Can rabbits cause allergies?

An allergy is your body over-reacting to a substance that's harmless for most people. When you're around or you touch one of these allergens, your body sends out immunoglobulin E. These antibodies then trigger your basophils and mast cells to release a batch of chemicals to combat the invading allergen. While most people with pet allergies react to pet dander and to protein in the saliva of cats and dogs, people allergic to rabbits and rodents normally react to the protein in the animal's urine.

The allergic symptoms that people get with rabbit allergies are similar to those found in people who are allergic to other pets. They can include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion and wheezing. In severe cases, contact with a rabbit can also cause a rash on the face, neck and upper chest. Allergic symptoms can appear within 30 minutes of coming in contact with a rabbit, but they can take longer, too.