Author Topic: Allergies  (Read 356 times)

Offline RattyRodent

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Allergies
« on: May 21, 2017, 09:27:15 PM »
Mrs. Ratty and I have adopted three very large boys recently - two that are 1 year old and one that is 8 months. Before this we had small females. We've only had them a few days so far but I'm a little worried because whenever I let them out for playtime my breathing allergies act up and I always feel like I need my inhaler. With the females it seemed like I only had that problem when cleaning their cage. Although we like them and they're gradually getting used to us, I want to be careful not to endanger my health. Anyone else deal with this?

Offline RooRat

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Re: Allergies
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2017, 03:09:12 PM »
Have you tried taking allergy meds every day? I'm on a daily dose of Loratidine and it helps immensely with my other allergies.

I wish I had better advice than that. I get itchy bumps if my boy walks across my skin, but I've never had any breathing issues with him. Cats, yes, but not rats.
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Offline mamarat2

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Re: Allergies
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 04:11:21 PM »
Intact males always make my asthma go crazy compared to neuter males or females.  Try an allergy med.  I notice I use my rescue inhaler more when the intact boys are in house for petsitting.  Is neutering an option?  I used to always neuter all of my kids partially for this reason and partially because it was better for their health in the long run, plus I had a co-ed cage.  An air purifier?  We had a good size one we kept in the same room as the rats when I had intact males and it helped a bit.  Wear long sleeves if feasilble, you react to the proteins in the urine to probably.
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Offline BigBen

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Re: Allergies
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 11:11:10 PM »
I live on loratidine and pseudoephedrine, plus asthma inhalers, so I haven't really noticed the effect you mention, but I can say that if my HEPA air cleaner goes off (usually because of a power failure) I do notice that my breathing deteriorates, and it could possibly be because I've only had intact boys for some time now.  Although I get welts from ratty claws (also from scratching myself), I have never noticed a particular breathing problem from playing with my boys or kissing them and so on.  That said, however, everyone's system is different, and I am not surprised by your post.

Things to consider trying:
  • Get onto a daily antihistamine (bedtime is good, in case it makes you sleepy) and Sudafed as needed, and especially take Sudafed before playing with the boys.
  • Ask your doctor to consider prescribing pulmonary and nasal steroid inhalers, and if you get a prescription, take the medication faithfully.  The more you can short-circuit the reaction, the less your lungs will react, and you might eventually be able to get off the inhalers (I go off and on them for varying lengths of time, and just started taking a pulmonary inhaler again, because the pollen count is horrendous in my area this year).
  • If you have a rescue inhaler (e.g., albuterol), take a puff or two before playing with your boys.
  • Wash your hands and face after handling them or their soiled things (hammocks, dishes, etc.--the technical term, you might like to know, is "fomites").
  • Get a HEPA air cleaner, and change the filters strictly as recommended (they are not cheap, but well worth the cost), and either get one without an ionizing feature, or make sure to keep the ionizing turned off--ozone is not good for asthmatic lungs.
I don't always do all these things, but I have done all of them at one time or other.  However, I have never stopped taking the antihistamine and Sudafed since the doctor first suggested them, and now that I have the air filter, I never turn it off.  The rest all depend on how my lungs happen to be doing at any given time.
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