Guinea pigs make for great pets since they are not high maintenance.
Before getting a guinea pig into your house, it is important to know if any of the family members are allergic to them.
To learn whether guinea pigs can cause asthma, read below.
Do Guinea Pigs Cause Asthma?
Guinea pigs are mostly harmless creatures, but they can trigger an allergic reaction.
Most people are allergic to the proteins that exist in a guinea pig’s skin cells, urine, or saliva.
Most of the time, an allergic reaction is triggered when a human is exposed to the dead skin that a guinea pig sheds.
Essentially, any animal that has fur can trigger an asthmatic reaction, and this is why pet allergies are very common.
Symptoms of Different Allergic Reactions
If you’re allergic to your guinea pig, you may have some of these symptoms.
It can also cause red, watery, or itchy eyes. An allergic reaction can also make your mouth and throat extremely itchy which may become a nuisance.
An allergic reaction to your guinea pig can cause nasal congestion and swollen eyes which will only get worse if you don’t get medical help.
If things get worse, you may get intense chest pains, insomnia, and even find it hard to breathe.
An allergic reaction will only affect your central nervous system but also your skin.
If you come in contact with a guinea pig, your skin may get red patches which can cause inflammation and eczema.
Causes of Different Allergic Reactions
Different allergies are caused when your immune system comes into contact with pet hair, mold, or even pollen.
When you have an allergic reaction, your body produces antibodies because these substances are identified as harmful when they are not.
This is why, when you are near pet hair or pet skin, your body is responding and releasing antibodies that make it harder to breathe because of inflammation of your nasal passage or even your lungs.
If this keeps happening for a long time without any change in your environment or dietary habits, the inflammation will only increase and lead to an asthmatic reaction.
Allergies can be caused by various pets. Cats, dogs, hamsters, and guinea pigs are a few of the most common pets that can trigger an allergic reaction and cause respiratory issues like asthma.
Here’s how this works: When your pet sheds its hair, it can easily stick to the furniture or your clothes.
Your pet’s saliva can also cause an allergic reaction, which can be found on carpets or even your bedding.
The only pet that may not cause any allergic reactions are fish since they do not shed fur or salivate in your home.
How to Prevent Asthmatic Reactions
If you’re allergic to your guinea pig, no need to panic.
There are various ways to combat allergic reactions.
The location of your guinea pig can highly affect your asthma. If you have a big house, it is best to keep the guinea pig in an empty room that no one uses.
If you live in an apartment, make sure to not keep your guinea pig in your room since this will only increase the chances of asthma.
Another thing to keep in mind is to never keep hay in your house since it can easily cause breathing problems.
One of the easiest ways to get asthma is by the air you breathe.
A good idea would be to buy an air purifier and keep it near your guinea pig’s cage since their allergens and hair can stay in the surrounding environment for a very long time.
It would be best to run the purifier every time you are in the room or the vicinity.
By using an air purifier, your breathing problems will instantly decrease, and you can actually be around your pet.
If you are not feeling any better, it would be best to set up an air purifier in your room.
Since asthma can cause trouble breathing when you sleep, turn on the purifier when you go to bed so you can have a peaceful sleep.
An easy way to keep the air around you clean and allergen-free is by simply opening windows and turning on the fans.
This way, fresh air will be circulated and keep your surroundings clean.
If someone in your family is allergic to guinea pigs, it is best to keep the cage away from them when you are cleaning it since your guinea pig’s cage will have urine, saliva, and hair.
It is also a good idea to take the cage outside when you are cleaning it, but make sure to get help lifting it since it may be heavy.
It is vital to clean your guinea pig’s cage every week; otherwise, it will make you and your pet sick.
When cleaning, make sure to wear gloves and a mask so you don’t swallow any hair and turn on the air purifier after you’re done.
When filling up your pet’s cage, make sure to only add a substantial amount of hay.
If you add more hay and they don’t end up eating it, it will only trigger an allergic reaction.
When adding hay to the guinea pig’s cage, it is best to take the cage outside and wear a mask and gloves.
After you’re done, wash your hands thoroughly and turn on the air purifier before leaving the room.
After holding a guinea pig, make sure to wash your hands and apply the cream to prevent your skin from breaking out.
It is best to not come into direct contact with your pet, so if you want to hold them, try using a towel or wear rubber gloves.
After you’re done, it is a good idea to change your clothes so that your hair doesn’t stick to you.
If you know you’re allergic to your pet, it is a good idea to keep them away from your face and neck at all times. Your neck is very sensitive and can easily trigger an asthmatic reaction.
Another thing to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction is by dusting your house very often.
If you have carpets and a lot of rugs, it is essential to vacuum twice a day.
You should also wash your carpets and rugs twice a month to make sure your guinea pig’s hair does not stay.
If nothing else works, it is time to start medication.
If your allergies start acting up, it is best to get an allergy shot, which may not be extremely effective but at least it will help you breathe around your pet.
You can even take allergy medications or if things get worse, buy an inhaler that can help you breathe during the day and at night.
You can also try coating your nostrils with Vaseline, so you don’t inhale the particles.
Having a runny nose can also mean you have the flu.
However, if your “flue” doesn’t seem to go away and your nasal passages swell, then you may just be having an allergic reaction, which can lead to asthma.
If your symptoms are only getting worse, seek help and call your doctor immediately.
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