Instagram-famous pup, Ranger, looks like your typical German Shepherd puppy. With his big ears and coloring, he has all the distinctive markings of the lovable breed.
However, what many do not know, even most of his Instagram fans, is that Ranger is not a puppy. In fact, the loveable German Shepherd is actually two years old.
Ranger lives in Phoenix, AZ, residing there with his hooman Shelby Mayo and his fellow furry siblings, a Labrador named Hazel and another German Shepherd named Jessie.
Ranger has been diagnosed with a rare condition, a genetic one, that will give him the appearance and size of a puppy for the rest of his life.
Mayo spoke with the Daily Mail, saying:
“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.”
Ranger’s veterinarian also noticed that he had a case of Giardia, which is a parasite, and what appeared to be an infection on his neck. They also noticed that Ranger just wasn’t growing.
Since Ranger seemed to be remaining very small, is vet felt that he had a genetic mutation known as Pituitary Dwarfism.
Mayo said at first they were skeptical that Ranger had the mutated gene, as it was known to be very rare. However, over time, Ranger still didn’t grow much bigger, and it was then that Mayo felt confident that he was affected by the condition.
When Mayo decided to neuter Ranger, he developed several other medical issues that were common with those canines afflicted with Pituitary Dwarfism. Those issues include loss of appetite, loss of weight, flaky skin, and visible loss of hair.
Ranger’s vet put him on Levothyroxine and suggested a new bath soap. Mayo states that his fur is growing back, and the flaky skin has significantly diminished. He is now happy and healthy and back to his old escapades.