Meet Ranger, a purebred German Shepherd who will always look like a pup because of a rare genetic condition.
According to reports, the 2-year-old suffers from “pituitary dwarfism,” a condition primarily affecting, but not limited, to German shepherds.
Shelby Mayo, Ranger’s owner, said she knew Ranger could turn out to be smaller than an average German Shepherd – he was the runt of his litter – but his dwarfism was something they figured later on.
“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,” said Mayo, as per Fox 13.
Ranger was treated for the parasite, though he later contracted another one and developed an infection on his neck.
Shelby explained: ”During this time Ranger remained very small, the vet had suspected that he may have pituitary dwarfism, a genetic mutation. But we were still skeptical as this condition is very rare.”
Ranger was neutered a few months later and it was then that his owners began to notice big changes. The pup suffered weight loss and hair loss, as well as from dry skin.
A follower on Instagram warned Shelby that her dog could be suffering from low thyroid levels. They had a German Shepherd with dwarfism too, so knew what to look out for.
“So our vet checked his thyroid levels and sure enough he was low. This can cause hair loss and a loss of appetite,” said Mayo.
As a result of his condition, Ranger is more prone to health issues and has a typically shortened life expectancy. Other than that though, he’s a loveable dog who enjoys playing and having fun.
You can see more of Ranger on his Instagram account here.
He might have been fighting the odds since the day he was born, but Ranger certainly seems like one plucky pup.
Share this article if you think he’s adorable just the way he is.