2-year old Ranger is much smaller than other German Shepherds his age and still looks like a puppy. Pituitary Dwarfism is a genetic disorder in which the body’s pituitary glands don’t produce enough growth hormones. It happens to some people, and also to some animals. The lack of growth hormones severely stunts the dog’s growth, and some signs of this rare condition are unusually short legs, long body, and not growing an adult coat of hair.
When Ranger was adopted, his owners noticed he was smaller than the other pups, but didn’t mind it…some puppies are really smaller than others. However, after Ranger underwent treatment for parasite infections, the vet suggested that he may be afflicted with dwarfism. Being treated for months by the vet and not experiencing any significant growth was evidence of dwarfism. Now at 2 years old, Ranger still looks like a puppy.
Pituitary dwarfism can be recessively inherited in certain breeds. It is a matter of genetics. As his owner put it, “Ranger’s litter was the first litter that our breeder had bred those to specific dogs together. We believe this was the cause of the genetic defect. And as a responsible breeder, will not breed the two dogs together again.”
While Ranger looks as cute as can be, his condition is serious. Dogs with pituitary dwarfism suffer from a range of health issues.Ranger struggled with thyroid problems which led to loss of appetite and hair. With medicine and proper care, he is doing much better now. His hair has grown back, and he’s full of energy and enjoying life. While he may grow a little bit, he will never be like other dogs his age. He has 2 sisters, Hazel the Labrador, and Jessie the German Shepherd. Even as his sisters are bigger than him, Ranger doesn’t hold back. He loves to play with them, and is equally loved by them and his family. Good things do come in small packages…this little rascal has a big heart.