Two pet degus named after TV presenters Ant and Dec were treated by PDSA vets after some over-enthusiastic grooming turned them bald.
The inquisitive pet rodents, who live together and share the same bed, were taken to the vet charity’s Stoke Pet Hospital after their owner worried they had become so close it was harming their health.
Carol Shanahan (60) said: “Ant and Dec are inseparable and love playing together. They groom each other to keep themselves clean but one day I noticed that their backs were going bald. So I took them to PDSA to make sure they were ok.
“The vets explained that the hair loss was caused by excessive grooming. The vets said it can sometimes be stress related.”
PDSA Vet Duncan Senior said Ant and Dec were prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to help the skin recover.
He said: “Over grooming, or fur-pulling as it is sometimes known, can be stress related but it can also become a habit – a bit like how we might bite our fingernails.
“It’s great that Carol brought Ant and Dec straight in for treatment. It meant we could manage the situation and their fur has now grown back.”
Carol, from Stoke-on-Trent, said the lovable duo still enjoy each other’s company:
“They’re big friends and actually brothers,” she said. “They have the occasional squabble but most of the time they’re very comical, running about a lot in their big cage and playing on their wheel or having a sand bath.
“Ant is definitely the boss. It’s just like Ant and Dec on the telly and he is the one who controls everything.”
Carol said the two-year-old pair were a gift from her daughter Sarah when they were just tiny pups.
She said: “I named them Ant and Dec as I’m big fans of theirs. I’m really grateful to PDSA for the treatment they’ve given them.”
For more information about PDSA visit www.pdsa.org.uk