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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

To Your Health: Easter Health Risks for Pets

While we love all the chocolate bunnies, jellybeans, and Cadbury eggs available this time of year, common Easter decorations, treats, and toys can be dangerous for our cats and dogs.

Hello, I’m Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs at Southeast Missouri State University. Let's look at how you can prevent a trip to the emergency vet over Easter weekend.

The beautiful Easter lily is one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cat. Your cat only needs to ingest a small amount or even just lick the pollen off their fur or paws, to be poisoned by these lilies and go into kidney failure. American Humane suggests cat owners refrain from keeping the flowers in their homes.

The plastic grass used to decorate Easter baskets can lead to a blockage of pets’ digestive tracts when consumed. The chocolate found in the basket can also be toxic, especially to dogs. Make sure to keep the baskets far away from pets.

Finally, after ensuring the pets you already have are safe, think twice if you are finding it hard to resist putting a real bunny, chick, or duckling in an Easter basket. Most people are not prepared for the responsibility of owning these vulnerable animals. Biting and scratching can be issues, especially in the uncomfortable grip of a young child, According to Dr. Jane Kelly, president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association, ducklings and chicks have been associated with salmonella outbreaks, so care must be taken if young children or immunosuppressed people handle birds. Stick to the stuffed animal versions instead!



Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.