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Maltese Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books


Start your Maltese off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Maltese Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Maltese puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Maltese lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Maltese are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Maltese will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Maltese puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Maltese be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Maltese? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Maltese suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]


Complete list of Maltese health problems

Injuries in Maltese

The leading health issue in toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Maltese under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.

  • Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
  • Maltese can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
  • Maltese can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
  • If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
  • If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.

Eye diseases in Maltese

Many Maltese are blind from eye diseases such as glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy.

If the prominent eyes get scratched, a corneal ulcer may form and damage the eye.

Tear duct disorders cause tears to overflow onto the white coat, staining it a coppery brown.

Maltese may also have abnormalities of their eyelashes where the hairs turn inward and irritate the eyeball.

Serious health problems in Maltese that can require expensive surgery

  • dental disease – bad teeth and infected gums
  • a weak windpipe (collapsing trachea) that causes chronic coughing
  • loose knee joints (luxating patella) that cause lameness and pain
  • a severe liver disease called liver shunt
  • heart diseases, especially patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease

Skin problems in Maltese

Chronic allergies are very common in Maltese and cause terribly itchy skin that can lead to bacterial infections (hot spots).

Recurring ear infections are common due to profuse hair in the ear canals.

Neurological diseases in Maltese

Epilepsy (regular seizures of unknown cause) is a big concern in Maltese.

Another neurological disease that occurs in Maltese – more than any other breed – is an odd condition called White Shaker Dog Syndrome. Its symptoms are just like it sounds: full-body tremors. The theory is that it's a chronic stress-related or excitement-related disorder.

Thyroid disease in Maltese

According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 22% of Maltese have hypothyroidism.

Other health problems in Maltese

Inherited deafness and a digestive disease called pyloric stenosis

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is always a threat in Maltese puppies or in adults under 4 pounds. A low blood sugar crash can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Maltese are prone to harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your Maltese inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

FREE eBOOK! My free online health care program, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Maltese in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.