My puppy wants to be with me all of the time.
He follows me everywhere and if I have been gone he greets me as if
I have been gone forever....is this normal?
|Maltese dogs are,
in my opinion, companion animals in the truest sense of
the word. They do not like to be alone and do not
thrive under those conditions. They want to be
with their person whether they are traveling around the
world or just taking a bathroom brake. In other
words, it is very normal for your Maltese dog/puppy to
want to be with you 24/7.
My puppy has a lump/bald spot where is recently
received his vaccinations....is this normal?
|This type of
reaction is very normal for Maltese dogs and puppies
after getting vaccinated. But it is always better
to be safe than sorry, so if it would ease your mind, it
would not hurt to have a vet check the area.
My Maltese is 9 months old and I am starting to have
a very hard time keeping the coat tangle free. Can I cut his
coat or does it have to stay long?
|This is totally
up to your preferences. If you want to keep your
dog in a "puppy cut" or a poodle disguise".....go for
personally feel, if the dog is not being shown in the
show ring, that keeping them in a much shorter cut is
easier on the owner and the dog. It all boils down
to personal preferences.
Do Maltese get along with other animals?
|Maltese for the
most part, love other animals in their household.
Remember....Maltese are companion animals
Care must always be
taken to make sure that your Maltese is safe around
other animals though, because the other animals may not
be as friendly.
There is hair in my puppies ears....should I pluck it
out or should I leave it? If I pluck it out, does it hurt my
|Maltese are "drop
eared dogs" and can get moisture in their ears which can
cause yeast infections and other problems. Monthly
or bi-weekly ear maintenance which includes pulling the
ear hair can help to eliminate these type of problems.
There are several
products on the market that not only help with keeping
the ears dry but can also help with pulling the hair.
When done correctly there should be no pain to the dog.
Should I be brushing my dogs teeth?
hygiene is important whether it be human or dogs.
Be sure to use a toothpaste that is made for dogs.
Plaque build-up and bad teeth seem to go hand in hand in
many of the toy breeds, which can lead to more serious
health problems, so the better the dental care,
the better off the dog is.
There was a study
done some time ago about why toy breeds had more plaque
build-up as opposed to larger breeds of dogs, it was
suggested that the lack of chewing seemed to create the
problem of more plaque build-up. More chewing
created more saliva which in turn lessoned the plaque
Is there any way to control or keep the tear stains
to a minimum on a pet Maltese?
|The answer is
yes. First you need to have your dogs eyes checked
to make sure there are no medical problems creating the
tearstain. If there are no problems a simple daily
maintenance of washing your dogs face with a warm
washcloth should do the trick. Diligence and
consistency are the key as long as there are no medical
There is also an article written by Tonia Holibaugh,
handler to some of the top Maltese in the country and
breeder with her own highly recognized and respected
breeding program, concerning Tearstain which is called "Factors
to Eliminate Tear Stain" which would be worth your
while to read.
What is Hypoglycemia?
most often seen in puppies of toy and small breeds and
is caused by low blood sugar often brought on by stress
situations such as visits to the vets or over exercise.
Some of the symptoms may include weakness, confusion,
wobbly gait and seizure-like episodes. They can often be
avoided by feeding a susceptible dog frequent small
meals. During an episode sometimes a water and glucose
solution such as Nutri-Cal will help, though in severe
cases intravenous glucose may be necessary. This can
become life threatening if not taken care of
I always give a tube of Nutri-cal, a vitamin with sugar
supplement, in every puppy packet when I a place a pet puppy
with a new owner.
What is "Luxating Patella's"?
(kneecap) is a part of the stifle joint (knee). In
patellar luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of
place, either in a medial or lateral position.
luxation is generally classified by grade, from 1 to 4.
Grade 1 luxations usually do not cause lameness or cause
very minor signs of lameness but can be found on
physical exam because the patella is fairly easy to push
out of the groove it normally runs in. Grade 2 luxations
are slightly more severe and cause the dog to
occasionally carry one hind leg in a motion often
described as "skipping". Grade 3 luxations cause
prolonged carrying of the affected leg or obvious
lameness and the patella is usually luxated. Grade 4
luxations usually involve visible deformity of the leg
and severe lameness and the patella is permanently
This is one of the main reasons why small dogs should
not be allowed to jump on and off of furniture and run
the stairs at will.
I found a wonderful Maltese breeder that I am hoping
to get my puppy from but she wants to send the puppy home at 8 weeks
old....is this OK?
Do Maltese come in white only?
Maltese is "always" white. There may be some
lemoning/light tan on the ears although it is not
desirable is acceptable. Please also remember that
there are 253 shades of white and all are acceptable.
Some think that you need the lemoning/tan for better
can also read Maltese
Breed History which does hit upon the issue of colored Maltese.
Are lawn care products really safe for my Maltese?
Although many products say they are safe after a few
hours, if you have a Maltese that sometimes grazes on
the grass, it can cause severe problems and even death.
This we personally learned the hard way. Luckily
our boy did not die.
My dog looks greasy all the time...what do I do?
|First you need to
take your Maltese to the vet to make sure that he has no
skin problems such as mites, etc. If his skin is
healthy and clean then most likely your dog/puppy has a
very fine silk coat. This type of coat is very
correct but very hard to take care of due to the
fragileness of the hair plus it breaks easily and is a
very hard coat to grow out. Although beautiful and
correct I normally do not keep this type of coat in my
house for showing or breeding. To keep a coat like
this from looking greasy you may have to give your dog a
bath as often as every two or three days.
Should my dog be vaccinated every year?
|I am not going to
say yes or no on this one as it is a very hard question
to answer. There is a lot of controversy going on
about this particular subject and the more informed you
are the better you will be able to make a decision that
is correct for you and your dog.
Below are some links
that may help you to make the correct decision for you
and your dog.
New Vaccination Protocol Announced
Colorado State University's Small Animal Vaccination
Professor and Chairman
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin
A practice that was started many years ago and that
validity or verification is annual revaccinations.
exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual
revaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or
for the life of
the animal. Successful vaccination to most bacterial
produces an immunologic memory that remains for years,
animal to develop a protective anamnestic (secondary)
when exposed to virulent organisms. Only the immune
toxins requires boosters (eg: tetanus in humans), and no
vaccines are currently used for dogs or cats.
revaccination with most viral vaccines fails to
anamnestic (secondary) response as a result of
existing antibody (similar to maternal antibody
practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be
questionable efficacy unless it is used as a mechanism
to provide an
annual physical examination or is required by law (ie:
vaccinations in some states).
Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, Ph.D., D.V.M.
For those of you not familiar with
Dr. Schultz I should mention that he is recognized as a
pioneer in clinical immunology and vaccinology. As
Professor and Chair of Department of Pathobiological
Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Wisconsin-Madison his work is well known
in both the allopathic and holistic veterinarian
What is "reverse sneezing"?
|Dogs have a
condition we call a 'reverse sneeze.' It gets its name
because the dog rapidly pulls air into his nose,
whereas in a 'regular' sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed
out through the nose.
If you witness a
dog having a reverse sneeze it may seem alarming, but it
is not a harmful condition, and there are no ill
effects. The dog is completely normal before and after
the episode. During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make
rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his
head. A loud snorting sound is produced, which may make
you think the dog has something caught in his nose.
A reverse sneezing
episode can last for several seconds to a minute.
The cause of a
reverse sneeze is unknown.
Holly Frisby, DVM, MS
Veterinary & Aquatic Services
Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Are two Maltese better than one?
|Since Maltese are
companions animals, I personally think the more the
Seriously, due to
the fact that Maltese are such sociable animals they
enjoy the company of other animals whether they be other
Maltese, cats, or other breeds of dogs. Care and
thought do need to be taken when looking for another
breed to add to your canine family due to the small size
and big attitude of the Maltese.
Are Maltese good travelers?
|My Maltese travel
everywhere with me from going to the dog shows to going
to the bathroom with me........they feel neglected if
they are not where I am....LOL
How often do Maltese need to be groomed?
|If you are trying
to keep your Maltese in a full coat (long), then daily
brushing is an absolute must. If you are keeping
your dog in a Poodle disguise, such as I do, then the
maintenance is a bit less with daily face cleaning
and a quick brush through of the pants (legs), ears, and
tail. A puppy cut will require a bit
more maintenance than a poodle disguise due to the body
hair being longer.
A weekly bath will
keep your Maltese smelling fresh and clean no matter
what length of hair he has.
How big will my Maltese puppy get if he was 2 1/2
pounds at 12 weeks old?
circumstances and if your dog came from a reputable
breeder, then your puppy should be around 5 1/2 pounds
full grown. Please remember though that these
weights are only a good estimate. Dogs can get
"fat" just like some humans do and that weight cannot be
taken into account just as a 200 pound 5 foot person
is considered heavy, whereas a 200 pound 6 foot
tall person is at their correct weight or sometimes even
thin depending on their body structure.
Why are Maltese so expensive?
|A very famous
Maltese breeder wrote the following explanation as to
why Maltese are so expensive. Although it was
written several years ago the reasoning is still valid.
Maltese & Outrageous
by Larry Stanberry
The Maltese IS a highly desired and sought after breed
for the very best of reasons - they are quite
attractive, have a charming demeanor, are simply devoted
to their companions whether they are human, canine, or
even feline, live a long time, have been bred for
perhaps eight thousand years so you might expect that
genetically most of the "kinks" have been worked out
making it difficult for even the "exploitive" and
"uneducated" breeders to produce a "bad" dog.
When one might consider that a truly devoted fancier,
when deciding to produce a litter of pups (which, trust
me, has much less to do with the biological capability
of their bitch to get pregnant at any point in time than
it does on other factors such as the availability of the
"proper stud dog"), other factors in the breeders life
such as planned vacations or expected company from
out-of-town, a heavy work load at the office, or any
other complications which may coincide with the "due
date" and the days immediately following. No, any
breeder will plan astutely, find and put the owner of
the stud on notice, fly or drive the bitch to the stud
for a series of "encounters" that may take up to a week.
Spending $200 to fly her or perhaps less to drive her
and then (perhaps much more $$$) to stay in a local
motel for a few days. Next, depending on your expertise
and knowledge you may want to have your vet x-ray
($35-50) the "mom" at or after 58 days or so to discover
position and number of pups to expect, a progesterone
test ($20-30) may become a necessity at some point if
things appear not to be progressing normally, a
$200-$300 C-Section is not unusual, you've already paid
a $300-700 stud fee or offered one or more pups back out
of a litter that will probably only produce 2-3 pups if
everything goes smoothly. Even using "low" numbers from
these expenses can produce a litter of two pups (for the
breeder) that cost easily $1000 - $2000. Even when I use
my own stud dog, you must understand that we can't use
him more than two or three times a year on our own girls
and only offer him at stud to "approved" prospective
moms. My investment in my own male is often in excess of
$3000 by the time you factor in a hefty purchase price
to acquire a truly exceptional dog from a well-bred
background and then invest the required sum to "finish"
him in the conformation show ring. Even if I breed him
in-house three times a year ( which is a lot more than
we do ) for eight years that is 24 breedings that "cost"
me $125 each not including the costs to feed, shelter,
groom, vaccinate, and provide for his veterinary care -
after all he isn't on my health insurance plan with my
children and the vets are not cheap.
Then you must factor in the occasional disaster -
where you invest a fortune, have a C-Section, and lose
the entire litter. This scenario comes along just often
enough to offset those litters where the "mom"
free-whelps you a four or five puppy litter.
Still, anytime you try to quantify the dog breeding
game on a "dollar" basis you will invariably go "in the
red". Still, we all must have a hobby to truly emmerse
ourselves into and the fact that no matter how much I
sell a particular puppy or litter for, I always reach
deeper into my pocket every passing month to continually
invest into our breeding program.
No, the Maltese is not a "cheap" pet. Properly bred
and reared and judiciously priced, the pet purchased
from a reputable and responsible breeder, even if it
cost $1000 is worth every penny. You will spend the same
on basic care to any pet (of comparative size) and if
the Maltese lives only ten years he has cost you $100 a
year based on his purchase price. You can buy a $300 dog
out of the newspaper and then immediately spend $300 per
leg to correct a slipping stifle joint - you just spent
the same $1000 but had to go through an awful lot of
trauma and hard feelings.
Please consult a reputable "show breeder" for your
pet, their pets are every bit as competitively priced as
the pet stores and you don't end up with a dog that was
produced strictly on the basis of its mom being able to
produce two six puppy litters every year. Instead you
get a dog that is a progressive step in someone's
breeding program, a program that is designed to produce
better dogs in EVERY successive generation.
Good luck and good hunting. The American Maltese
Association is a great place to start your search. All
Maltese pups are cute - don't even take your checkbook
with you on your initial trip. See at least two or three
kennels if possible and don't let anyone pressure you
into an uncomfortable purchase decision.
Purchasing a pet "long distance" can be done but it
is even easier to "get taken" since you will pay for the
animal to fly or be delivered to you and then must
absorb the cost to send it home if it is not what you
are looking for. However, if you ask the right questions
and do your homework you can find exactly what you are
looking for even "long distance".
There is some lemon/light tan coloring on my
Maltese....is he a purebred?
|Just because your
dog has some lemon/tan does not mean your dog is not a
purebred Maltese although any other colors would
definitely be a sign that your dog was not a purebred
Maltese. Some breeders actually feel that we need
the lemoning/tan for better pigment.
Many times puppies
will have definite lemon color but in many cases
the lemoning has lightened up considerably or is totally
gone by the time the dog is 1 to 2 years old.
My Maltese has blue eyes.....I was told he was very
rare. Is this true?
|A blue eyed
Maltese is not "rare". Blue eyes are a fault
according to the Maltese standard and should not be kept
for breeding or to be shown, but the fact that a Maltese
has blue eyes does not hinder it's ability to be a
Do Maltese come in different sizes like poodles?
only one type of Maltese. There are not
distinctions such as toy, teacup, mini, micro-mini, etc.
A Maltese is a Maltese. For more information you
may want to read
The Myth About Teacup Maltese
|What genetic diseases are
Maltese prone to and what are some of the most common medical
problems that Maltese have?
|Below is a list
of diseases and problems that the Maltese dog can
commonly have or be predisposed for. However,
please keep in mind that overall the Maltese breed is a
fairly healthy breed but that there can be factors such
as poor and unethical breeding that can become a huge
factor in the health of a particular Maltese dog.
Aberrant cilia: eyelashes growing abnormally,
such as rubbing against the eyeball
Glands: these are two glands found on either
side of the anus under the tail also known as
"scent glands" which is why you often see two
dogs sniffing in that location when they meet,
as it is manner of identification. These two
glands will normally express a brown, smelly
liquid on their own during defecation. They can
also be expressed by muscular contraction when
the dog is frightened or excited. Sometimes the
glands are not naturally expressed and become
full or cause irritation which will cause a dog
to "scoot" along the ground. An owner, groomer
or veterinarian can express these glands
manually when required. In some cases the glands
become impacted and infected which will require
manually expressing the glands, sometimes under
anesthetic and then treatment with an
(mediated) diseases: under ordinary
circumstances the body's immune system
recognizes an invading infectious disease and
sends cells to attack this disease. In the case
of an auto-immune disease the body's signals
become crossed and the immune system
inadvertently starts to attack the body's own
tissues and organs. There is much discussion
about the causes of auto-immune diseases, in
some cases there are genetic predispositions for
auto-immune diseases, however there are
indications that over-vaccination, drugs, diet
may also have some role in these diseases. There
are many diseases which may be considered
auto-immune in nature, ranging from certain skin
conditions, to diseases that attack specific
organs like hypothyroidism and addisons or
system wide problems such as lupus and AIHA
(autoimmune hemolytic anemia).
Blindness: an inability to see due to a large
variety of causes.
Cherry Eye: is a
prolapsed gland of the third eye characterized
by a bulge of the gland in the inner corner of
the eye which is often very red in color hence
the name "cherry eye". Often requires surgical
intervention to correct the condition.
Collapsed trachea: a condition where the
cartilage rings that make up the trachea are
malformed and tend to collapse easily.
caused by inflammation of the colon. There
are many reasons for colitis including
stress factors (boarding, thunderstorms,
moving, etc.), parasites, digesting
something that doesn't agree or may be
secondary to another condition. One of the
main symptoms of colitis is diarrhea which
may have the following characteristics:
fresh blood, slime or mucus in the stools,
not associated with weight loss, involves a
stool that starts normal and finishes loose.
Colitis often lasts for a short period of
time but if chronic or episodic the actual
cause should be looked for and treated by
medication and/or change in diets.
Cryptorchidism: a condition where one
testicle does not descend into the scrotal
Deafness: an inability to hear, due
to many different causes.
Distichiasis: abnormally growing
Epiphora: abnormal draining
of tears often due to
Fontanel (open): some dogs,
particularly toy or brachycephalic breeds, may be
born with an open fontanel or
soft spot on the top of the
skull where the skull plates
join. As the puppy grows this
spot generally disappears as the
skull develops and the plates
join and fuse. In most cases
this soft spot closes usually by
3 or 4 months of age.
Occasionally they never close
completely but are not a problem
unless secondary to another
condition called hydrocephalus
or "water on the brain". In the
case of this condition other
symptoms such as seizures,
vision and eye tracking
problems, extreme domed head,
restlessness and unthriftiness
are also present.
high pressure in the eye.
portosystemic shunt or
arteriovenous fistula: a
malformation of blood
vessels in the liver or
the arteries and veins
in the liver.
Hip dysplasia: a
malformation or subluxation of the
the animal has
the gland, a
in the diet,
dog to dog
T3, T4 and TSH.
the life of
the most comon
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA): occurs when a special blood vessel, used to bypass the pup's lungs in the womb, fails to seal after birth. This compromises the circulation of blood through the heart. PDA is the most commonly diagnosed congenital heart defect in dogs. It occurs in many breeds and is seen more often in females.
Periodontal Disease: Dogs are susceptible to periodontal diseases, malocclusion, root decay and trauma like their human companions. Periodontal diseases results from an accumulation of bacterial plaque and the dog's immune response. This immune response (inflammatory reaction) of the gums is referred to as gingivitis .... gingivitis can progress to periodontitis (infection in the supporting structures). Periodontitis results in destruction of tissue around the teeth and can lead to kidney, liver. heart and joint disease if the bacteria is released in the bloodstream. Periodontal diseases can cause pain, which can be reflected in malnutrition.
Progressive retinal atrophy: a disease where the retina slowly deteriorates, producing night blindness.
Retinal Dysplasia: the retina is the neurological structure in the back of the eye which receives light (images) and converts it to an electrical signal which transmits it to the brain for interpretation. Retinal Dysplasia is a defective development of retina where the 2 primitive layers of the retina do not fit together properly. There are 3 degrees of retinal dysplasia, folds (mild dysplasia) where there are folds in the inner retinal layer, geographic where there are larger areas of defective retinal development and detachment (severe dysplasia) where the retinal layers do not come together at all. Retinal dysplasia is a congenital defect (a dog is born with it) and does not progress as the dog ages.
Umbilical Hernia: often seen as a lump or mound of fat found on a dog's belly. This is where the umbilical cord was attached through the abdominal wall to the placenta allowing for the fetus to receive nutrition and blood from the mother. After birth this area generally closes up. In some cases the area may be slow in closing or not close at all. In the case of those that do not close properly surgical repair may be required. However generally what is seen is a little fat left on the outside of the abdominal wall and rarely requires surgery. Often breeders will recommend gently massaging the fat through the opening while the puppy is growing and the hole is closing.
von Willebrand's disease: a type of bleeding disorder caused by defective blood platelet function. Occurs in 59 dog breeds but most often in Doberman pinschers. An autosomal trait affecting both sexes.
White dog shaker syndrome: a disorder mainly of white dogs having muscular tremors over entire body, incoordination and rapid eye movements. Episodes occur with stress or excitement.
|There are so many Maltese
breeders on the internet....how do I find one that is reputable?
|My Maltese is getting a lot
of dark spots on his skin. Is this something to worry about?
|The dark skin is
just pigment. A lot of times the pigment will
become much darker/more noticeable in the summer time due
to being out in the sun.