Sons want a gerbil

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 1:35pm
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

My sons want to get a gerbil. The younger one is PA. I worry about contact with the gerbil food and bedding. Anyone have any information on this?

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 2:20pm
rebekahc's picture
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Joined: 12/02/1999 - 09:00

My DS's kindergarten teacher had a hamster in the room and highly sensitive DS had no problems. I just went to Wal Mart and read the labels on the food and bedding and told her which ones seemed safe. I was able to find one brand of food without peanut and most of the bedding was okay - I'm sure a real pet store would have even more variety.
Good Luck!
Rebekah

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2004 - 9:32pm
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I am just wondering if any of your children have any animal allergies. My DD had a hampster and it did a real nasty job on her allergies. She is allergic to cats and we found that she was very allergic to the hampster.
She really loved it but when it died I was actually a bit releaved because she could breath again. Not trying to sound mean but her health was more important.
As far as the food we just read ingredients.The bedding is what she seems to be allergic to. We have a rabbit but it is outside and I take care of it so she is fine.
There is safe gerbil food but don't forget to read. Good luck Claire

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 12:54am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Claire:
[b]I am just wondering if any of your children have any animal allergies. My DD had a hampster and it did a real nasty job on her allergies. She is allergic to cats and we found that she was very allergic to the hampster.[/b]
Good point and one I hadn't thought of. My older son (who has no food allergies) has a terrible time with pollen and cats. Maybe I need to redirect this plan.
------------------
Jean
** son allergic to peanut and watermelon**

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 3:12am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

My son and my daughter both have animal allergies, and both are super fine with the hamster. You cannot know before you let them handle the animal. In fact, I was surprised that my daughter could handle the hamster because she's quite sensitive to dogs and cats.
As for the PA aspect, we were able to find a somewhat balanced nutrition for the hamster, with the help of the pet shop hamster specialist. Although do double check, our specialist did select something with peanuts in it by mistake. We don't worry about cross-contamination, but I'm the only one who handles the food. While there is a risk that a loose peanut bit would find its way into the cage, the actual probability of it triggering a reaction is almost null for us. The kids are not touch sensitive, so they'd have to handle the hamster while the peanut is stuck to its fur, and then put their hands to their mouth without washing them first. Not likely.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 3:22am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Unfortunately, my son is touch sensitive.

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 6:27am
Claire's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Jeancbpugh, sounds like your kids and mine are similar. One with food allergies and one with environmental. To tell you the truth she is always stuffed up and Chris is usually just fine. As long as he avoids certain foods he is perfect.
Dust does a real job on her and i am getting ready to dust when i get off of here.
I have been trying to find an allergy med that will actually work on her.
There are hairless hampsters but they are a little odd looking in my honest opinion.
Good luck and i wasn't trying to discourage you but we had a real bad time with our hampster and her. take care claire

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 6:53am
jeancbpugh's picture
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Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Claire:
[b]Good luck and i wasn't trying to discourage you but we had a real bad time with our hampster and her. take care claire[/b]
Thanks, Claire, I appreciate your info. Better to think about the possible problems before I bring a critter home.
I hear ya on the problem finding meds that actually work with respiratory symptoms. My son does okay with Nasacort and some Zyrtec, but his real problem is his adenoids get huge and keep him congested for ages. I found about this in February but haven't had his adenoids out. The ENT that scoped him was rather brusque and insensitive...no way he is operating on my son. Plus I am reluctant to have surgery and general anesthia for him. When cold season starts, he gets sick and stays sick for weeks on end. Never gets an infection though. Maybe adding an animal to the mix is a dumb idea. (I'd suggest getting a GameCube instead but after the reaming we're getting on the restaurant board for taking our kids to fast food, I wouldn't dare. Kidding.)
------------------
Jean
** son allergic to peanut and watermelon**

Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2004 - 11:51am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Our allergist told us that the bigger problem with hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs is their urine and bedding, rather than the animals themselves.
If you do get one, it's probably best not to keep it in his room.
HTH,
Amy

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