Trim the fur inside the ears to help prevent infections
from accumulated moisture, bacteria and dirt. You can
also use a fur whitener when you bathe your Maltese to
keep the fur a bright white.
Information on Maltese: Health
The Maltese is
a small dog with a lively and playful demeanor who
originates from the Mediterranean region. It was bred
primarily as a companion and lap dog, although it may
have been put to work in rodent control in its past. As
with many small dogs, the Maltese can be subject
to dental and eye
problems as well as conditions of the knee. The dog may
be prone to a serious condition called portosystemic
shunt, which leads to toxification of the blood stream.
The Maltese’s life expectancy ranges from 12 to 14 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the Maltese
The Maltese is prone to dental problems, including tooth
loss at an early age and gum disease. These dogs should
receive regular dental care at the veterinarian as well
as at home. The dogs teeth should be brushed regularly,
it should never eat sweets, especially human food. The
Maltese may also develop eye ulcers, which, when treated
quickly with topical medication, are not generally
serious. Eye irritations caused by the dog’s long hair
getting into the eye are also possible. More serious for
this breed are portosystemic shunts, an inherited
condition in which blood is not circulated through the
liver. With this condition, blood is not cleansed of
toxins, and this can lead to seizures and death. Surgery
is an option, but often times the condition can be
managed with diet and medication.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Maltese
Many dog breeds can be prone to patellar luxation, or
movement of the kneecap, and the Maltese is no exception.
This hereditary condition can cause pain or discomfort
for the dog, for which surgery is an option
management a treatment. Dogs with the condition
should not be bred. Hydrocephalus, literally “water on
the brain,” occurs when an excess of spinal fluid occurs
in brain tissues. There are hereditary and acquired
versions of the disease, both of which can present with
sleepiness, blindness, seizures, and coma. Surgery is the
most common treatment, but sometimes the condition can be
managed with medication.
Maltese Exercise and Walking Needs
The lively, playful Maltese needs a daily walk of
moderate length and plenty of playtime with its owner,
either outside or in. These dogs are very attached to
their owners and can become lethargic or over-excited
when they do not receive enough attention from them. A
healthy, active Maltese that is getting enough sunlight
will display a black nose rather than a grayer or lighter
colored nose. Even with the Maltese’s long hair, its lack
of an undercoat makes it susceptible to the cold.
Maltese Nutritional Needs
The Maltese is not a dog that is prone to weight
problems, but its does have a tendency to
develop diseases of the teeth and gums.
For this reason, these dogs should not be given people
food, especially anything sweet. Beyond that requirement,
the Maltese should be given a moderate, twice daily
feeding of a high quality dog food. Adjustments should be
made to portions as the dog becomes older and less