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Rat Dander Allergy Test Result-Positive :(

1868 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Vladina
Well, I got my allergy test yesterday and when the nurse came in and saw my arm (where the rat dander scratch test was done) she shook her head and said, "Oh my, you are allergic to rats, dear."

It was positive and not a mild allergic reaction either. Wow. The doctor said that although it is impossible to tell if most of my allergies are coming from Achilles and not Maximus, she said it was highly likely it was from Achilles due to the fact that he has much longer hair and he sheds so much, compared to his brother's short coat.

Also, I never had reactions this bad with Klausse and Wolfie and they did not have the long shedding hair that Achilles has. My symptoms have been almost exactly like the way I react around cats. I am very allergic to cats. So I guess Achilles is like a rat version of having a long haired Persian kitty in the house.

SO! I will be trying a prescription nasal spray to use daily, and Allegra twice daily. This in addition to our new HEPA air purifiers and we will call it good. If the nose spray treatment and Allegra combined are not putting enough of a dent in my scratchy throat, sneezing, 18 boxes of Kleenex a day and so forth, then the doctor will try some more aggressive treatments.

Sigh. I am allergic to my sweet Achilles squishy love. No matter. I adore him to bits of course! I will still keep cuddling, kissing, nuzzling and smooching him every day, because he is such a delicious little love ball. As I said before, it is MY problem, not his. :)
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I was worried about that. Guh. Well, on the up side, if you can constantly keep 'small' doses of ratty goodness around you, you could possibly develop a tolerance for them. In the mean time, do what you do so well...keep a clean house. Oh, and take the good drugs.

Something you might want to try? Give them water baths in distilled water. An allergist suggested it to me with cats. The distilled water supposedly breaks down the enzymes in their fur from their saliva where they lick themselves. It may have less effect because rats are like cats on meth, so they may lick themselves too frequently for it to make a difference. Or it may be that the enzymes are different and it will not work on them at all. But at least look into it.

Here's an article on it:
Cool, thanks for the article, Story! I shall read it thoroughly!

Yes, you are correct. Clean house, always. Check. Good drugs for allergies. Check. Also trying to leave the lid off my ratty laundry bin so the ammonia can air out a bit as you suggested. Check.

It can always be worse! I loves my bubs soooo much, that is what matters. What's a few kerchoos? :D
Story, I read the article...interesting! So we are talking about just distilled water for a bath, with no soap or shampoo or anything else, yes? Just warm distilled water?

It sounds intriguing. Of course, the minute I tried to even attempt doing a gentle warm water bath on Achilles and he flinched, knowing me I would break down and get wussy and stop. Auughhh!
Why am I such a marshmallow??? :doh:
Story, I read the article...interesting! So we are talking about just distilled water for a bath, with no soap or shampoo or anything else, yes? Just warm distilled water?

It sounds intriguing. Of course, the minute I tried to even attempt doing a gentle warm water bath on Achilles and he flinched, knowing me I would break down and get wussy and stop. Auughhh!
Why am I such a marshmallow??? :doh:
Because your a fur baby parent :lol: we all get like that when we have fur babies :lol:
Ahhh, I knew there was an answer to that! You are right Nibbler! :lol:
Wow that is odd, most people have reactions to the claws/urine in their claws. Intact boys often are the worst as well and people have developed allergies to intact boys but are okay with neutered.

Maybe switch your sex of rats to girls and see if that is any better later on?
It is funky how they attack isn't it? I've dealt with assorted allergies my whole life. It starts with initial exposure to build up antibodies. The more severe allergies tend to be exposure during times of a compromised or immature immune system of course, but sometimes folks just have a weakness in some areas. And it seems that exposure combined with long periods away from the allergen followed by exposure again makes the reactions more severe. Constant low level contact to the allergen in the right amounts can help build the immune system...if it's in the right low doses that don't have your immune system in a constant state of weakened distress. Most folks start with dermal reactions with the welts at the claw scratch sites and it builds up from there to a full blown respiratory situation. My reactions are respiratory more than dermal. Mostly because I have always had more sensitive lungs, having been an asthmatic premature baby (six weeks early, in the early in the 1970s. Amazing I survived).

I would agree that my reaction is more severe with the intact boys, the little dirty musk monsters. :D

I've mentioned a friend who breeds. She had to drop the number of rats and breedings a year drastically and make some sweeping changes in her house set up etc. because she just couldn't breathe.

I imagine it's similar to Bird Fancier's Lung. Another friend of mine almost died from that before it was diagnosed and she purged her house and grounds of all traces of feathered friends.
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Yikes, that makes my nose itch just reading the post! :sick:

Yes, I did actually tell the doctor that with all four of my boys, Klausse and Wolfgang included, that I always did have that low grade skin irritation thing that Lilspaz my skin would welt up a little and get hot and itchy if their claws grazed my skin, and of course I just made a habit of when I got little ratty scritches on my forearms from handling the boys, just to wash my hands and forearms with some warm water and antibacterial soap and after a few minutes it would just ease up and go away.

So I knew I had a mild allergic reaction to the nails/urine on the claws thing, but when this started recently, it was full blown and nasty with very raw throat, lots of mucus in my nose, sneezing tons and the roof of my mouth even itching. Thus the actual rat dander test. And I realized that this started after Achilles lost that short silky baby fur and got his long hair. Drats and drats! Weird eh?

I give him and his brother little wipes on their fur every so often, with my unscented baby wipes...Achilles actually enjoys it and it can't hurt but it may not help either? Not brave enough to try any bathing yet based on how timid they have always been around water from their pea fishing excursions, no matter how shallow or pleasant I make the water. Ha.

Vlad----> Wuss. :rolleyes:

Last night, though, I spent some long quality time with my squishy Achilles at my desk and I scritched and massaged him and rubbed his little cheeks and he bruxed so hard and closed his eyes and nuzzled me like a lil puppy. Ahhh...pure bliss....even though I paid for it a little later, it was so worth it. I call him my little jersey cow, because of his cow spots and he weighs about as much as one too. :lol:

Just can't give up the cuddle times with my baby. I need da ratteh love!! :sneakyhug
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Marc and the Sniff Test

And...on the topic, and so I can give my awesome husband some kudos....Marc has been so wonderful lately with this allergy thing that he has taken over some of the daily chores that always seem to aggravate my nose.

One of them is the sniff test. I like to gather up all of the babies' fleece blankies and squares of flannel that I line their critter pod and ceramic "hot tub" with and things like that and do a daily "sniff test" to see if they are okay or ready for the laundry, but it really makes my nose itch (lots o Achilles fur on them) so now, every day at some point, when the kids are out playing for their free range time, Marc grabs up the fabric, sits the pile right on his lap and methodically goes through the pile, snorting and sniffing for me. :lol:

He makes a "pee-ew" pile for the laundry and puts back the "this smells good" fabric into their house. Every bit helps! :D
A girl I knew at my mother's job was allergic to rat dander as well. :c She ended up giving all of her rats to her daughter. She was so allergic that she'd have to wake up in the middle of the night to hit her inhaler 2-3 times per night. I couldn't imagine!
Aww, I'm sorry you ended up with a positive test, but at least you can get some allergy meds to help with your reactions. :hugg2: And you tell Marc that he is an awesome rat dad!! I LOVE that he does the sniff test now! hehehehe! :D
Talamos, that does sound awful! Well, we have an air purifier in our bedroom upstairs and the babies are downstairs in our living room, so I guess that keeps things under control in the nighttime department. Now if I can just try to stop enjoying having the boys do playtime in the bed with Mom. Trying to cut down on that due to the dander but I loooove having the babies playing under the covers with me sometimes in the morning. :D

Aww, thanks Breyer, I read Marc your post and your compliment about him being such a great rat daddy and he positively beamed. He says, "Thanks, Breyer!!" :)
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