Allergies to rabbits
After bring a rabbit home, some people may find that they have increased allergy symptoms. Rabbit allergens are present in their dander, hair, and saliva.
What am I allergic to?
Often, people who suffer from allergies with rabbits in the same household are not actually allergic to the rabbit specifically but rather the hay. There are a few different ways to cut down on hay allergies:
- Look for second-cutting hay.
- Mist hay with a water bottle to cut down on dust.
- Change hays from timothy to orchard grass or oat hay which have been anecdotally much better for people with hay allergies.
If you are actually allergic to the rabbit and its hair, dander, or urine, some tips that may help you include the following:
- Minimize direct contact. Never touch your face directly after interacting with your rabbit or its possessions. Make sure to wash your hands after visiting. Wear a mask and/or special clothes when cleaning their cage.
- Limit the rooms your rabbits can get into, especially your office or bedroom.
- Buy an air filtration unit. The best are HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration units, which pull microscopic dust, fur and other particles from the air.
- Vacuum rabbit-accessible areas often to decrease hair, dust, and dander.
- AllerPet/C, Nature's Miracle Allergen Blocker
- Seek medical assistance. Be sure to try the various OTC allergy medications available (Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra and their generics) as each type may have a different effectiveness on different people.
- The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Allergic to your rodent or rabbit? [PDF]
- Tania Castaneda. (2002). Foo and the Hachoo! Factor.
- Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue. Allergy Problems?
- Susan Smith, Ph.D. (1999). Living with Rabbit Allergies.
- Kathy Smith. (2004). Rabbits and Allergies [PDF]
- Kristi Cole. When the Fur is Flying ...
- Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. NYC Metro Rabbit News, Fall 2009, Mary Cotter, Ed.D, “HELP! I’m Allergic to My Rabbit!”
- bunnyhugga. (2010). Allergic reactions to rabbits and how to minimise
- Red Door Animal Shelter. Allergies & Animals >> Rabbit-related Allergies?
- Cavy Spirit, Inc. Living with Guinea Pig Allergies
The following are some experiences with rabbit allergies and how rabbit owners dealt with them.
- Reddit. (2019). DAE get respiratory allergies to buns
- Reddit. (2015). I'm allergic to my baby
- Laurie Ansberry. (1999). A Fosterer's Allergy Experience
Studies and Papers.
- Allergic Asthma and Rhinitis Caused by Household Rabbit Exposure: Identification of Serum-Specific IgE and Its Allergens, J Korean Med Sci. 2007 Oct; 22(5): 820–824.
- Mayo Clinic. (2013). Pet allergy. Retrieved 22 September 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pet-allergy/basics/causes/con-20028932
- Smith, S. (1999). Living with Rabbit Allergies. Retrieved 15 March 2016 from http://rabbit.org/living-with-rabbit-allergies/