Guinea Pig Allergy IgE Blood Test
The Guinea Pig Allergy IgE Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to guinea pigs.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Guinea Pig Allergy IgE Blood Test to measure the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to guinea pigs. As household pets, guinea pigs are less common than cats and dogs, but they are just as likely to cause allergies in hypersensitive individuals. A protein in the animal's saliva and urine is the primary source of guinea pig allergens, but the protein can also be transferred to the guinea pig's fur, skin, and dander. When the urine dries, allergenic proteins become airborne, causing symptoms if inhaled. The great thing is that guinea pigs typically do not run free in the home, so the allergens remain in or near the cage.
What causes an allergic reaction to guinea pigs?
An allergy to guinea pigs triggers a reaction in an individual's immune system. When an allergic individual comes in contact with guinea pigs' saliva, urine, fur, skin, or dander, their immune system views the proteins found in these specimens as toxic, producing IgE antibodies against these contaminants. Unfortunately, these antibodies trigger the release of the chemical histamine, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
When should I order a Guinea Pig Allergy IgE Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced an allergic reaction related to guinea pigs. The allergic reaction may range from mild or moderate to severe and vary for each individual. An individual may experience allergic reactions minutes to a few hours after exposure to guinea pigs. An individual with a guinea pig allergy may experience hay fever or asthma-like symptoms, such as:
- Red or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore Throat
- Trouble breathing or wheezing
An extreme, life-threatening allergic reaction known as an anaphylactic shock can occur in the most severe cases. An anaphylactic response requires immediate medical attention. Signs of an anaphylactic shock include:
- Rapid or increased pulse
- Swollen throat or lump making it difficult to breathe
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness
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