Guinea pig aficionados, would you like to find out if guinea pigs are bad for your allergies? In this article, we’ll explain more about the causes of allergies to guinea pigs and the symptoms of these allergies.
We will also list a few tips for handling guinea pig allergies. So, if you are wondering if your guinea pig is hypoallergenic, please read on!
Are Guinea Pigs Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, guinea pigs are not hypoallergenic. However, their living conditions may help contain allergens more than when compared to living with a larger pet. This is why they may be a safer pet option for many allergy sufferers.
Just like cats and dogs, all smaller mammals and rodents are also not really considered 100% hypoallergenic. Guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, and rabbits produce allergy-causing proteins found in their dander and other substances they produce. However, they are usually caged, so their shedding, dander and urine can be contained to a certain place in the house.
A Guinea pig can also cause or worsen breathing and skin allergies, just like all the other pets. Need more deets on this? Please read on!
Breathing Allergies Triggered by Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs can trigger numerous allergic reactions, including breathing and skin allergies.
When it comes to breathing allergies, it’s the exposure to fur and dander which may be the culprit. Airborne particles that your guinea pig produces will be a risk even if your pet is confined to a cage most of the time.
Skin Allergies Caused by Guinea Pigs
Contrary to popular beliefs, a guinea pig’s dander or hair is not actually the main cause of allergies. Guinea pig allergies are caused by the reaction to the protein found in this rodent’s urine and saliva. These allergens are transmitted through close contact and handling of these creatures.
So when it comes to cuddling your guinea pig, or even washing out it’s cage, be very careful if you’re prone to contact dermatitis or other skin allergies!
Do Guinea Pigs Shed a Lot?
Yes, they do. These pets have a lot of fur, which they shed during spring in preparation for the coming hot summer months. However, if you notice your guinea pig shedding excessively then, it could have parasites or skin issues.
These features can be your worst nightmare if you suffer from asthma or breathing allergies. Shedding usually releases many other airborne allergens as wells including dander. Furthermore, if your guinea pig has parasites or a skin infection, this can make the situation much worse for you.
Even if your pet is confined to a cage, you’ll have to be cautious when handling it during spring or at times it is shedding excessively.
Do Guinea Pigs Produce a Lot of Dander?
Small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs produce some dander, just like all the other pets in your home. The only difference is that their shedding rate is contained in a certain corner of the house. So its dander has a very low probability of affecting sufferers.
What Are the Symptoms of Guinea Pig Allergies?
If you find yourself or anyone living in your house or friends sneezing or coughing a lot when they are around your guinea pig, then it’s likely they are affected by it. Other symptoms associated with guinea pigs include being out of breath, itchy eyes, and rashes.
Guinea pigs also carry numerous diseases which they can transmit to human beings. Some of these illnesses include:
- Yersinia pseudotuberculosis
- Trixacarus caviae
- Hymenolepis nana
Tips for Reducing Guinea Pig Allergies
If you really want to adopt a super cute guinea pig and no other pet tickles your fancy, we understand! So we have prepared the following tips to help you live safely with your pet. These tips will help you manage the spread of allergens in your house.
And if you experience allergies after being exposed to guinea pigs, you should consult with your doctor. They may suggest treating yourself with epinephrine, followed by corticosteroids and antihistamines.
FAQ’s – You Ask, We Answer
Why Do I Get Itchy When I Hold My Guinea Pig?
That is because some guinea pigs have mite infestation. These mites burrow into your pet's skin, causing irritation. You may also be experiencing contact dermatitis due to direct contact with allergens trapped in your guinea pig’s fur.
Can I Get Fungal Infections From a Guinea Pig?
One of the most common fungal infections in guinea pigs that is contagious to other animals, including human beings, is ringworms. Therefore you should be cautious when handling your guinea pig.
Can Guinea Pigs Get Allergies?
Yes, guinea pigs can get allergies. If your pet is sneezing a lot, it could be a sign of an allergy or an infection. Other symptoms to look out for include discharge from their nose and eyes, heavy breathing, coughing, wheezing, and crackling sound coming from your pet.