Is there anything I can do? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Is there anything I can do?

I discovered last year when I got my two lovely female rats ( who have since been rehomed ) That I am allergic. My skin turns pink and scratches swell ... Its a mild allergy but is there anything I can do about it? I would really love to be able to have them again someday and its not have a pet I cant love on as much as they need. .
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 04:14 PM
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You can try Zyrtec. It's an anti-histamine medication (if you don't live in the US, I'm sure there is another brand that is the same active ingredient).
it works amazingly well for mild cat allergy, I'm sure it could work for rats too! Only drawback: 1 pill a day.
.
Also, the way you eat affects allergies. A very very healthy diet and almost no processed foods really helps to lessen allergies. But it's hard to keep with!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Would an over the counter med work? I dont have insurance so I cant afford something like Zyrtec.

And there is no way I can do an overly healthy diet ( I love healthy food but my dad isnt keen on paying for it and I'm between jobs right now)

I'll def try the pills but how do I test it without bringing home a rat and risking having to rehome it again?

Thanks for your help
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 07:17 PM
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you can take the pills and then go to a petstore and play wit some of their rats. just say you are interested in handling them for potential pets


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Should i take them for a certain amount of time before going and playing with the rats? And my symptoms dont show up until later unless they scratch me. And it was mostly my shoulders and chest that turned pink from them sitting there
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 12:48 AM
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You know, I had an allergic reaction to my two beautiful boy rats. When I held them and got those little scratches on my skin from their sharp nails, the scratches would welt up and swell and my skin would get pink and itchy too, but this is more common than you think. It is a mild allergic reaction and I would just live with the scratchy welts and pink skin because it was always temporary. I would just soap up my hands and forearms and wash up with hand soap every time I was done playing with my boys, as I read in one of my rat care books that this can ease up the irritation, if you wash the areas that welt up and get scratchy and red. The irritation would always last less than 5 minutes and then go away. It was not a big deal to put up with, since I loved my boys so much. I would have dealt with much worse before rehoming them.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Mine lasted for between 30 mins and a few hours and Thats not why I rehomed them ... I moved to a home where i could not keep them and my parents did not want to care for them for me. It broke my heart seeing them go
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 02:37 AM
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I have read that some people with rat allergies will suit up in long sleeves to handle them. But when I discovered I was allergic to my ratties even cleaning their cage or sitting on a couch that had a little bit og their hair in it made me itch. I would paly with them and let them out then vacuum and shower. I have indoor rabbits and I do this for them as well.
Also the cleaner the cage and more you vacuum the less dander and other possible allergens will be floating in the air

you can try maybe 10-30 min if possible. If its scratches your allergic to you can try cleaning them with soap like vlad said. Maybe wear a tank top so they can run on your shoulders?


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 10:25 AM
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This happens to me, too. It only lasts a little while after handling them, though, so I haven't bothered to get any kind of medication. I do what Vlad said: wash thoroughly with soap and water after playing with them. The only other OTC medication I could think of would be Benadryl...not sure how well it would work for this kind of allergy, though, but you might try it.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2011, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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well my rats were always with me I mean out of the cage at least 3 hours a day until Inoue decided she was sick of me. When I wore my coat they never made me itch whenever they werent in contact with my skin i was fine but that would get so hot in the summer
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 06:02 AM
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Most people are allergic to the urine under the rats nails which scratch you and swell up. When this happens just use water and wipe your scratches and they will feel better and not swell and burn as much.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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I scrubbed mine. And also after a little while with contact to my skin i itch. I've done all my research with Guinea pigs ( yeah I know they are LOTS of work) and dogs so when I'm in a position to get a pet with more needs I will most likely get one of those. Since I'm not allergic and dont have to worry about any issues that would prevent me from giving it the life i want to and that it deserves
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 05:38 PM
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I am pretty certain that the laws changed and that Zyrtec is now available without a prescription! You can buy the no-name brand, it'll be cheaper (cetirizine is the active ingredient you want).
It is still a pretty expensive medicine considering you have to take one pill a day, but I find that it's the one that works the best for pet allergies.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 07:31 PM
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Could it be the shavings? My chest and arms turn pink and itch on the inside and out when I fill the hay rack bc I'm allergic to hay
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-08-2011, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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No it was carefresh I used with them and they had some hay but I'm not allergic to it. When I have the money for the medication and a good cage I may get rats again.

These were my girls. I miss them they were so sweet Ino And Ayasha

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