This German shepherd could teach many of us a thing or two about rising above life’s hardships.
Not only has Ranger survived a vicious neck infection and two parasite diagnoses, he suffers from pituitary dwarfism – which means that at two years old he’s considerably tinier and younger looking than what is normal for his breed.
Despite his health setbacks, Ranger is one happy pup who continues to charm his nearly 70 000 Instagram followers with his adorable snaps.
When he was born, Ranger’s owners noticed he was much smaller than the rest of the litter but put it down to a parasite he’d been diagnosed with.
“In the weeks following we took him home and he was parasite-free but later on ended up getting a parasite called giardia,” Shelby Mayo, his guardian, told The Metro.
At the same time they discovered he had a large infection on his neck.
“We were eventually able to get the infection under control,” Shelby says.
“Fast forward a few months later and we were finally able to get rid of giardia.”
However, Ranger still struggled to grow like his peers and Shelby suspected he may have pituitary dwarfism, a genetic mutation.
The condition caused several other complications, like shedding fur and blistering skin.
“He lost his appetite, started to lose weight, lost almost all of his fur and had extremely dry and flaky skin.”
As Shelby opened up on Instagram about Ranger’s condition, many offered advice. One follower who also had a dwarf German Shepherd recommended they have Ranger’s thyroid levels checked as many dwarfs suffer from hypothyroidism.
“So our vet checked his thyroid levels and sure enough, he was low. This can cause hair loss and a loss of appetite.
A small company called Guardians Farm, that follows Ranger on social media, makes handmade soaps and lotions and sent goat’s milk soap to Shelby, which ended up helping Ranger’s skin.
Ranger was put on Levothyroxine, which is used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency. The goat’s milk soap also helped his fur grow and relieve his skin’s dryness.
Now the pup is as fit as a fiddle and enjoys playing with sisters Hazel, a Labrador, and Jessie, a German shepherd.