Ranger is a little German shepherd who will never grow up. That is because he has a form of doggie dwarfism that will keep him small for the rest of his life. The two sisters who brought him home, Shelby and Darcy Mayo, had no idea that he would be so small forever when they first brought him home. Now, at 2 1/2-years-old, he is the same size he was as a pup.
Learning more about Ranger’s condition
Ranger’s condition comes with its own set of problems, including a shorter lifespan, parasitic infections, and thyroid issues, among other ailments. Due to the rareness of dwarfism in dogs, not much is known by veterinarians about the condition.
“The thing with (dogs with dwarfism is) there’s not a ton of information out there because it’s so rare,” Darcy said in a CNN interview. “Even the vets didn’t know much. They were doing their own research.”
Instead, the sisters turned to their followers on Ranger’s Instagram, many of whom had dogs with similar conditions and offered advice. “(They) were extremely helpful,” she said.
Ranger is popular on Instagram
With almost 100,000 followers, Rangers Instagram has attracted a wide range of dog owners whose dogs have dwarfism. Whereas before they were seeking the advice of others, now they often find that they are giving advice.
“It’s really nice to be helping other people and also raising awareness,” Darcy said. “We do our best to give them advice, but it can be very scary to think your dog is sick.”
Ranger is everyone’s best bud
In addition to giving advice, the two sisters also have many followers who simply visit Ranger’s account to brighten their day. His impact has gone past his condition to reach people from around the world.
“He’s everyone’s best bud,” the two said.
Ranger is small for his age
The adorable dog’s followers are treated to a variety of pictures of the pup playing with his friends, cuddling with his two human owners, and of playing with toys, some of them nearly as big as he is. Unlike a normal adult German shepherd, which can weigh up to 90 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club, Ranger only weighs about 15 pounds.
“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,” Shelby told the South Wales News Service (SWNS).
It was only once they took Ranger to the doctor that they discovered he had pituitary dwarfism, a genetic condition. In addition to remaining small, Ranger also started experiencing other symptoms when he was first diagnosed.
“After a few more months we got him neutered and that’s when we started to see big changes,” she added. “He lost his appetite, started to lose weight, lost almost all of his fur and had extremely dry and flaky skin.”
Getting Ranger the help he needs
Fortunately, the vets were able to diagnose his thyroid problem and placed him on levothyroxine, a thyroid medicine. They also started using a special soap sent to them by one of Ranger’s Instagram followers which helped clear up the skin problem.
Ranger is happy despite his condition
According to the two sisters, Ranger seems to be 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.”
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