Phoenix-based Shelby Mayo, picked up the smallest pup from a litter of German Shepards. Now, Ranger is 2-years-old but still looks like a puppy!
Every dog owner wishes their pet pooches remain in their cute puppy stage forever. Although they know there would come a time sooner than later when those adorable puppies would outgrow their tiny physic, but it's merely a desire most people have in a similar way that parents want their human babies to stay small and cute all their lives. However, this wish did come true for one such owner, but it did come with a price tag that Shelby Mayo was not expecting at all. Phoenix-based Mayo's purebred German Shepard, Ranger, looks like a puppy, however, he is 2-years-old!
Apparently, he has a genetic condition called pituitary dwarfism which has resulted in him having a tiny stature permanently reports PEOPLE. Explaining Ranger's condition, Mayo said, "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." Assuming it was a parasite that was causing his diminutive structure, she hoped that he would soon begin to grow. Mayo had been treating Ranger for his parasite but later she found that her sick puppy has an additional parasite called giardia, and an infection on his neck.
Worried about her little pooch, Mayo took him to the vet who on inspecting discovered that the dog had pituitary dwarfism. "During this time Ranger remained very small," said Mayo who then realized just how special her dog was. "The vet had suspected that he may have pituitary dwarfism." Following this, she decided to neuter him and that's when most of the problems began to surface. "After a few more months we got him neutered and that’s when we started to see big changes," she said adding, "He lost his appetite, started to lose weight, lost almost all of his fur and had extremely dry and flaky skin."
Thankfully, Ranger's followers on Instagram came to his rescue. Among over 75,000 followers, there were some who warned his owners about the health risks that dogs with dwarfism were prone to. While many put in an effort to help the pup. "One of our followers, ‘Guardians Farm,’ a small company that makes handmade soaps [and] lotions . . . sent us goat milk soap, which ended up helping Ranger’s skin immensely," shared Mayo according to New York Post. Fellow pet guardians of German shepherds advised Mayo's family to keep an eye on Ranger’s thyroid levels, as their kind often tend to undergo hypothyroidism.
A following visit to the vet confirmed that Ranger’s thyroid hormones were low and it was the reason behind his loss of fur and appetite. "After getting the pooch on levothyroxine and using [the] soap, his fur grew back and the dryness went away," continued the loving parent of Ranger. Due to his condition, the puppy-dog will be needing a lot of care all throughout his life. German shepherds with pituitary dwarfism tend to have various health issues, including, behavioral problems, developmental impediments, a compromised immune system, according to researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It is also said to shorten the dog's lifespan, with most of the canines with this condition living up to 5 years of age. Nonetheless, Mayo raises his fans' spirits and reassures them that their favorite Instagram puppy is doing well. "He is healthy and happy as can be as of now and loves jumping around and playing with his ball and squeaky toys with his two sisters Hazel and Jessie," she said.