Allergies to rabbits

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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.[1]

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:[2]

  • 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
  • Petal Cleanse from Bio-Life
  • 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.

Further reading

The following are some experiences with rabbit allergies and how rabbit owners dealt with them.

Studies and Papers.

See also

References

  1. Mayo Clinic. (2013). Pet allergy. Retrieved 22 September 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pet-allergy/basics/causes/con-20028932
  2. Smith, S. (1999). Living with Rabbit Allergies. Retrieved 15 March 2016 from http://rabbit.org/living-with-rabbit-allergies/