The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet


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General Health Information for your Maltese

One of the best things you can do for your Maltese is to have her spayed neutered for males. In females, this means we surgically remove the ovaries and usually the uterus, and in males, it means we surgically remove the testicles. Spaying or neutering decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancers and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted puppies.

Performing this surgery also gives us a chance, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some of the diseases your dog is likely to develop. Routine blood testing prior to surgery also helps us to identify and take precautions against common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk. Maltese are susceptible to a condition called patent ductus arteriosis, or PDA, in which a small vessel that carries blood between two parts of the heart does not close as it should shortly after birth. This results in too much blood being carried to the lungs, causing fluid build-up and strain on the heart.

Outward signs may be mild or severe, including coughing, fatigue during exercise, weight loss, shortness of breath, and weakness in the hind limbs. If your pal has this condition, we may recommend surgery to close the problematic vessel. Your Maltese is more likely than other dogs to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt PSS. Some of the blood supply that should go to the liver goes around it instead, depriving the liver of the blood flow it needs to grow and function properly.

If your friend has PSS, his liver cannot remove toxins from his bloodstream effectively. Surgery may be needed, but in some cases, we can treat with a special diet and medication.

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Not many things have as dramatic an impact on your dog's quality of life as the proper functioning of his eyes. Unfortunately, Maltese can inherit or develop a number of different eye conditions, some of which may cause blindness if not treated right away, and most of which can be extremely painful! We will evaluate his eyes at every examination to look for any signs for concern.

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Sometimes your Maltese's kneecap patella may slip out of place. This is called patellar luxation. You might notice that your pet, while running, suddenly picks up a back leg or skips and hops for a few strides. He might then kick his leg out sideways to pop the kneecap back in place. These are common signs of patellar luxation. If the problem is mild and involves only one leg, your friend may not require much treatment beyond arthritis medication.

When symptoms are severe, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap to keep it from luxating further. There are several types of inherited bleeding disorders that occur in dogs.

They range in severity from very mild to very severe. Many times a pet seems normal until a serious injury occurs or surgery is performed, and then severe bleeding can result. Maltese are particularly prone to some relatively rare diseases of the blood. Teeth abnormalities are often genetically induced and are relatively common in dogs, especially in purebred dogs like your Maltese. An overbite or underbite is called a malocclusion or a bad bite.

Oligodontia is a condition in which only a few teeth are present. Misaligned teeth can also occur and cause lots of problems, but can usually be corrected with braces or extractions. Yes, dogs can get braces!

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Dogs normally begin to lose their primary " puppy " teeth at around 4 months of age. If the primary teeth don't fall out as the adult teeth come in, infection or damage to the adult teeth may occur. Retained puppy teeth crowd the incoming adult teeth and can trap food and hair between the teeth causing cavities and infections. Painful gums, bad breath, and adult tooth loss can result if untreated. Several inherited conditions can cause recurring vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss in your Maltese.

These conditions include pancreatic or intestinal disease, food sensitivities, and food allergies. Some of these problems may begin very early in life. To help prevent these conditions, feed only a high-quality pet food we can help you choose the right diet and, most importantly, avoid snacks and table food.

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Maltese are prone to a variety of skin problems, including sebaceous adenitis. You may notice that your dog has dry, scaly skin with patches of hair loss along the top of his head, back of the neck, and along his back. This condition typically develops when your dog is between one and five years of age. The earlier the skin is checked out, the better the results.

Signs can include dry skin and coat, hair loss, susceptibility to other skin diseases, weight gain, fearfulness, aggression, and other behavioral changes. Treatment is usually as simple as replacement hormones given in the form of a pill. The trachea, or windpipe, is made up of rings of cartilage that look similar to the ridged hose of a vacuum cleaner. This ridged structure provides both flexibility and strength to the trachea.

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In Maltese, these cartilage rings are sometimes weak or incorrectly formed. As a result, the trachea can collapse and become too narrow, leading to coughing or difficulty breathing. Most cases of tracheal collapse are mild and can be treated symptomatically with medication.


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When symptoms are severe, however, surgery may be recommended. Progressive retinal atrophy is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually leads to blindness and it is often an inherited health condition. In most cases, however, it is detectable before symptoms present. Some of the genetic conditions to which the Maltese breed is prone include musculoskeletal issues like patellar luxation and anatomical abnormalities like portosystemic shunt and collapsed trachea. Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap slips in and out of place, causing progressive degeneration of the joint.

Portosystemic shunt is a renal disorder that occurs when blood from the digestive tract bypasses the liver through an abnormal vessel, allowing unfiltered blood to circulate through the body.

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Collapsed trachea is a condition in which the trachea collapses into the airway , causing breathing difficulties. Generally speaking, Maltese breeds often have sensitive digestive systems and they also seem to develop food allergies and sensitivities more often than other breeds. Many Maltese dogs do well on a grain-free diet, though it is not a necessity if your dog is able to digest whole grains.

Look for a recipe that contains prebiotic fibers to support healthy gut flora and probiotic supplements to help regulate digestion. Fresh fruits and veggies are the best source of vitamins and minerals , though chelated minerals are beneficial as well. The Maltese is a toy breed that grows to a maximum of 7 pounds. This means that he is likely to reach his adult size well before he reaches a year old — probably before he even hits 6 months old. To make sure his nutritional needs are met, however, you should feed your puppy a toy- or small-breed puppy food for the first 8 to 12 months and follow the feeding recommendations on the package according to his age and weight.

After 8 to 12 months, you can switch your Maltese to a toy- or small-breed adult recipe. Again, refer to the feeding instructions in the package to see how much to feed your dog according to his age and body weight. Both puppies and adult dogs can be fed three meals per day, though puppies may need an additional meal while they are still growing. The best dog food for Maltese dogs is made with high-quality natural ingredients to ensure digestibility and to reduce the risk for food allergies and sensitivities.

Look for premium animal proteins as the main ingredient with healthy fats and digestible carbohydrates. Recipes made with a limited number of ingredients are always a good choice and some dogs respond well to grain-free recipes. This formula is uniquely designed for toy and small breeds like your Maltese and it is made with novel proteins and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. It contains fresh fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance with probiotics for digestion.

This formula features both deboned chicken and chicken meal for a protein-rich diet with grain-free carbohydrates for energy and fiber. This recipe is formulated for small breeds in particular and it is free from artificial additives and low-quality fillers to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. This particular recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of small breeds, loaded with healthy animal protein and a blend of omega fatty acids for a healthy coat.

This formula features novel proteins like venison, lamb, and duck with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients. It is also supplemented with prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy and regular digestion. Not only is it uniquely formulated for toy breeds, but it features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces. This formula is made with a limited number of main ingredients and it is formulated specifically for small-breed dogs.

It features Australian lamb meal as a single source of novel protein with fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


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It is also supplemented with prebiotic fibers for healthy digestion and chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. Best Food for Maltese Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs: If your Maltese has a sensitive stomach, you want to limit the number of ingredients in his food and make sure it is highly digestible. Food Go! It features real salmon and sweet potato as the main ingredients with supplemental protein from whitefish and whitefish meal.

Thank goodness we found Maltese Savvy because they are tremendous help! As a new dog owner, it was important for me to learn what I could do to make life for both us as happy as possible. This book is designed specifically for my breed of dog, ultimately providing me with the best information available. I have found Maltese Savvy and the weekly emails so helpful in the care and training of my little Maltese.

As I have never had this breed before it was interesting to read of its History and learn the little idiosyncrasies of the breed. This is my first Maltese. The information in the book is valuable.

The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
The Maltese: An Owners Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

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