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Old 04-16-2017, 12:57 PM   #1
HarleytheHamster2017
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Default having allergies to my hamster?

In the past i have had hamsters and wasn't showing signs of having allergies to them. It seems now that i have another hamster i get allergies to them when i clean their cage, which wasn't an issue with my other hamsters. Is it the bedding or something? I'd really hate to get rid of my hamster, but what is causing the allergies to them? I think that i use paper-type bedding in their cage. This hamster that i have is my best friend! I'd do anything to keep them as my pet. Help!
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:15 PM   #2
floppy91
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

Hi, what kind of symptom do you have and have you tried taking antihistamines?

How to deal with pet allergies
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Last edited by floppy91; 04-16-2017 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

It could be an allergy to substrate, and from reading anecdotes these seem to be more common than an allergy to the hamster themselves.

The first thing I'd consider is switching your hamster to a different substrate to see if that relieves your symptoms. Wood shavings are often the most common cause of substrate allergy but you mention that you're using a paper based one. Do you know the name of it so that we might be able to suggest some alternatives for you to try?
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #4
HarleytheHamster2017
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by floppy91 View Post
Hi, what kind of symptom do you have and have you tried taking antihistamines?

How to deal with pet allergies
Hi, I get a horrible sore throat-type irritation, wheezing, sneezing, coughing, & etc. I took benadryl for my allergies or for sleep some of the time. I really don't remember if i have ever taken it for hamster allergies? I've never had these problems before with my past hamsters? Gosh! I really hope & pray that i don't have to give my hamster away! They are my Best Friend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluffagrams View Post
It could be an allergy to substrate, and from reading anecdotes these seem to be more common than an allergy to the hamster themselves.

The first thing I'd consider is switching your hamster to a different substrate to see if that relieves your symptoms. Wood shavings are often the most common cause of substrate allergy but you mention that you're using a paper based one. Do you know the name of it so that we might be able to suggest some alternatives for you to try?
The bedding i use is i think "Care Critter?" Just recently i got some new bedding. I don't know what kind of bedding it is either. I cleaned my hamster's cage today. I got the horrible allergies again when i did! Each time i clean my hamster's cage i get those nasty allergies! Like today. Like i said i never had these problems with my past hamsters. Is it me?

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 04-17-2017 at 12:50 AM. Reason: Consecutive posts
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Old 04-16-2017, 06:22 PM   #5
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

It sounds like it could be the substrate as your allergies seem to start when you clean the cage. How often are you cleaning the cage?
I clean mine every 5 weeks, I do daily spot checks on the loo area and remove any soiled substrate and clean that area with warm water.
Benadryl is an over the counter medicine.
I know you can get prescription only sprays that are more effective.
There are cardboard face masks you can get and wear when you need to do a cage clean.
I really hope it isn't a serious allergy, but if it is, there is ways of controlling it and still keeping your hammy.
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Old 04-16-2017, 08:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

It could just be way too dusty,which is very common even with paper type substrate unfortunately!If you're talking about the cheap off-brand(same manufacturer)Walmart and other grocery store version of Carefresh,then that is dusty just like Carefresh.

I have extremely annoying allergies myself and use Kaytee Clean and Cozy with no problems,however I do know at least personally that dust triggers my allergies but Kaytee has never had much dust for me.This is also good for hamsters too,since their delicate respiratory systems don't do well with dust anyways Just make sure to use the plain unscented Clean and Cozy!
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

It sounds like it could be as substrate as others have said and sometimes these can develop even after several years of using a particular product. I kept my Chinese on wood shavings for three years without problems and then out of the blue, I developed an allergy to them and had to switch to a different substrate.

There are ways around it if you have got an allergy and it might not come to needing to rehome your hamster.
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Old 04-17-2017, 01:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

I'd agree about the substrate being the most likely problem, I have asthma & have had issues with a couple of substrates in the past so you need to find something the hams like that works for you too, I also find if there's a lot of sand mixed into the substrate (which there usually is with mine as they love to throw it everywhere!) that can set me off sometimes when I do a cage clean.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

I'm allergic to all animals that have fur. Went to allergist to see if I was allergic to a Syrian I gave away because I was so sick.

Turns out that the allergist said I wasn't allergic to hamsters, so I gave my hamster away for nothing.

I might have been allergic to the urine is all I could figure out? Could you get a facial mask when you clean the cages, the doctors office type?

I have another Syrian plus 7 dwarves with no allergies but I sneeze cleaning out the tank so I need a facial mask too.

Can you go to an allergist & have them test you for hamsrers

I forgot to say that my Syrian is litter trained so I don't smell the urine, she uses the sand bath as her potty, which is very good for me

Hope you can get to the bottom of this so you can keep your hammy

Last edited by Cinnamon Bear; 04-17-2017 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: having allergies to my hamster?

I should try getting Kaytee Clean and Cozy or Boxo (soft cardboard) - it's much more likely to be an allergy to the substrate/bedding than to the hamster. I had problems with wood shavings and hemp due to allergies, but am fine with paper bedding.

As Thin Lizzy says, don't clean out too often as it is stressful for the hamster and also makes them pee more (they want to re-scent everything when their scent has been removed).

Try and put loads of deep substrate in - 6 inches or more if possible - and just spot clean - using a litter tray helps as well. Doing that I only did a cage clean every 2 to 3 months and it stayed clean and dry. Better for me and better for the hammy.

Boxo works out very cheap as it's sold in bulk bales - I think walmart sell it. Kaytee clean and cozy is very nice and hypoallergenic. I wouldn't get Carefresh as some people are affected by that. Also don't get wood shavings as people can be allergic to any kind of wood (as can hamsters).
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