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Pet Rats/Hairless for Allergies?

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Question
Hello!

I currently have 6 rats, all adopted from a local rescue. At the time, I wasn't allergic to them, but it's getting progressively worse. Today, I pet my girl rat, and broke out in a rash half-way up my arms. I'm hoping to tough out the reactions until the rats pass, but I was wondering if hairless rats might have a less allergenic reaction? I've seen a few, but never gotten to handle them myself. I was hoping you might either know, or be able to direct me to a source that can help?
Thank you for your time.

Answer
I'm sorry for the late response.  I was trying to get some more info for you from some people who have more experience in this area.  I can tell you that most people who own rats do have skin irritations that is due to rats urine.  In this case it wouldn't matter whether they are hairless or furred rats.  You can lessen the chances of skin reActions by wearing long sleeves.  I am still waiting to get information on whether allergic reactions can be caused by anything in rats other than urine so you should hear back from me shortly on that.

Okay, I found out that rats DO in fact have dander, like cats do, so if a person is allergic to dander then that would be a problem with furred rats.  And of course hairless rats do not have dander.   Rats saliva may also cause allergic reactions in some people.   

However, the most common allergic reactions for most people come from their urine.  Therefore, you would have to identify what specifically you are allergic to.  Perhaps you can identify where you might have access to a hairless rat, perhaps a local breeder, and spend some time handling her to see if you have a reaction.

I hope this is helpful to you.  Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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Irene Murphy

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I can answer a variety of questions regarding adoption and care of pet rats throughout their lifetimes, including questions about their health and well being, temperment, diet, bedding, cages, toys, etc. I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability in a timely manner and I have an abundant amount of resources to help me to help you with your pet rats. I love rattie pictures, so include pics with your question if you can. You may ask me medical questions, but please be advised that I am not a vet. I may use my resources to answer some medical questions, however, I will need to refer you to your local vet with medical questions that I feel I am not qualified to address.

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I have been a huge rat enthusiast for many years. Since becoming a rat owner, I have educated myself in all areas of pet rats from every resource I could find including the internet, books, conversations with local exotic vets, as well as several local rat breeders.

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I have a college degree but not in the area of animals. I have obtained my extensive experience and knowlege of pet rats all on my own because in my eyes, pet rats are the most interesting and fascinating creatures you can ever imagine to have as pets. I also am saddened by how mislabeled and misunderstood these amazing and extremely smart animals are by the majority, and my mission in life has become to educate and change as many people's perceptions of rats as I possibly can.

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