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A PAIR of collie dogs with a skin condition so severe they were nibbling themselves red raw are the stars of Channel Five's Dog Rescuers show tonight.

Custard and Tippy were found by RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes when he was called to a house in Birkenhead in December by a member of the public.

The two had mange, which caused severe fur loss and after treatment have been found new homes.

Insp Joynes said: "When I went round to the house, the first thing that struck me was that there was a very strong smell of yeast infection in the air.

"Both dogs were nibbling themselves to the point that Custard managed to rip open a sore on her body.

"It was upsetting.

"They were both clearly very itchy and uncomfortable and the smell really was overpowering.

"I took them to the vets, where they were diagnosed with having mange.

"It is hard to say how long they were like that for, but they desperately needed to see a vet.

"By law we have a duty to care for our pets and veterinary treatment is not something which should be ignored."

Since undergoing vet treatment and care at the RSPCA Inspector Joynes added that the dogs have "come a long way and made a dramatic improvement.”

“Now they are all better, rather than being obsessed with chewing and scratching themselves, they are now really friendly, inquisitive and playful dogs and have thankfully gone on to find the loving new homes that they both deserve."

The show's presenter, actor, comedian and writer Alan Davies said: "The Dog Rescuers goes behind the scenes to see the RSPCA at work rescuing dogs from neglect and abuse.

"It's sad to see dogs suffering but always a joy when they are nursed back to health and find loving new homes."

Tonight's edition of Dog Rescuers starts at 8pm.

Tippy and Custard are just two of the 8,009 dogs rescued by the RSPCA last year - that's nearly one every hour.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care visit www.rspca.org.uk/give