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Allergies The cause of my allergies


Cavy Slave
Feb 9, 2012
So I have owned Guinea Pigs for almost 5 years now and only recently have I been having allergic reactions. They aren't fatal and I've never had to go the emergency room so therefore, I continue to keep my Piggy.

My allergy is basically breaking out with an itchy rash on my face and neck. Never anywhere else.

I have never been allergic to Timothy Hay, Aspen Bedding or their bodily fluids.

My parents think I'm allergic to her Pig stink. I told them that it might be the Hay.

I bathed her last night and held her but didn't break out. But I haven't held her today so I don't know if maybe it was just because she hadn't touched her bedding or hay yet(we cleaned her cage).

Does anybody have a guess on what I could exactly be allergic to?
After I had my son, I had major eczema and hives, particularly where my wedding ring was for the eczema, and a general heat/sun/contact rash. I took 24 hr Zyrtec for years and it seemed to keep things under control. Now that I have my GPs, the meds and Benadryl don't work anymore. I started a thread about allergy shots and the journey I'm undertaking -

Immunotherapy Journey

I don't want to give up my pigs, but it isn't easy trying to figure out exactly what I'm allergic to. I haven't done the skin test yet because the Zyrtec hasn't completely gone out of my system despite being off it for two weeks. But when I do get it, I'll post the results. I'm being tested for all the grasses I'm using (timothy, orchard, bluegrass, as well as GP dander).

You can also do a search on 'allergies.' I went through all of them, but I knew I'd have to go to an allergist to be sure. I use a HEPA air filter in the room where the piggies are and a humidifier.

All in all, it's not uncommon to develop allergies to something late in life that you didn't have a problem with before. As we age, our immune systems can go out of whack. If some of the at home experiments (eliminating grasses, etc.) don't work, you can find a good allergist and investigate that way. The only drawback is that the skin panel of tests are expensive and some insurance companies will only pay for it after you've paid up the deductible ahead of time. Luckily, I can afford this, but it's something to consider.
Cavalicious it right, it is very common to develop allergies as we grow older. Doctors even say that sometimes it takes awhile of continued exposure to build an allergy. This is especially common in children. That is why you are not suppose to expose babies under 1 to things like fish, milk, etc It may cause them to be allergic to it when they are older. I don't understand it, but it's true. The human body constantly is changing. I would say the hay is probably what you are allergic to. Try to buy Oxbow Orchard Grass. Most who are allergic to other hays switch, and their allergy goes away. It made an enormous difference for me. I am severely allergic to Timothy Hay...to the point of migraines and nausea.
I'm the same way. Only recently, when I pick up my guinea pigs, after I've put them down, I notice if they've touched my arms or neck I get so itchy. Fortunately it doesn't bother my breathing, so I'm totally cool with wearing long sleeves and trying to keep them off my neck/face.

Thank you for posting this! I was going to do something similar eventually. I haven't tried anything yet, but when their hay runs out, I will try a new kind and just go from there. I do notice that sometimes it doesn't happen! I was holding one of the babies last night and I didn't have a problem. Maybe she just didn't touch my skin other than my hands, I don't know. It's always a problem with the bigger ones, as they have to be cuddled in your arms, so there's no avoiding it.
I get eczema really bad in the winter. The dry air makes my skin get really dry and it looks like I have a rash on my hands, face and arms. I went to the dermatologist and she said it was exzema and gave me a steriod cream to use on it. It has nothing to do with my guinea pigs, although I am very allergic to timothy hay. I buy orchard grass for them.
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