We all secretly wish our furbabies would stay small and pudgy forever, but unfortunately, puppyhood doesn’t last very long. Most dogs end up transforming from cute, goofy pooches into fully grown gorgeous adults in just a few months.
And German Shepherds are known for this, growing into large, majestic working dogs — but one special pup called Ranger will stay tiny for the rest of his life.
The fully grown, almost 3-year-old purebred German Shepherd has a rare condition called Pituitary Dwarfism, which means despite his age, he’ll be stuck in puppy-hood forever. He was diagnosed with Dwarfism after an infection caused by a parasite called Giardia.
Although Ranger is adorable, his condition comes with some side effects. Pituitary dwarfism can be recessively inherited in certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, and in an interview with SWNS, Ranger’s owner reveals that he thinks that Ranger’s condition is down to his parents’ genetics:
“When we originally got Ranger from the breeder, he was smaller than all his other littermates, but we figured that was because he had a parasite called Coccidia,” says Ranger’s human, Shelby Mayo.
“In the weeks following, we took him home and he was parasite free but later on ended up getting a parasite called Giardia. At the same time, we also discovered that Ranger had a large infection on his neck. We were eventually able to get the infection under control, fast forward a few months later we were finally able to get rid of Giardia.”
Although Ranger recovered from his initial health issues, his humans noticed that he wasn’t growing at a normal rate. They took him to the vet once again, where he was diagnosed with Pituitary Dwarfism.
The condition is typically linked with having a thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism that causes the thyroid gland to not produce enough hormones. This caused Ranger to suffer from flaky skin and hair loss; but, luckily, he is now taking medication to manage his condition.
Ranger has two sisters. Hazel, the Labrador, and Jessie, the German Shepherd. While his sisters are bigger than him, Ranger doesn’t let his small stature hold him back. Today, Ranger is happier and healthier than ever. Although he’s still small, he is a huge part of the Mayo family and has captured the hearts of many online.