Itchy skin that causes an insatiable urge to scratch is one of the side-effects when people are allergic to dogs. And, as Treehugger reports, it’s also one of the side-effects when dogs are allergic to people.
When volunteers from the Lucky Dog Retreat rescue centre in Indianapolis in the U.S found an adorable two year-old black lab called Adam, he had cracked skin, missing fur, and kept scratching and biting himself. They naturally assumed that this was due to mistreatment and fleas, but time and flea treatment didn’t help. So they tried special dog-friendly skin products, bathing him regularly, but that didn’t help either, and he ended up wearing a ‘cone of shame’ so he wouldn’t damage his skin further.
Finally, the vet gave Adam a blood test and uncovered the terrible truth: he’s allergic to humans. (Plus cats, fleas, walnuts, flies, and all kinds of plants.) In the same way that animals moult, we also shed tiny amounts of skin and hair. So all the affection and cuddles he was getting from his new handlers was only making things worse.
He’s now been prescribed immunotherapy, weekly injections of a serum designed to increase his tolerance to his two-legged friends. He should eventually be able to be stroked and have a full complement of fur again one day, but until then, rescue workers have to literally keep him at arm’s length.
Find out more about Adam and the Lucky Dog Retreat rescue via their website.
Image via the Lucky Dog Retreat’s Facebook page.
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