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How do I know if I'm allergic to my new pet rabbit or its hay?

I'm 19 years old, and I have not had problems with allergies before. I have a young rabbit that I have been feeding timothy hay, and I have noticed myself sneezing more lately. Nothing else significant seems to have changed lately in my life, except I suppose that it is coming into springtime. I live near Chicago, in a studio apartment, and I don't have any other significant allergies.
That is a most unfortunate symptom to have after just getting a new pet. The best way to know if you have allergies is to first review if you have any other allergies. Those with no allergies, either seasonal or other, are less likely to develop an allergy than are others. If you have allergies, unfortunately, your chance of developing more allergies in the future is greater. In your case, you mention that you have never had allergies before. This makes it less likely that the spring is the cause of your allergies, since you've presumably had to deal with 19 spring seasons in your life already, and this is the first time you've noted increased sneezing. From what you've told me, the only other variables that are different at this time are your rabbit and its hay. You can try changing the food you give the rabbit and see if that helps, but otherwise, there is a good chance that you could be allergic to your new pet. As always, please speak to a physician who can discuss this issue with you in person and review your health history. It would be sad to have to give up your friend unless you are certain it is due to the rabbit!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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