Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Advises Caution When Buying Easter Pets
Fluffy bunnies and fuzzy chicks might seem like a wonderful addition to the Easter holiday, but remember these quaint, cute and cuddly creatures grow up, and grow up fast.
Many Easter pets are abandoned, taken to a shelter or released into the wild because the "novelty" feeling faded or they required more care than anticipated. The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association encourages potential owners to do their homework before purchasing Easter pets.
With any pet, families and potential owners need to be prepared to bring a new responsibility into the household. Animal additions should only be made after carefully assessing your family's ability to meet the animal's needs over its entire lifetime.
Rabbits and chicks also carry a risk for disease that can have detrimental effects on children. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), many people do not realize the potential danger baby chicks and ducklings can be to small children. Young, healthy-appearing birds often carry harmful bacteria called Salmonella, and each spring children become infected with Salmonella after receiving a baby chick or duckling for Easter.
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
According to the CDC, rabbits are a possible source of enterohemorrhagic E. coli, which is a cause of several human diseases, including acute renal failure in children.
Before taking the plunge for the cute and cuddly, consider the responsibility and risks associated with an Easter pet. For more information contact your local veterinarian. To find a clinic near you visit, www.wvma.org/findaclinic.Last modified on