Maltese are generally a healthy breed, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Here are some of the most common health issues to be aware of when it comes to the Maltese breed:
- Dental problems: Maltese are prone to dental problems such as tartar buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning by a veterinarian, as well as regular tooth brushing at home, are essential to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Hypoglycemia: Maltese can be prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially during the first few months of life. This can be caused by an insufficient diet or by stress. Symptoms include lethargy, tremors, and confusion, and it’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Owners should be aware of the signs and should always have some form of glucose solution on hand.
- Liver Shunts: Maltese can be prone to liver shunts, which is a congenital condition that affects the liver’s ability to filter toxins from the blood. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and jaundice. This is a serious condition that requires veterinary care.
- Patellar Luxation: Maltese are prone to a condition called patellar luxation, which is a dislocation of the kneecap. This can cause lameness in the affected leg and may require surgery.
- Allergies: Maltese can be prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching and scratching. These allergies can be caused by food or environmental factors and should be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.
- Luxating Patella: Maltese are also prone to a genetic condition called Luxating Patella, which is a dislocation of the kneecap. This can cause lameness in the affected leg and may require surgery.
It’s important to work with a reputable breeder and have your Maltese screened for these issues. Regular veterinary check-ups are also essential to ensure that any health issues are caught early and treated appropriately.