Skinny Pigs & Allergies? Please Help

gabykate

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My family had a beautiful long-haired Peruvian Piggie that died at 6 years old in 2011. I was so upset over losing her that I never planned on getting another "replacement" piggy. But today I just happened to be at a pet store and fell in love with a little black skinny pig. We brought her home, set up her cage, and spent some quality time with her. Later on in the night, my younger brother (12y/o) was holding her and I noticed he had bright red eyes and huuuuge swollen lips. It was definitely an allergic reaction (and not a mild one) and it lasted hours even after a shower and Benadryl. I don't recall any of us ever having a reaction to our other piggy (and he handled her often). We also own dogs, cats, a rabbit, a chinchilla, a pair of Syrian hamsters, and a plethora of hedgehogs. He has never reacted to any of them.
This has me so puzzled because I would've thought that with all of our furry pets not bothering him, there's no way this new hairless one would. When I was researching these guys, many sites referenced them being far less allergenic than guinea pigs w/ hair. And he didn't even react to the one we had with hair! I'm so confused. And so devastated because I adore this lil piggy and I've never in my entire life given up on an animal. I don't want my brother to suffer but I also don't want to have to return this baby, so I'm trying to do as much research on this as possible before doing anything.
Does anyone have any info on how allergenic skinny pigs are? Have you ever heard of somebody being allergic to one piggy but not another? Are allergies like this generally due to just touching/handling, or do they tend to cause allergies from just being in the same house?
Anyone have any advice or experience at all?
 

sport_billy

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I have not heard of this before and would have expected him to be allergic to both furry and non furry pigs if he was going to be allergic, however i do not know.

Could it be another factor in the house?

Maybe the guinea the bedding or hay perhaps?

Allergies to pets can come in varying forms and severity, with some people it is being n the same room as them, others only when touching there is no hard and fast rule with allergic reactions

Welcome to the form by the way
 

PiggieNinja

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Yeah I think the above reply has a point- maybe the piggie bedding ,hay, food or other products used and not the actual piggie.
Also it's really important that guinea pigs have companions of their own kind and humans can never replace that so if you do decide to keep him he'll need a friend
(Adopt don't shop!- you can use the rescue locator on this site and there are many posts about guinea pig companionship you should read)
 

Flutterby

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I agree with both above, the allergy is more likely to be from the hay, which is the most common cause of allergies when keeping small animals. It can even be one type of hay causes a reaction and another doesn't.
 

Freela

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What sort of bedding is being used? It's possible the reaction is to bedding/hay and not the animal itself. After a lifetime of keeping small animals, I am severely allergic to any kind of wood bedding, even hard woods like aspen. I have to use paper or fleece. My eyes and nasal passages swell up seriously from the dust associated with cleaning out a cage with wood bedding. It's also possible to develop allergies to things over time, so it's possible he has developed an allergy to bedding, hay, or guinea pigs themselves that he didn't have before. The fact that it's a skinny probably won't make him less likely to react, as most people allergic to animals are allergic to dander and/or saliva, not fur itself.
 

shersher78

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My family had a beautiful long-haired Peruvian Piggie that died at 6 years old in 2011. I was so upset over losing her that I never planned on getting another "replacement" piggy. But today I just happened to be at a pet store and fell in love with a little black skinny pig. We brought her home, set up her cage, and spent some quality time with her. Later on in the night, my younger brother (12y/o) was holding her and I noticed he had bright red eyes and huuuuge swollen lips. It was definitely an allergic reaction (and not a mild one) and it lasted hours even after a shower and Benadryl. I don't recall any of us ever having a reaction to our other piggy (and he handled her often). We also own dogs, cats, a rabbit, a chinchilla, a pair of Syrian hamsters, and a plethora of hedgehogs. He has never reacted to any of them.
This has me so puzzled because I would've thought that with all of our furry pets not bothering him, there's no way this new hairless one would. When I was researching these guys, many sites referenced them being far less allergenic than guinea pigs w/ hair. And he didn't even react to the one we had with hair! I'm so confused. And so devastated because I adore this lil piggy and I've never in my entire life given up on an animal. I don't want my brother to suffer but I also don't want to have to return this baby, so I'm trying to do as much research on this as possible before doing anything.
Does anyone have any info on how allergenic skinny pigs are? Have you ever heard of somebody being allergic to one piggy but not another? Are allergies like this generally due to just touching/handling, or do they tend to cause allergies from just being in the same house?
Anyone have any advice or experience at all?
I am allergic to guinea pigs (have had guineas for 25+ years but this is only something that has happened over the last 10 years or so). I got a skinny pig (thinking I would be better) but it turns out it's their skin, saliva & nails that I'm allergic too, NOT just the hair (I react just as badly, with my skinny). Maybe this is the case with your brother? Has he handled the skinny more than regular piggies?
 

gizzy

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I agree with both above, the allergy is more likely to be from the hay, which is the most common cause of allergies when keeping small animals. It can even be one type of hay causes a reaction and another doesn't.
Dito, my hands oftern come out in small blisters, when l feed the course alfalfa king thimathy, ! noticed No problem with other types of hay
 
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