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A disturbing trend . . . canine vaccine hesitancy

English Mastiff and a Yorkshire Terrier
Are YOU getting the "Shot"?

Over the past several years, including the recent pandemic, there has been an uneasy feeling in veterinary medicine when it comes to client compliance with recommended and required vaccinations for their pets. For many years, it was just that -- a FEELING, but recent research and a survey from earlier in 2023 has actually provided some credibility to those feelings. In April of 2023, 2200 pet owning adults here in the US were surveyed for their feelings about vaccinating their dogs. The results that came back were somewhat astonishing and more than a little troubling to me. The data showed that 37% of the respondents consider vaccines for dogs to be "unsafe," 22% considered vaccines for dogs to be ineffective, and 30% considered the vaccines for their pets unnecessary. More than half of the people surveyed (53%) agreed with at least one of these statements. The most alarming stat: 48% opposed mandatory rabies vaccinations! Dr. Brennan McKenzie (Skeptvet) has a great breakdown of what this actually means and, as he always does, he provides plenty of resources and references so that you can follow the research and logic.

Mastiff mix waiting on grass
I'm ready and I am brave! Lets' do this!

We could spend many hours reading as well as detailing many webpages with why this sort of hesitancy is problematic, but I just want to focus on one area . . . the safety of vaccinations. It seems that everyone knows someone whose brother's girlfriend's college roommate had a pet with an adverse reaction to vaccinations. I was lucky enough that I found a great summary of just how RARE these reactions are to vaccines at Dr. Scott Weese's Worms and Germs blog recently. In a review of more than 1.2 million dogs vaccinated, it turns out about 38 out of every 10,000 dogs will have some sort of adverse event after vaccination (pain, lethargy, vomiting) and these are pretty self-limiting. He goes on to describe that SIGNIFICANT adverse reactions (anaphylaxis, etc) happened to 0.006% of dogs (that's 6 out of every million dogs). There's even information on adverse reactions in cats AND there is NEW (2021) information coming out that seems to point out that vaccine reactions are even more rare than the earlier study predicted! Now, to be fair, if your pet is one of those unlucky 6 in a million, none of these numbers will provide any comfort for what you are experiencing. But, the reality of the matter is that the benefits of vaccinating our pets for highly contagious diseases with high mortality rates or the potential for being zoonotic FAR OUTWEIGH the risks of extremely rare adverse events. Before you decide to not vaccinate, talk with your veterinarian and his or her team. They can share the best, more accurate information when it comes to this medical procedure and what it will mean for your beloved pet. Don't follow clickbait headlines to sites that are trying to either 1) scare you or 2) get you to buy something your pet doesn't need. So, tell us, what are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Have you had any experiences with adverse reactions after vaccination? Let us know, drop a question, or just share your thoughts below!! #PetPalsTV #CertifiedVeterinaryJournalist #CVJ #veterinary #pets #dogs #cats #petvaccination

1 Comment

Stay away from clickbait titles that lead to sites that aim to 1) terrify you or 2) convince you to purchase unnecessary items for your pet. gorilla tag

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