Rabbits can make excellent pets. They are delicate and harmless creatures and usually, people are not allergic to them. In fact, bunnies are considered the safest pets for people with allergies.
However, if you’re allergic to cats, you may also develop an allergy to a bunny. This is because of the source of this sensitivity, which is a particular type of protein present in a cat’s and a rabbit’s saliva, skin cells, and urine.
Since rabbits and cats both like to groom themselves with their saliva, if you pet them and touch your face with the same hands, you may develop an allergy.
In this article, we are going to find out how you can tell if you’re allergic to a rabbit and whether it’s possible to live with rabbits despite these allergies.
So, let’s get started.
If You’re Allergic to Cats Are You Allergic to Bunnies?
Not necessarily. If you’re allergic to one animal or a particular breed of an animal, that doesn’t mean you will be allergic to all other animals or all other breeds. Some people are allergic to both cats and dogs but they are not allergic to rabbits at all.
Guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters are among the safest of all animals as they rarely cause any allergic reactions in humans.
However, we cannot rule out the possibility of developing an allergy to a rabbit because immune systems work in mysterious ways.
It has been found that a particular type of glycoprotein is found in a rabbit’s saliva and fur. And it has been identified as a major rabbit allergen. People who might be allergic to this type of protein may develop allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma as a result of exposure to this allergen.
How to Tell If You’re Allergic to Rabbits?
You need to keep a close check on a few signs and symptoms that indicate an allergy. These symptoms include;
- Difficulty in breathing
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
- Itchy and red eyes
- Nasal congestion
If these symptoms are mild, there is nothing to worry about. But sometimes they can develop into more serious issues and complications particularly if you already have asthma or another health condition.
Sometimes people experience their nasal passages being completely blocked and no medicine or other remedy seems to work. If you find that the above-mentioned allergy symptoms are aggravating with the passage of time, it’s time to see a doctor. In some cases, the doctor may advise removing the source of the allergy completely, which in this case is a rabbit.
In some rare cases, emergency medical help may be needed to treat a severe case of asthma in which shortness of breath worsens with each second.
Because of these reasons, it’s a good idea to find out if you’re allergic to rabbits or other pets beforehand. For mild to moderate allergy symptoms, it’s possible to still live with your pet. But for other cases, it’s usually best to stay away from pets you’re allergic to.
Can You Still Live With a Rabbit If You’re Allergic?
Research shows that only one out of every five people who are allergic to pets would give up living with them. They somehow manage to control the allergy or take precautionary measures so it doesn’t become severe.
Since allergy symptoms vary from person to person, it is a good idea to diagnose it, find the source, and then decide whether to treat the sensitivity or remove the source.
In very rare extreme allergy cases, it will be recommended by a doctor to get rid of the rabbit. In other cases, you can take some precautionary measures to minimize the discomfort caused by an allergy.
You can also try getting a different breed of rabbits if you’re allergic to one of them. It has been observed that some people are allergic only to a particular breed of bunnies. So, you can take your time choosing the right breed and get rid of allergies altogether.
How to Minimize Allergic Symptoms
So, you have discovered you’re allergic to rabbits. What should be the next step especially if you don’t want to give up your furry friend?
It’s totally possible to live with your pet even if you’re allergic. Regular cleaning and grooming as well as decluttering your home and taking some preventive steps can help greatly with the allergic symptoms.
You can try to curtail the effect of this sensitivity by taking some precautionary measures. While grooming and petting your rabbit, wear a mask. You can also try restricting your bunny’s movement so she won’t be able to spread the allergen everywhere.
Make sure you have one room in your house that is complete “rabbit free”. This means the rabbit won’t be allowed to enter that room and you can easily spend your time there without worrying about getting an allergy.
If you’re allergic to rabbits, try to keep their dander away from your face. Some people also wear gloves while handling their pets especially if they are allergic to them.
If the allergy symptoms are mild, you can take an anti-allergy medicine. But it’s recommended to see a doctor immediately if you start experiencing severe respiratory problems.
It’s a natural desire to have a pet to love and cuddle. Families with kids and couples who have no children find happiness in pets like cats, dogs, and rabbits. However, some people develop an allergy to these pets. Cat and rabbit allergies are quite common and it’s usually the protein in these animals’ saliva and dander that causes allergy in most people.
However, if you’re allergic to cats, that doesn’t mean you will be allergic to rabbits as well. You may still develop an allergy to your bunny though if you are sensitive to a particular type of protein.
It’s good to keep an eye on common signs and symptoms of pet allergies if you have a rabbit at home and take precautionary measures to minimize their effect.