'Dogs can't get autism': Vets condemn anti-vaccination movement after side effects rumours

Frustrated vets have reminded dog owners that their pets cannot develop autism after anti-vaccination campaigners raised fears of a link.

The British Veterinary Association has clarified that it is not possible for a dog to suffer from autism, whether or not is has received vaccinations against common canine diseases.

A movement in the US has claimed that vaccinating dogs causes side effects which lead them to become autistic - although the condition has only been diagnosed in humans and there is no proven link to immunisations.

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The BVA reiterated that there was 'no scientific evidence to suggest autism in dogs' after the ITV show Good Morning Britain put out a call on social media to owners of dogs they believed had showed autism-like behaviour after receiving vaccinations.

The vets' body also raised concerns that the rumours would prevent owners from getting their pets vaccinated against dangerous diseases such as distemper and parvovirus, which could then become resurgent as herd immunity decreased.

They have cautioned against 'knee-jerk reactions' in the case of both children and animals.