Ranger the German Shepherd was born as the runt of his litter. When Phoenix woman Shelby Mayo adopted him, she knew he was going to be smaller than the rest of his siblings. However, Shelby got worried when Ranger lost his appetite and started looking sickly and weak within the next few months.
Ranger was taken to the vet where he was found to be suffering from a parasitic infection. Initially, Shelby thought that Ranger was ill because of the parasite. But she was devastated to learn that his health problems were due to “pituitary dwarfism”, a genetic condition that drastically shortens a pet’s lifespan. On top of that, Ranger also had nagging thyroid issues.
During the initial stages of his diagnosis, Ranger lost a lot of weight. His skin turned itchy and flaky which caused him to lose most of his fur too. After careful diagnosis, Ranger was put on “levothyroxine” to help control his symptoms. Later, a medicated soap helped heal his skin too.
Today, Ranger is 2 years old and he still very much looks like a puppy. He often wonders why he won’t grow up like his two doggie sisters Hazel and Jessie, but that doesn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. While most victims of pituitary dwarfism don’t live past 5 years, Shelby hopes that with proper care and medication, Ranger will live a long and healthy life. Go Ranger!