Curious about anti-vaxxing but not sure whether you want to risk the lives of your children on a vague vogue? Well: why not practise on your dogs first?
That’s right: anti-vaxxing for animals. An accoutrement as chi-chi as any doggie waistcoat, is now a thing. Cats are not immune either, with various websites now alleging the dangers of pet immunisation.
“An American Veterinary paper says that up to 22,000 cats develop cancer at the site of vaccination every year in the USA,” says doglistener.co.uk. “Sixty-six per cent of all sick dogs start being sick within three months of vaccination,” declares Dogs Naturally Magazine.
All claim vaccination can cause a range of diseases to take hold, among them autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, thyroid disease, arthritis and parvovirus. The hardcore ape the human anti-vaxxers: yes, vaccines can make your dog autistic.
Others argue proportionality. They point to over-vaccination – the annual shots, when most vaccines are designed to last seven years. US anti-vax vet figurehead Dr John Robb was put on probation in 2015 by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine in Connecticut, for reducing the dosage in rabies vaccinations for small dogs. “You’re telling me that if there’s a law that would force me to kill my patient, I would have to do it?” he raged.
But “immunologists say vaccines are not dose-dependent, that you need enough antigens to stimulate the immune system”, says California vet Dr Lisa Boyer. “It’s not a weight-versus-dose question. My seven-year-old and I get the same vaccine.”
For those hard-of-sarcasm, the UK’s independent Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) reviewed all UK dog and cat vaccines between 1999 and 2002. They concluded that although adverse events do occasionally follow vaccination, the “overall risk/benefit analysis strongly supports their continued use”.