Sadly, some people find that through this process of elimination, they are in fact, allergic to their rabbit.
So, what is it about your rabbit that’s triggering your allergies? And what are your options so you can keep your rabbit without being in constant allergy misery?
Often, when people have allergies to animals, they think it’s the animal’s fur causing the reaction. But usually, it’s the saliva proteins left behind after the animal cleans themself by licking their coat. So, not the actual fur itself. Touching their fur transfers these saliva proteins to our fingertips. Then, when we touch our face without washing our hands, it transfers to our nose and eyes. Lining these entrances to our bodies are immune cells ready to respond to any invaders.
For people who are allergic to rabbits, this is when their immune cells engage. Their body sees these foreign saliva proteins as a serious threat to the body that needs to be attacked.
Watery eyes and dripping nose try to wash away these proteins. The airway constricts in response to an influx of histamines, which in turn recruits more immune cells to the invasion site. This response is beneficial when the invader is the flu. Not so much when it’s to your rabbit or other animal.
For people like severe asthmatics whose allergic reactions can be life-threatening, we do recommend you find your rabbit a new home, for your safety. But for the majority of allergy sufferers, a few changes can allow for you to live with your rabbit and enjoy their company for years to come.