Chinchillas are capable of emitting proteins that cause allergies. This can happen through the presence of saliva or urine. They are also known to shed their fur every few months. The hay and dust that come from chinchillas seem to be the biggest factor in people that have allergies. It is not advisable to have a chinchilla for a pet if you are allergic to hay and dust from them.
In general, warm-blooded animals with fur have proteins in their body. When these furry animals wet their fur by licking, saliva sets in. After it dries, parts of the protein flutter about and end up on different material in the home.
This is why even though people initially get a pet chinchilla, they have to give it away because the hay and dust proves too much for them to handle. Not only do the owners suffer, but their pets suffer as well. They don't get the hay or dust bath their supposed to get on a regular basis. When they have to return the chinchilla it's called re-homing. Basically the pet is sent back to be reassigned to a new owner and a new home.
It can get so bad that as an owner of the pet, being allergic to hay and dust can cause breathing problems. There have been cases where some owners ended up using an inhaler for breathing purposes.
The owner can become allergic to the pet itself and end up with rhinitis. Rhinitis is when the mucous membranes of the nose get inflamed with a mucous discharge. You can get contact with allergens just by touching the chinchilla. The transmittal of this (antigens) can cause you to rub your eyes or touch your skin. The interesting thing about this is allergies don't always affect you right away. Depending on your system, it can take weeks months or even years for the exposure to take affect.
It's not surprising, even if you've had a pet chinchilla for a while, to eventually develop an allergic reaction to the dust and hay. Especially dust, since it can accumulate from anywhere. However, if you should become allergic to your pet's allergy-causing proteins, you may have to consider re-homing (returning the animal so they can have another owner).
There are ways that you can minimize the allergic impact of dust from affecting you. Keep your pet's cage covered with a sheet and in a room where the door can be closed. When applying dust to your pet, don't turn on any fans. The container should be your pet's cage and place the sheet around it. Leave the room for about ten minutes, making sure you close the door on your way out. It should take that much time for the dust to get situated.
There are some different brands of bath sands you can use to reduce the dust from flying all over the place. You may want to check it out thoroughly prior to purchase. It's been noted that it can reduce the amount of dust ingestion; it may not be effective in cleaning your pet's fur. It may take more than one pack and this just defeats the purpose of any cost-cutting measures.