Rescued Dog Allergic to Humans Gets Special Treatment, New Home in Indiana

The black lab mix was found to be allergic to human dander among other things.

July 9, 2015, 1:50 PM

— -- A rescued black Labrador mix allergic to people can finally play with his human "parent" in his new home without having to worry about itchy, red skin and patches of fur falling out, according to Lucky Dog Rescue Retreat in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The lab mix, Adam, was rescued by the rescue retreat from a local pound where he faced possible euthanization in July of last year, said the rescue retreat's president, Robin Herman.

"When we first saw him, he looked just absolutely miserable," Herman told ABC News. "His skin was just seeping. He felt like Vaseline. Reddish-pinkish fluid would just ooze out of his skin." The rescue center, which was working with Indianapolis' Animal Medical Center, originally believed that Adam, who was one-a-half at the time, had flea dermatitis.

Months went by and his condition didn't get better.

"He was probably on a cone for six months, and at one point, we thought we might have to put him down and out of his misery," Herman said.

The veterinarian from the medical center who was working with Adam, Dr. Rachel Anderson, discovered months later, in late October, that Adam was actually allergic to humans -- specifically, human dander -- after she had a series of blood tests done, Herman explained.

"It was a really interesting phone call," Herman said. "She was like, 'You're not going to believe what he's allergic to! It's really remarkable, he's allergic to humans the same way some people are allergic to dogs and cats."

Adam was also discovered to be allergic to cat dander, certain pollinating plants, walnuts and some insects like houseflies and cockroaches, according to the rescue retreat.

After news broke out about Adam's unique condition, people from all over the world including Australia and the U.K. contacted the center either with adoption inquiries or donations, Herman said.

Adam's lucky permanent "guardian" is with Beth Weber, the center's employee who has spent the past year caring for Adam and tending to his special needs such as keeping track of all his medications and giving him baths every three days with a different kind of soap every other time, Herman said.

Herman added that Adam also regularly sees veterinary dermatologist Dr. Lori Thompson at the Animal Dermatology Clinic also in Indianapolis.

Thompson was referred to the clinic after his unique allergies were discovered, Herman said.

Thompson told ABC News she diagnosed Adam with an autoimmune disorder, pemphigus foliaceus, in which the "body develops a 'self-allergy' to the 'glue' that holds his skin cells together." She added that Adam's allergies to human dander are actually common in pets and that the human dander allergy wasn't what caused his "skin lesions."

"He's come such a long way since Dr. Thompson started treating him," Herman said. "All his fur is back except for a little spot on his butt and tail. Though he's going to be on medications for the rest of his life to help with the autoimmune disorder and allergies, he's now on the road to full recovery and health."

Herman added that now the the "little stinker" is feeling much better, he's been on a "mischievous streak" at the rescue retreat, which he still frequents since his new owner is an employee there.

"He loves to climb in a laundry basket and get comfortable in the warm, fresh laundry, and you can see him smile and be coy," Herman said. "He's got a great sense of humor about him. He's absolutely adorable."