Rabbit Allergies & Sneezing

Written by nicole papa
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Rabbit Allergies & Sneezing
Sneezing is a sign of a rabbit allergy. (a wild rabbit image by Tom Oliveira from Fotolia.com)

More than 40 million Americans suffer from a pet allergy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. A rabbit allergy occurs when your immune system recognises the dander and by-products of a rabbit as a possible threat. The Mayo Clinic says that the body releases histamine and antibodies to attack the animal proteins, causing common allergy symptoms such as sneezing.

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Cause

Hay fever is the most common result of a rabbit allergy, according to Health Central. The dander from the rabbit causes the sinuses to become irritated. The irritation leads to a runny nose and an itching sensation in the nose. The itch combined with your body attempting to rid itself of the allergen causes aggressive sneezing. Sneezing as a result of a rabbit allergy manifests itself in sneezing fits and bouts, many times uncontrolled.

Prevention

The best way to prevent sneezing from a rabbit allergy is to avoid the allergen as much as possible. If you own a rabbit, consider placing it outdoors during the warm summer months and in a garage or basement during the winter months. Do not keep the rabbit in common living spaces or your bedroom. After touching the rabbit, wash your hands and wipe off your clothing with a lint roller. Consider getting rid of the rabbit if your symptoms do not improve.

Treatment

According to the House Rabbit Society, nasal sprays with anti-inflammatory drugs may be effective at treating sneezing and other nasal complications from a rabbit allergy. Talk to your doctor about getting tested for a rabbit allergy to confirm the rabbit is the culprit. If you do have a rabbit allergy, consult with an allergist to determine whether allergy shots are an option for you. If they are, see if you can use your rabbit's own fur in the allergy shot process.

Precautions

Keep your home clean and free of pet dander. Do not touch the rabbit to your face and wear protective eyewear when handling a rabbit. Wear a face mask directly over your mouth and nose to prevent the rabbit dander from entering your nasal passages.

Complications

Sneezing when you're around rabbits is a sign that you are experiencing an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction causing sneezing is commonly accompanied with other nasal reactions such as nasal congestion, sinus pressure and discharge. If you are exposed to a rabbit for a long period of time, you run the risk of developing a sinus infection or nasal polyps.

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