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Thread: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

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    Cavy Slave francechevalier's Avatar
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    Question If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    Hi all,

    I really want to get 2 female guinea pigs but I would hate to have to return them due to allergies so I'm asking first.

    I only react to cats if i touch them and then rub my eyes or something, they'll become red and itchy, and i sneeze a bit too. Nothing too intense.

    Just wondering if i'll have the same thing with guinea pigs?

    I heard that it's the cat's saliva that we're allergic to....don't know if that's true or not...

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    I am also allergic to cats. But not mildly - very allergic. And yes, it's the cats saliva, urine, and dander. Growing up we had a guinea pig and I was fine with it and now as an adult, they don't bother me either. I do make sure to wash my hands after ever touching them, being in their cage, or anything but that's more good hygiene. I'd suggest going to a rescue or shelter and maybe holding/interacting with one to see if you'll react the same. Since the allergy would be caused by something different, you could be allergic to both or JUST to cats. I have a friend whose son is extremely allergic to guinea pigs but fine with cats and dogs.

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    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    I have the same level of cat allergies - touch a cat, then touch my eyes and my eyes turn red and itchy.
    I've had no problem with the guinea pigs but I've had a problem with the dust from the hay. It doesn't matter which type of hay, just the dust from it. Now I only keep a small amount in the house and the rest is outside. I've been fine ever since.

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    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    My sister's allergic to guinea pigs, it's because of their kind of hair. With long-haired hamsters she's like that too. She got a cough and runny nose from them being in the same room with her, but that might just be her.

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    Cavy Slave LifeAsItMayBe's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    My brother is allergic to cats but has no problems with my guinea pigs. My grandma was fine with cats but horribly allergic to guinea pigs and couldn't breathe around them. I would recommend visiting some guinea pigs, either at an animal shelter or a friend's house, and see how you react.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    I'm EXTREMELY allergic to cats but have no problems with guinea pigs. I am allergic to timothy hay so I buy orchard grass.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    I'm one of those 'allergic to everything' people and am not allergic to guinea pigs. I am severly allergic to cats (as in, walk into a house with cats and I get an asthma attack and migraine, and if I touch something I will get a rash there). I have had guinea pigs most of my life and assumed I was allergic to them since I would get a rash and have asthma with them, but I loved them, so cost-benifit. Turns out, it was the bedding and hay I was allergic to, not them.
    If you want to be 100% sure, you can go to an allergist to get tested. For me they did a blood draw and sent it off. The cost was around $100, but I don't know what the rules are for allergy testing in Canada. I like Marie's idea of going to a shelter, but keep in mind if you do have a reaction it could be from the bedding, hay, other animals at the shelter, food given, handlers perfume/lotion, or any number of other things. (Side story: I went to volunteer at a shelter once and the most interesting thing happened. I handled several guinea pigs (about 4) the fifth one I held enjoyed nipping my arm, which stung. When I finally looked down at my arm, each place I was nipped had a rash. To this day I cannot really figure it out as each guinea pig was fed the same things and others nipped/licked me while I was there. Even my own guinea pigs will nip or lick me and I will have no reaction. Just something to keep in mind, try out several guinea pigs if you do have a reaction (that is not severe, of course))

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    Cavy Slave francechevalier's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    Thanks everyone! I will definitely go to a shelter to test it out! but like you guys said if i react, it could be because of the hay too...so my guess is i will touch the guinea pig and touch my face or something to know if i'll react

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    Moderator Aertyn's Avatar
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    Re: If i'm mildly allergix to cats, will I be allergic to guinea pigs?

    I'm allergic to cats, but not to Guinea Pigs. My mum is allergic to Guinea Pigs but not to any other (known) animal. Allergies can be a bit weird like that.

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