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At first it started when I had been holding and playing with the rats for a long time but now I can't go near the cage without my eyes watering and itching like crazy and my skin bothering me anywhere they have touched. It seems like I'm allergic to them which is strange because I never was before and I've had rats off and on for the last 10 years.
A few people said that stress can trigger new allergies. I googled it but only got ads for allergy medication. Does anyone know if it's true? And if it is, would the new allergy go away when the stressful stuff does?
I love my rats, but it's getting to the point that I'm miserable around them. If it was just little itching I'd suck it up and deal but I could barely see last night because my eyes were bothering me so much. And unfortunately I can't take any medication for it so if I can't solve the problem naturally I will probably be forced to try to find everyone new homes. Any suggestions?
 

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Yes, it is very common for rat allergies to develop over time.

I have bad allergies as it is, so I am very careful about keeping the cages super-clean, changing my clothing if it gets peed on, and not holding the rats on my skin much, in addition to washing my hands right after holding them. I also moved the cage from the room I was sleeping in, and that helped immensely.

If I'm having a particularly bad time, I'll take Claritin. But if you can't take allergy medication, that makes it harder. Nasal steroids have helped me a lot, too.

Sorry to hear that you're having problems - there's nothing more awful than becoming allergic to your pets!
 

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aww, that's so sad! it's def possible for allergies to develop cuz of stress or whatever, but sadly, once they develop, i think it's very rare for them to just go away again. try some stuff that 2many says, and see if it helps. is there any reason you can't take allergy meds? maybe you can find a medication alternative, but you'd have to go to the doc to see about that. :( sorry to hear that!
 

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I can't take medication (either the shots or pills) because I'm kind of stupid and had a painkiller addiction and used to cut. I'm supposed to stay away from all pills, including tylenol and even vitamins which kind of sucks right now, because just holding them could trigger more badness. And I already found out that needles aren't good from when I had to get blood taken a few months ago.
I'd move the cages to another room if I could but my mother hates the rats and likes to threaten them with rat poison. I really need to move.
I'll try cleaning the cages more often. Maybe a couple times day would work better than just once a day. And I should probably stop letting them play on my bed. There is another thread on something I could put in their water to keep the smell down, I might try that too. It probably won't do anything for my allergy but I think that if they don't smell as much I could move the cage into the basement without worrying about my mother bothering them since she is rarely down there. Thanks for the help :) Everyone is very happy that they might get to stay with me... and all the treats they get from me.
 
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