Living with animals

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Fierlin1182, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    A couple of years back, I started to get a rash when I came into contact with certain animals, but only if I excessively handled the rabbit or guinea pig or whatever it was. That's never been a problem as we don't have any of those animals, but I'm going to be living with someone who owns a cat for a couple of months.
    I'm getting mixed opinions on this one, but most people reckon I'd be fine as long as I left the cat alone. I wanted to hear from people who know animals, and where better to go than BYC. [​IMG]
     
  2. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    I find I develop an immunity to individual animals.

    For example I start sneezing just being in the house of someone who has a dog, but my own dogs I can rub my face in and not feel effects (unless I get drool in my eye or on eczma prone areas of skin). I am very allergic to them when I first get them but after about 3mths of constant exposure living with them I think my body realises the new dander isn't going to kill me and calms down.

    I'm even worse with cats. I sneeze, get rashes from sitting where the cat was, my asthma flares up and everything just being in 'a cat's house'. But my boyfriend had a cat and I'd visit him twice a week. After a year or so I could let it sit on my lap and pet it with no ill effects! I would however keep my face at a distance, have long sleeves on and wash my hands as soon as it jumped off.

    That's just my experience. I'd just make sure the cat stays out of your bedroom, so it's like an 'allergy free zone' your body can recover in at night while your body gets used to it.
     
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    You will not know how you are going to react to the cat. Until you are exposed to it. I am allergic to cats. I also have 5 of them that now live outside by choice. I know that if I pet the cat and then touch my eyes, that I will have a bad reaction. Each cat can be different also. Some cats wash themselves more than others. I understand that it is the saliva of the cat that is the worst. So wiping the cat down with a wet cloth may help. But some people have extreme troubles breathing when exposed to a cat. If that happens you can not live with the cat no matter what. You could die from the reaction to the cat. Try to meet the cat before you need to live with it.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, you won't know till you live with the cat.

    If someone cleans their house real well all the time, I won't notice their cat. If someone does not clean well, I am a mess. I am alergic to cats and if I touch one, my hands will swell and break out into rashes within minutes. So... it'll depend.
     
  5. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That settling down of your allergies after a few months? My allergist told me the name of that. Allergic fatigue syndrome. Your body uses up all reserves being in constant fight response mode and no longer can muster a response. Leads to Adrenal problems and other nasties. Said I had the worst case ever seen in his practice as an adult... [​IMG]
     
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    As others have said you may or may not have an allergic reaction to the cat. I spent a career working in a animal research setting. After an extended period of time, I became extremely allergic to guinea pigs and rabbits and somewhat allergic to rats. Apparently both guinea pigs and rabbits tend to cause a greater allergic response in many individuals. I have absolutely no allergic reaction to dogs, cats, other mammals and most birds. I must/choose to use a Hepa filter when working with my pigeons for several reasons. You could always go for allergy testing to see if you have an allergic response to cats.
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I had one of the worst allergy tests ever. I was allergic to almost every variable during the prick test. The allergist was surprised. I ended up going through years of twice a week injections, than to once a week, than to every month. All this because of my love for animals. I was also allergic to pretty much every other tree/grass/mould/whatever else was on that darn test.

    Now I live happily with next to nothing in allergy attacks. Before I couldn't go in basements, had to have special sheets on my bed that had to be washed several times a week, my fiancée had to dust three times a week (wasn't allowed to do this.. allergy attack would last the rest of the day if this was attempted).

    Just avoid the cat. Make sure it doesn't get into your bed to sleep.
     
  8. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    Okay, thanks for all the advice, guys [​IMG]
    I've never had an issue with asthma or breathing difficulties, it's just a rash that I get wherever I happen to touch the animal.
    I've been in cat houses before for small periods of time which was fine, but I'm worried about the fact that I'll be staying for two months.
    I've got a bit of eczema on my hands, don't know if that's got anything to do with it.

    I sure as heck won't let it into my room. With any luck they'll give me an upstairs bedroom and the cat stays downstairs. [​IMG]
     
  9. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Quote:I don't think it was that. I was still allergic to everything else I am in full force!
     
  10. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good! Animalian, hope it goes well.

    I can top the allergy test one...just as the team was finishing pricking the first arm row, "I'm not feeling too g..." Thud. Total pass out from anaphylaxis. Oh, yeah. Come to with the entire staff squeezed into the exam room. Talk about excitement. And after all that trouble, I'm allergic to the carrier for the allergy shots as well. 9 out of 10 ER pros said to move to Alaska.
     

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