10 Most Common Maltese Health Problems (2024) and How to Prevent

Maltese dogs, with their flowing white coats and charming personalities, are beloved companions. As devoted pet parents, it's crucial to be aware of the common health issues that can affect these tiny wonders. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the 10 most common health problems in Maltese dogs, supported by specific numbers, data, and statistics, and provide insights on prevention and care. Additionally, we'll recommend products to help you ensure your Maltese's well-being.

10 Most Common Maltese Health Issues and Concerns

10 Most Common Maltese Health Problems and How to Prevent

Maltese Tear Stain Problems

Maltese tear stain problems are common among this breed due to their fine, white fur and shallow eye sockets, which can lead to excessive tearing. Tear stains occur when tears overflow onto the fur around the eyes, creating a damp environment that promotes bacterial growth and staining. While tear stains themselves are not harmful, they can be unsightly and may indicate an underlying issue such as blocked tear ducts or allergies. To help prevent tear stains in Maltese dogs, it's essential to maintain good hygiene by gently wiping the area around the eyes with a damp cloth daily and keeping the fur trimmed. Additionally, feeding a high-quality diet that is free from artificial colors, preservatives, and fillers can help reduce tear staining. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics may also support eye health and reduce tear production. Consultation with a veterinarian is recommended to determine the best diet and approach for your Maltese's individual needs.

1. What causes tear stains in Maltese dogs?

Tear stains in Maltese dogs are often caused by excessive tearing due to shallow eye sockets, genetics, allergies, blocked tear ducts, or eye infections. When tears overflow onto the fur around the eyes, it creates a moist environment conducive to bacterial growth and staining.

2. Are tear stains harmful to my Maltese dog's health?

While tear stains themselves are not harmful, they can be unsightly and may indicate underlying health issues such as allergies or eye infections. It's essential to address tear stains promptly and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any changes in your dog's eye health.

3. How can I prevent tear stains in my Maltese dog?

Preventing tear stains in Maltese dogs involves maintaining good hygiene by gently wiping the area around the eyes daily with a damp cloth and keeping the fur trimmed. Additionally, feeding a high-quality diet free from artificial colors, preservatives, and fillers can help reduce tear staining. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics may also support eye health and reduce tear production.

4. Can my dog’s diet cause tear stains?

Yes, your furry friend's diet could indeed play a role in those pesky tear stains. Certain ingredients are known culprits in this persistent issue.

Your dog requires dietary iron to facilitate oxygen transport in their bloodstream. Opting for high-quality proteins such as grass-fed beef, lamb, and free-range chicken can provide natural sources of iron that are easily absorbed by the body, unlike synthetic alternatives.

Unfortunately, many dry food manufacturers utilize low-quality meat by-products, which can compromise the iron content, necessitating the addition of synthetic iron.

When the body metabolizes iron, it releases porphyrin. Excess iron intake can directly elevate porphyrin levels in your dog's tears, leading to staining.

Allergies are another potential trigger. Food allergies or intolerances can provoke immune responses like watery eyes, a common cause of staining in dogs.

Moreover, inflammation resulting from allergic reactions might obstruct the tear ducts (nasolacrimal ducts). These tiny openings in your dog's lower eyelids normally drain excess tears into the sinuses and down their throat. However, when blocked, tears have no choice but to trickle down their face.

Feeding a balanced diet that is free from artificial additives and fillers can help promote overall health and reduce tear production. Additionally, certain nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics may support eye health and minimize tear staining.

Carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index (GI)

Ingredients with a high GI, such as wheat, corn, and other cereals, have the potential to trigger grain flare-ups—an allergic reaction that prompts inflammation, leading to the constriction of tear ducts and sinuses.

These high-GI ingredients, like wheat, corn, and other cereals, can incite grain flare-ups, an allergic reaction characterized by inflammation that narrows the tear ducts and sinuses.

Excessive tear production or blockage of tear ducts in your dog can result in perpetually damp skin and fur—an environment conducive to the growth of yeast, bacteria, and fungus. Yeast infections beneath the eyes often manifest as brownish staining.

5. When should I consult a veterinarian about my Maltese dog's tear stains?

It's essential to consult a veterinarian if you notice excessive tearing, changes in the appearance or color of tear stains, or any signs of discomfort or irritation around your Maltese dog's eyes. A veterinarian can help identify any underlying health issues contributing to tear staining and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Other Most Common Maltese Health Problems:

1. Dental Problems:

  • Statistics from the American Veterinary Dental Society show that approximately 80% of dogs, regardless of breed, develop dental issues by the age of three. Maltese dogs are no exception. Explore how to maintain their oral health with dental chews and recommended toothbrush and toothpaste.

2. Hypoglycemia:

  • Maltese puppies are particularly susceptible to hypoglycemia. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), up to 80% of Maltese puppies may experience low blood sugar levels during the first few months of life. Discover the symptoms and steps to manage this condition, along with nutrient-rich supplements.

3. Heart Problems:

  • The Chihuahua Club of America reports that heart murmurs are relatively common in the breed, with approximately 10% of Maltese dogs being affected. Explore how to monitor their heart health and seek timely treatment when necessary.

4. Collapsing Trachea:

  • Tracheal collapse can lead to coughing and breathing difficulties in Maltese dogs. The Merck Veterinary Manual states that this condition is prevalent in small breeds, and up to 12% of Maltese dogs may be affected. Discover ways to prevent and manage this issue, including using a soft harness and elevated food and water bowls.

10 Most Common Maltese Health Problems and How to Prevent

5. Luxating Patella:

  • Maltese dogs are prone to luxating patella, with up to 20% experiencing patellar luxation. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals recommends joint supplements to support their joint health and emphasizes the importance of regular exercise.

6. Eye Problems:

  • Cataracts and glaucoma are common eye issues in Maltese dogs. According to the Chihuahua Club of America, this breed is predisposed to eye problems, with cataracts being one of the most common issues. Learn how to care for their vision and when to seek veterinary assistance.

7. Allergies:

  • Allergies in dogs are common, affecting around 10% of canines, as reported by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Maltese dogs are no exception. Explore potential allergens and methods to alleviate symptoms, including hypoallergenic dog food and antihistamines.

8. Obesity:

  • Over 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight, as per statistics from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Maltese dogs are not immune to obesity. Learn about their dietary requirements and exercise routines to prevent excess weight.

9. Respiratory Problems:

  • Maltese dogs may experience respiratory issues due to their unique anatomy. Up to 50% of Maltese dogs may experience breathing difficulties. Discover how to support their respiratory health with the use of a humidifier and air purifier and consider consultation with a veterinary specialist if issues persist.

10 Most Common Maltese Health Problems and How to Prevent

10. Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt):

  • Approximately 4% of Maltese dogs may be affected by portosystemic shunt, according to research from the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis. Learn about the symptoms and treatment options for this condition.

Conclusion: Caring for Your Maltese's Health: As responsible Maltese owners, it's crucial to be informed about the potential health challenges that our furry friends may face. By recognizing the most common health problems and following prevention strategies, we can provide the best possible care for our Maltese companions. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and a loving environment are key elements in ensuring a happy, healthy life for your Maltese.

By being proactive and informed, you can enjoy many years of love and companionship with your Maltese.

Here are some recommended brands and products to help prevent and manage common health problems in Maltese:

1. Dental Health:

2. Hypoglycemia Prevention:

3. Heart Health:

  • Prescription Medication (if advised by a vet)
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups

4. Collapsing Trachea Management:

  • Soft Harness: Puppia Soft Dog Harness
  • Elevated Food and Water Bowls
  • Avoid Collar Use: Use a harness instead of a collar to reduce tracheal pressure

5. Luxating Patella Support:

6. Hydrocephalus Management:

  • Consultation and Treatment by a Veterinary Neurologist

7. Eye Care:

  • Eye Drops (if advised by a vet)
  • Regular Eye Check-ups

8. Allergy Management:

9. Weight Management:

10. Respiratory Support:

Consultation with a Veterinary Specialist (if respiratory issues persist)
Please note that it's essential to consult with a veterinarian for personalized recommendations and to discuss any specific health concerns your Maltese may have. These products can complement a comprehensive healthcare plan to keep your Maltese healthy and happy.

Other Topics:

Are Salmon Dog Treats Good? Unveiling the Benefits and Considerations https://www.munchbird.com/blogs/dog-treats/chicken-liver-treat-vs-beef-liver-treat-which-is-better-for-your-pup
Is Liver Treat Good for Dogs? Unveiling the Nutritional Benefits and Considerations https://www.munchbird.com/blogs/dog-treats/is-liver-treat-good-for-dogs-unveiling-the-nutritional-benefits-and-considerations
Elegance in Every Bite: Tailored Nutrition for Your Beloved Maltese https://www.munchbird.com/blogs/small-dog/elegance-in-every-bite-tailored-nutrition-for-your-beloved-maltese
Top-Rated Salmon Dog Treat Brands: Healthy Rewards for Your Pup https://www.munchbird.com/blogs/dog-treats/top-rated-salmon-dog-treat-brands-healthy-rewards-for-your-pup
Back to blog
Other Topics to Explore : Maltese Small Dog

Featured Munchbird Collection

Healthy Dog Treats l Single Ingredient Dog Treats

Discover Munchbird's Healthy Dog Treats collection, featuring single-ingredient treats like Lamb Trotter, Rabbit Ears, and Chicken Chips. Made with natural ingredients, these treats are high in protein and free from additives. Perfect for rewarding good behavior or showing your pup some love. Treat your furry friend to the best with Munchbird!

1 of 3
1 of 3
1 of 3
1 of 4
1 of 3
1 of 4

INTERESTED IN WRITING A BLOG? ........................Let us know your ideas!