PHOENIX, AZ. (WBTV) - A German shepherd who will remain “puppy-sized” for life due to a condition called Pituitary Dwarfism has become a sensation online, but Ranger fought some hard battles to get to where he is today.
Shelby Mayo said when she first picked Ranger from the litter, he was the smallest of the bunch. However, everyone assumed it was because he had a parasite called Coccidia. Once he was at his new fur-ever home he was parasite-free, but only for a short time. The pint-sized shepherd developed a large infection on his neck and was soon diagnosed with another parasite, Giardia.
And he still wasn’t growing.
Around that time, Mayo said, it was suggested that Ranger may have Pituitary Dwarfism. His new family was skeptical at first, as the condition is extremely rare, but soon realized that must be the cause of Ranger’s size and health problems.
A few months later, more health problems popped up. Ranger lost his appetite and started losing weight. He lost almost all of his hair and had extremely dry and flaky skin. That’s when Mayo reached out to follower’s of Ranger’s Instagram page, ranger_thegshepherd.
“One of our followers who also has a Dwarf German Shepard told us to get his thyroid levels checked, as many dwarfs suffer from hypothyroidism. So our vet checked his thyroid levels - and sure enough he was low,” Mayo said.
Once on medication, and using goat milk soap donated by Guardians Farm, Ranger began looking and feeling better. Mayo says he loves jumping around and playing with his toys and his two sisters, Hazel and Jessie.
Now, at 2 years old and around 15-17 pounds, Ranger is healthy and happy - not to mention famous and ADORABLE.
Mayo is hoping that fame will help spread awareness about Ranger’s condition. She also hopes others don’t try to breed dogs like Ranger just to have a small dog.
“So many people have given us great advise and shared their stories, which is amazing and we just hope to raise more awareness on pituitary dwarfs,” Mayo said. “We also do not condone the purposeful breeding of these dogs for the result of a small dog, this is a genetic condition that can have serious health effects. And although Ranger is healthy as of now, we never know what will happen!”