Dog lovers in Argentina are shelling out hundreds of dollars for loveable toy poodle puppies, only to get them home and discover that they’re actually ferrets on steroids.

Known locally as “Brazilian rats,” these um, unique pets are actually ferrets that have been loaded up with steroids at birth to increase their size and then given a healthy dose of grooming to make them resemble the fluffy toy poodles. They are then sold as dogs to unsuspecting buyers for around $150. By comparison, a purebred toy poodle puppy could run you north of $1,000 here in the U.S. Other reports have found similar animals being sold as Chihuahuas.

One retired Argentine man bought two of the animals and only learned of his mistake when he took the “dogs” to the veterinarian to be vaccinated. He was lucky. Most other people apparently discover their mistake when their new pet tries to gnaw off their arm in a fit of ‘roid rage.

Associate Editor note: This is a pretty good bargain, and I would buy one on purpose. 

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