National Post Speaks to U of G Expert About Dogs and Autism

a headshot of Prof. Scott Weese

Prof. Scott Weese

Prof. Scott Weese spoke to the National Post to discuss the question of whether dogs can develop autism after vaccination.

Fears about human vaccines are making headlines almost every day, and now the issue has apparently spread to pets.

Many “holistic veterinarians” are questioning if it’s possible to over-vaccinate pets, and some dog owners have become wary of vaccines for fear of their side effects.

Weese, a pathobiology professor in the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, explained that there is always the rare possibility that a pet will develop an adverse reaction to a vaccine. But he said such concerns are trumped by the risk of dogs becoming infected with a preventable and potentially fatal disease, such as parvovirus.

Weese said parvo is beginning to make a comeback in Canada because pet owners aren’t vaccinating regularly.

Weese is the chief of infection control at OVC’s teaching hospital and holds a Canada Research Chair in Zoonotic Diseases.  His research interests include C. difficile in animals, surgical site infection, antimicrobial resistance and emerging diseases.

Earlier this week, he spoke with CBC Kitchener about a cluster of brucellosis in dogs in southern Ontario. Weese said the bacterial infection should not worry most dog owners since brucella doesn’t spread easily and is more of a concern for commercial breeders.