This German Shepherd dog is fully grown and purebred, aged two years, but you'd be forgiven for thinking he's still a puppy.
Most people can't get over cute fluffy animals. Dog, bunnies, cats—you name them! And the tinier, the better. Isn't that right?
Well, in this case, nature decided to play a prank on us and made a normally pretty large dog, a German Shepherd, get stuck at puppyhood endlessly for as long as he lives.
The dog's situation is caused by a rare ailment known as Pituitary Dwarfism. His owner spotted him with the condition after acquiring an infection caused by a parasite – Giardia.
After recovering from the infection, his owner noticed Ranger wasn't growing at the same rate as a German Shepherd should.
And they took him to the vet, who explained the dog might have the pituitary dwarfism mutation.
Ranger's owner Shelby Mayo explained the dog's condition:
"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."
"In the weeks following, we took him home, and he was parasite free, but later on, he got a parasite called giardia."
"At the same time, we also discovered that Ranger had a large infection on his neck."
He was Then Diagnosed with Pituitary Dwarfism after the Infection
"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."
"During this time, Ranger remained very small. The vet had suspected that he might have pituitary dwarfism, a genetic mutation."
"But we were still skeptical as this condition is very rare."
"Over time, Ranger still did not get much bigger, and at this point, we are certain he does have this condition."
Though the Condition Makes Him Look Cute, It Also Causes Various Health Issues
They include shedding fur and flaky skin, which are caused by a disorder in the endocrine system called Hypothyroidism that causes the thyroid gland to not produce enough thyroid hormone.
But his owners and most of his online followers have helped with the treatment. Now his health issues are under control.
He's Now a Very Cute, Fully Healthy and Happy Doggo!
Ranger is now a star on Instagram and has over 65,000 followers.
And he has won the hearts of people online, who adore him for his dwarfism and fluffy beauty.