As fears persist over the potential disease-laden domino effect of the anti-vax movement, experts in the field of animal care claim they’re seeing anuptick in residents who are more hesitant to get their pets the immunizationsthat medical professionals say they need.

This trend, they claim, is based on nothing substantial and can cause healthissues beyond just the animal population in New Jersey.

“There’s certain diseases that we have to be a little more cognizant of in theveterinary world because we consider them zoonotic, as in they can affect ourpets and the people that have the pets or the people around them,” saidMatthew Edson, owner of Rancocas Veterinary Associates in Mount Holly andpresident of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. “Things like arabies vaccine are really essential for all pets to have due to the humanheath risks with that.”

The association has been noticing a rise in the number pet owners choosing todecline vaccinations for their pets. Beyond zoonotic diseases, the associationis also concerned about highly contagious viruses among animals, such ascanine distemper, Parvovirus and Panleukopenia.

In New Jersey, a rabies vaccine is state law for cats and dogs. Proof isnecessary in order to obtain a license for your pet in your municipality.

Edson said veterinarians in the Garden State are also seeing more interestamong pet-owners in titer tests, which measure antibodies in a pet and mayhelp determine whether a booster vaccination is absolutely necessary.

Similar to the anti-vaccine movement among humans, based on scientificallyunsupported ties to autism, animal owners fear vaccines may be a cause forsome long-term conditions commonly seen in pets, such as liver or kidneydisease.

“There’s a lot of information on the internet and much of it isn’t thatgreat,” Edson said.

But Edson encourages owners to have a conversation with their pet’sveterinarian about disease risks to their pets, and which vaccines are mostimportant.

In a blog post on its website, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance said anti-vaccination sentiments are now spilling over to pet parenting.

The company lists the vaccines below as essential and medically necessary.

Dog Core Vaccinations

  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Adenovirus-2

Cat Core Vaccinations

  • Panleukopenia
  • Herpes virus
  • Rabies
  • Calicivirus

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