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Old 08-20-03, 01:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun-2003
Location: Calgary, AB
Age: 42
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Originally posted by Pixie
Invictus: What kind of allergy do you have? How can you know that you're allergic to tarantulas without having been exposed to their venom before?
I was told their poison is almost identical to bees and wasps, which I am extremely allergic to. I can even die from mosquito bites. If I get even one mosquito bite, I get hives all over my body, swelling in the hands and feet, and eventually the throat if I don't take antihistamines.

I've never heard of a level 3 allergy before and have studied some nursing, would love an explanation.
That's the term my doctor used. He said level 1 is your basic allergic reaction - localized swelling and irritation, itching, etc. Level 2 is a more widespread reaction which includes the symptoms I listed above - hives, rashes, etc. Level 3 is anaphylaxis - throat swelling and compression of the windpipe resulting in death (for the laypersons here, I'm not patronizing you Pixie). I have the third level reaction to insect bites. And if a single mosquito bite can do that to me, imagine what a bee, wasp, or tarantula could do.

It is a good thing to be extra cautious around T's if you're allergic to bee and wasp stings. Surprisingly though, I just found out that an avid tarantula keeper is allergic to bees and wasps but not to tarantula venom, he has been bitten. I thought that was quite surprising!
I've heard of that before as well, but I seem to react to any and all insect and arachnid venom the same way. I've even had garden spider bites that lead to a harsh reaction. Even knowing the possibility is there for me to die from a T bite is enough for me not to want to take the chance of owning one as a pet.
- Ken LePage
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