RABBITS AND ALLERGIES
An allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a foreign substance called an allergen. When you are exposed to an allergen, your body sends out immunoglobulin E which trigger your basophils and mast cells to release chemicals to combat the allergen. Common symptoms includes sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. While most allergic symptoms can appear within 30 minutes of contact, it can also show up months later when your immune system is compromised.
Most allergens are protein and in pets, these can be in their urine, saliva, skin and feces which can be carried on their fur and dander. An interesting fact is that for rabbits, their primary allergen is found in their saliva which contains the highest concentration of protein. Along with the rabbits, there are also potential allergens which includes the hay they eat (pollens and spores), the bedding they rest on (dust and urine) and the mites they may carry.
It is a sad reality that doctors often jump the gun and blame the animals for causing allergies without accurate diagnosis. As rescuers, it is too common to hear allergies as the reason a pet is being given up. Most allergens can be safely managed with proper house keeping and OTC medication. It is truly up to the humans to use their best judgement and common sense to decide how to co-exist with them. Here are some good suggestions from doctors and fellow rescue groups:
We hope these information will help animal lovers on managing their allergies and co-existing in harmony with their beloved pets.