This permanently small dog does not like love.
Two-year-old Ranger, a purebred German Shepherd, is not a puppy. Its short stature is due to pituitary dwarfism, a genetic condition that appears in certain dog breeds, including German shepherds, corgis and basset hounds.
Ranger owner Shelby Mayo, based in Phoenix, knew she had chosen the litter when she found the pup. But she didn't know he would be so small forever.
"When we originally received Ranger from the breeder, he was smaller than all other littermates, but we thought it was because he had a parasite," Mayo told the South Wales News Service.
She treated Ranger for the parasite, but later discovered that he had an additional parasite, giardia, and an "infection" in his neck, so Mayo took him to the vet for treatment. That's when she found out how special her sick dog was.
"During this time, the Ranger remained very small," says Mayo, "[And] the vet suspected he might have pituitary dwarfism.
"Over time, the Ranger hasn't gotten much bigger," says Mayo, who eventually became convinced that he had the recessive genetic disorder, which means that both parents must carry the mutation even if they don't show it.
Unfortunately, the poor health of archers soon went from bad to worse.
"After a few more months, he was castrated and that's when we started to see big changes," says Mayo. "He lost his appetite, started losing weight, lost most of his hair and had extremely dry, scaly skin."
On Ranger's Instagram page, which has nearly 66,000 followers, fans had warned their guardians that dwarf dogs were prone to many health problems, with some stepping in to help the pitiful dog.
"One of our followers, & # 39; Guardians Farm & # 39 ;, a small business that makes handcrafted soaps [and] lotions. . . sent us goat milk soap, which ended up helping Ranger's skin immensely, ”says Mayo.
Colleagues parents of German shepherd dwarf pets advised the Mayo family to stay above Ranger's thyroid levels as their types tend to suffer from hypothyroidism.
Surely a visit to the doctor confirmed that Ranger's thyroid hormones were low, which was causing hair loss and appetite.
“After placing the Ranger on levothyroxine and using [the] soap, his hair grew back and the dryness disappeared, ”says Mayo.
Ranger will need a lot of care throughout his life. According to veterinary researchers at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, German shepherds with the rare disorder are prone to various developmental disabilities, behavioral problems, a compromised immune system and a shortened life span, usually no more than five years, although some allegedly won the lawsuit. odds reaching twice that age.
For now, Mayo says Ranger is loving life: "He's as healthy and happy as he can be from now on and loves jumping and playing with his squeaky ball and toys with his two sisters Hazel and Jessie."