Rare Genetic Condition Causes German Shepherd to be Stuck in ‘Perpetual Puppyhood’

This sweet pup is hands down one of the cutest dogs you’ll ever see, unfortunately its due to a genetic condition.

Ranger, 2, has “pituitary dwarfism,” a genetic condition that primarily affects German shepherds, but can also affect such breeds as the Saarloos wolfdog and the Karelian bear dog.

Phoenix AZ, Dog mom, Shelby Mayo, told British news agency SWNS that she knew the dog might end up smaller than other German shepherds; he was apparently the runt of his litter. She said, “When we originally got Ranger from the breeder, he was smaller than all his other litter-mates, but we figured that was because he had a parasite called Coccidia,” said Mayo.

The sweet dog was treated for the parasite, but he later contracted another parasite — Giardia — and developed an infection on his neck. Mayo added, “During this time Ranger remained very small, the vet had suspected that he may have pituitary dwarfism, a genetic mutation.” Saying, “But we were still skeptical as this condition is very rare.”

A few months later, Ranger was neutered, after which time “we started to see big changes,” Mayo said. Ranger began to suffer from weight and hair loss, as well as dry and flaky skin — more signs of the condition, as dogs with pituitary dwarfism often experience “skin and hair abnormalities,” per ScienceDirect.

As it turns out dogs with pituitary dwarfism are more prone to health issues and typically have shortened lifespans, Mayo told SWNS that Ranger is “healthy and happy as can be as of now” and enjoys playing with her two other dogs, Hazel and Jessie.

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