wrote.
At least in the UK, it seems that lower rates of pet vaccination are tracking with a reported decrease in the rate of vaccination in children in humans. And this drop in vaccination is at least partly to blame for the country losing its status without a pattern just last month.
Unfortunately, the US does not seem to have specific data on how often owners vaccinate their pets. But the country as a whole is struggling to lose its status without fighting measles, since the outbreaks since September last year led to the highest levy in more than 25 years.
Of course, our pets need vaccines as much as we do. A dog is not intelligent enough to understand the value of preventative medical care – but its owner really must be.