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Hay Allergic reaction to Timothy Hay

chickpea616

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Despite having our guinea pigs for about 3 years now, and handling hay daily during that time, I had a bad allergic reaction to some 1st cut Timothy hay (from the same place I always order from - the only difference is that it was 1st cut vs. 2nd cut. I always order 2nd cut, but the 1st cut was a mixup - long story).

Anyway, after a visit to immediate care (due to breathing problems from the allergic reaction), here I sit researching different types of hay because I may need to switch. I've settled on either Orchard or Bluegrass.

A few questions regarding possibly switching: I know all pigs are different, but generally speaking, will they (3 girls) be OK with outright switching, or should there be a transition period including old hay and new?

Is there any other hay (other than Timothy) that has the fluffy seed heads that my guineas love, or is Timothy the only one? (Obviously not a game changer, but curious nonetheless) ;)

Thoughts?
 

bpatters

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You can switch cold turkey -- they'll adjust.

All hay has seed heads, but how many you get depends on when the hay is cut.
 

chickpea616

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Got it. Thanks so much!
 

spy9doc

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Timothy hay is highly allergenic to many people! :eek:hmy: When we first started keeping cavies (this time), my husband had such a severe allergic reaction that the piggies almost had to leave the house. We finally arrived at bluegrass hay as a terrific alternative and used it for several years. After an unpleasant experience with KMS (previous owner), we switched to orchard grass which has worked just as well. No problem with switching cold turkey.

Keep in mind that you will need to wash everything in the cage (and the cage itself) and give the piggies a bath to remove any hay spores in their fur.

Sorry I can't help you with seed heads as I have no experience with them.
 

Turkino

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My wife is SUPER allergic to timothy hay, even Orchard Grass will get her sinuses acting up.
Pretty much the only hay we can have in the house is Oat, but the pigs seem to enjoy eating that at least.
 

tcole1019

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Wow! I've been having allergy issues lately ESPECIALLY with a severely itchy throat and now my sinuses are acting up. I NEVER in a million years thought it could be the hay... I thought I might be having problems due to my boys themselves. I'm gonna have to switch from Timothy hay to another alternative so thanks so much for this!

Sent from my SM-G977U using Tapatalk
 

bpatters

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It's very rare for people to be allergic to the pigs themselves.

But when you switch, clean the cage thoroughly and bathe the pigs to get rid of the old hay dust.
 

rosspiggys

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My wife had a similar problem with Timothy Hay. She could not be near the stuff. I fixed it with this;
https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-True-Allergen-Remover-HPA300/dp/B00BWYO53G/ref=asc_df_B00BWYO53G/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584001418523907&psc=1

It's pricey but put near the cage it pulls the bad stuff out of the air before it gets to her. All is good now. Word of warning, results may vary.
 
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