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Allergies just got the saddest news....

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Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner
Cavy Slave
Nov 12, 2011
I went to the doctor's today and found out that I am allergic to the guineas... :weepy:
His advice for my well being, we need to find them a new home....what am I going to do??? is there someone in the area that would take 5?? I live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Are you allergic to the pigs, or to the hay? Guinea pigs are pretty non-allergenic animals. Most people who have problems are allergic to the timothy hay. I'd make sure it was the pigs before I rehomed them -- orchard grass and bluegrass generally cause very few problems.
Just curious, how long have you had the pigs and what kind of symptoms are you having?
Doctors always say that. You don't have to, you know. Many people control their allergies and are able to keep the pets they are allergic to.

If I had followed my doctor's advice I would not have my horses, pigs, rabbit, and cats.
when I hold them, I get hives...thought it was just because I have sensitive skin, but that's another sympton.
Two we've had for about 10 months, third we've had since October, 4 & 5 since January.
I am having problems breathing, coughing...he said I could go on antihistamines but that I would still have these issues...I DON'T want to get rid of them, but my symptoms have gotten worse. We went away for the weekend and I felt great, we came home Sunday and by Monday I was feeling horrible...my daughter and I are crying over this but I really don't see any way around this...I have never been away from them since we got them so, it kind of sucks to learn about this now...
Make sure the hives are not from touching the hay. I know that can happen as I've had horses most of my life and am allergic to hay. I always sneezed like crazy when we'd put a new shipment in the loft, and a got hives all over my arms from handling the bales.

I feel so bad for you if it turns out to be the piggies. I have cats even though I'm allergic to them, but my allergies are not severe enough to really cause problems except once in a great while when my eyes decide to puff like red boiled eggs.
I'm so sorry that has got to be some very hard news to recive. It sounds like you really love your piggies and I hope that you can find the best possible home for them where they can still live together as a group if rehoming them is the only option. Again so sorry if I was told to give my girls away because of allergies I don't know what I'd do.
I would get rid of all the hay in the house for a week and see if that makes a difference. That way, you know for sure whether it's the hay or the pigs. If it's the hay, there are compromises that can be made.
Did you go to a regular doctor or an allergist? The only way you'll know exactly what you're allergic to is through scratch testing. Foggycreekcavy is absolutely right about being able to manage your allergies. If you haven't had scratch testing, go to an allergist and have them find out exactly what you are allergic to. It could very possibly be the hay. I have asthma and I'm very allergic to timothy hay but not orchard grass. I've found, though, that even if I do use timothy, I'm not bothered as much if I don't inhale it. If it turns out you are allergic to the guinea pigs, keep them in a room with good ventilation and run an air purifier. Wear gloves when you handle them and wash your arms after holding them. Never touch your face after handling them. You can have pets you're allergic to as long as you manage how you care for them.
I'm allergic to hay + shavings, I manage this by using fleece and when I'm topping up hay (or cleaning the cage out) I wear gloves and a mask and I take antihistamines on an almost daily basis.

My mum is actually allergic to the guinea pigs, she manages this by wearing long sleeve shirts when giving them cuddles and making sure to wash her hands after touching them. My mums allergies are worse, when she comes into contact with a guinea pig she breaks out hives, and with continued exposure her eyelids will dry and crack (it's really really gross!). We've had pigs now for 7 years and we've managed our allergies well.
I'm so sorry to hear about your allergies. Others have mentioned hay - my fiance is super allergic to timothy hay (she can't even hold guineas that have timothy hay in their cage)! We feed Blue grass and she is much better, thankfully she is not in charge of actually putting the hay in the kitchen area. If you find it is hay, I wouldn't let them have hay to roll around in, just in a rack and that might help.

Also, a Hepa filter near their cage might do wonders for you...? Lastly, are they short haired? If so, it would be super easy to just use a hypoallergenic non scented baby wipe as a quick wipe down when you pick them up. OR if you're worried about what's on the baby wipes, use a lightly damp paper towel as a quick wipe....? We recommend this to people that have cats and dogs that they're allergic to and it does help quite a bit.

Good luck!!
I don't seem to break out in hives when I handle the hay...when I'm cuddling with one of them and they sit up on my chest, I get hives, when I'm carrying them back, I end up getting hives on my wrists where their paws/feet sit when I'm walking with them either to the couch or back to their cage. I am now sitting upstairs and find my breathing better than when I was sitting downstairs beside them on the couch. My eyes do burn and feel very dry also...I am the only one who can clean their cage, trim their toe nails, transfer them to their playpen, my children are too young and I am a single mother, so I am their "pet parent"...sigh
I get hives when I hold my two, I use long sleeves and wash my hands, face, and neck when I'm done. I use bendryl too, it helps..... But I don't have the breathing issues. I hope you don't have to rehome.
I would do an allergy test regardless. That way you'll know if it's the guinea pig dander, the urine, the hay, what they're housed on, etc.

If you don't want to pay for an allergy test, you can go by process of elimination. Get rid of hay for a week. All hay. Clean so that everything is spotless and completely clear of hay. If you're still having problems, get rid of the bedding you're using for a week. Use fleece or something you know for sure you are not allergic too. There are plastic-free puppy pads on Amazon and you could use those since they're just paper.

If that doesn't work, it probably is the guinea pigs. It would be hard to figure out if it's the dander or the urine so that's where an allergy test would come in. If it were me, I would try everything to see if I could get around the issue. Will allergy shots help? Are they worth it to you?
Try switching the type of bedding and changing it more often. Keep your arms covered when holding them. It should be easier to manage the allergies because they're not all over your house like a dog or cat would be.
When I went through my hive stage - just a dog scratch and I was a mess (I own a dog walking business!) - I used allegra. It worked great and absolutely NO side effects :) possibly this would help?
That sucks.
I have 3 cats that I am highly allergic to and I take singulair and zyrtec to help with the allergies. They arent allowed where I sleep, and try to keep your hands away from your face. We also cant have timothy hay in the house drives me and my daughters allergies crazy. Good luck!
I have 3 cats that I am highly allergic to and I take singulair and zyrtec to help with the allergies. They arent allowed where I sleep, and try to keep your hands away from your face. We also cant have timothy hay in the house drives me and my daughters allergies crazy. Good luck!

When I had allergy testing, I found out that cats and mold were the two things that I'm most allergic to. If I take allergy medication before I go somewhere where there are cats, it makes a huge difference and as long as I keep my hands away from the face and eyes, I'm fine.
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