Dogs cannot get autism. The British Veterinary Association (BVM) took the unusual step of making that definitive announcement last week to counter the impact of the antivaccine movement led by “anti-vaxxers.” Although their views are widely refuted by the medical communities in both Great Britain and the United States, anti-vaxxers maintain that immunization can have harmful side effects that may cause autism in children.The BVM isn’t so much worried about homegrown antivaccination fears as they are imported ones.
This week: black cats take bad selfies, service dog scammers face the music, and new laws protect people that help pets
A new rabies study turned up some unexpected benefits.From the vaccine, not the disease.The rabies vaccine has a proven track record of preventing the disease in dogs, but a recent study, funded by Morris Animal Foundation and published in the journal Vaccine, indicates that the vaccine may have unintended positive effects on overall canine health. Specifically, an overall decrease in canine mortality rates from all causes.
“Veterinarians who want to report suspected animal abuse often encounter a bureaucratic runaround,” says Phil Arkow. Arkow hopes that the recent launch of a free online National Directory of Abuse Investigation Agencies will help. Arkow is Coordinator of the National Link Coalition, a multidisciplinary, collaborative initiative formed in 2008 to raise awareness of the connection between animal abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. It’s based on the idea that violence begets violence, and that when animal cruelty or neglect exists in a home, chances are that children, domestic partners, or elderly family members are being hurt, too.
The opioid shortage isn’t going away any time soon. The shortage, which is severely affecting veterinarians’ ability to provide pain management for patients, is expected to last into 2019. The primary short-term cause is a production issue at a Pfizer, Inc. plant in Kansas, but residual hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, a major pharmaceutical manufacturing center, and a pre-existing Drug Enforcement Agency mandate to reduce the manufacture of opioid medication in the United States by 20% in 2018, are also having an effect.