You’d be surprised by how many people give up their piggies because they or their son/daughter/mother/baby has a guinea pig allergy. Did you know that the likelihood of your getting an allergy is greatly increased if you have never growing up with pets? In fact, did you know that a case study determined that children who grew up with pets were far less likely to develop asthma then children who weren’t!
Diagnosing an allergy
Do you have sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, rashes or difficulty breathing?
First and foremost, don’t assume it is your guinea pig, first check with your doctor and get the tests done that determine exactly what it is that is causing the symptoms. It may be caused by the bedding- hay or shavings. Try changing the bedding to something different and putting the hay in a hay rack or bag to restrict it. Hay is often very dusty so packing it in a bag would minimize the risk of it getting everywhere and making the cage dusty. If it is the hay that is causing the allergies, try wearing gloves or getting different types of hay – orchard, timothy to see which one works for you.
If your doctor says that yes it is in fact the guinea pigs that are causing the allergy, even if he says you must get rid of them, there are lots of ways you can minimize the risk of an allergic reaction and be able to keep your beloved pets!
Keeping guinea pigs with an allergy!
Allergies are caused by allergens in your guinea pigs skin glad secretions, urine and saliva and not by hair as many people think- therefore hairless guinea pigs will not solve the problem and it is not elevated by having longer haired guinea pigs.
Here are some ways which should help you if put into practice….
1) See if your doctor has any medications that will help relieve the symptoms. Often there are multiple ones that you can try and see which one helps the most. Use inhalers, nasal sprays and eye drops if you need it and try to remember that they are worth it!
2) Wear gloves and long sleeves when handling.
3) Wear a face mask when sweeping the cage
4) Clean the cage regularly.
5) Wrap your pigs in a blanket when you want to hold them.
6) Don’t keep the guinea pigs in your bedroom while you are sleeping.
7) Keep the room they live in well ventilated. Air purifiers and ventilators are great for this.
8) If your allergies are so severe that none of the above help try and get someone else to handle them for you, you may have a willing parent or partner or even your children or siblings might be happy to help.
9) Keep your guinea pigs in a well ventilated and insulated shed outside (not a hutch).
10) In some rare cases allergies are so severe that they cannot be solved by the above steps and become critical to the point where your life may be at risk. Having exhausted all other options sometimes it is just best if you find them a new home. Treat this like you would with your children and use as an absolute last resort but do not put your health at risk for the sake of your guinea pigs. Too many people give up too quickly and it is important to make the right decision that is best for both you and your pets.
Highly Rated Products that may help!
The Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum is an automatic vacuum cleaner which scans and maps the room before doing a thorough clean removing dander, hair and dust particles. It is specially designed for pet allergy sufferers and would be perfect as many owners know that guinea pigs are extremely messy and it is hard to get all the bits off of the carpet or floor.
Its is $455.49 on amazon with a four to five star rating.
Allergena Pet Dander Is known to completely relieve symptoms caused by pet dander and is highly effective! It contains immune system support and relieves watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing etc.
Some people have even decided to keep their pets after trying the air purifier and finding that they felt so much better!!!
$149 on amazon
I hope that I was able to help those of you who are struggling with conditions and if anyone has any ideas to add to this article, do let me know in the comments below!