Goat Allergy

The web's definitive (and only) resource for people with goat allergy.
Brought to you by Elissa Batshaw Clair (elissaclair@charter.net).

My Story

In the summer of 2005 I visited a petting zoo with my 2 year old son, and was surrounded by goats. For the next week, I was covered in hives and had no idea why. Then, I went to another petting zoo and pet another goat, earning two more weeks of hives as well as breathing difficulties. A visit to an allergist (luckily) discovered that I am allergic to goats. The allergist says I should avoid goat products as well. Some readers of this page agree, some do not - see the reader feedback section below.

If you have information about goat allergies, please let me know.

Goat allergy Q & A:

Q: Will eating goat cheese cause a reaction?
A: My allergist told me not to. Since then, I've mistakenly eaten some and it did cause a reaction. SW writes that he has a strong reaction to goat cheese but not sheep's milk cheese. Some readers write that they have severe reactions to goat cheese, while others do not - see reader feedback below.
Update: 1/09 - I held, but didn't eat, a piece of goat cheese for a few minutes and had an itchy rash that lasted overnight.

Q: Will wearing cashmere sweaters cause a reaction?
A: It did for me - I wore one all day, accidentally, and was itchy and had trouble breathing. Nicole says she wears cashmere and is fine.

Q: Will I react if my child comes home from petting goats?
A: I did - my daughter pet goats, then hugged me, and later the hives showed up.

Goat products

Here are some products made from goat or goat's milk.
Goat cheese

These cheeses are made from goat's milk. Chevre is a generic term for goat's cheese. The most popular shape is a log, but there are also round patties, log-shapes, drum-shapes, pyramids, round loaves, long loaves. Their textures vary from soft, but firm like cream cheese to extremely hard. Here are three common varieties. Reader Meg has contributed a much more complete list of goat and sheep milk cheeses.

See also the Goat milk cheese page on Wikipedia.
Goat wool
These are different types of goat wool.

Reader Feedback

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(Created Oct 22, 2005)
(Updated )