"Maltese Terrier Puppy Care"
Alot of questions come to mind when purchasing a maltese puppy. Do I have time to care for a puppy? How do I housetrain a maltese? Do I have space for a yorkie? What is involved with the care of a maltese? We are here to help you with answers to your questions and lead you in the right direction for caring for your maltese puppy properly.
We are not Veterinarians and do not have answers to all your medical questions but for basic puppy care we have learned from our own experiences.
Please seek a Veterinarian for all your Medical Questions.
Before Bringing New maltese Home
"Puppy Proof Your Home"
Before bringing your puppy home, you'll need to "puppy proof" your house. Puppies are like babies: they want to explore every corner of your house, and they want to put everything into their mouths.
Poisonous household items
Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of the puppy's reach.
Place all household cleaners, insecticides, fertilizers, mothballs, antifreeze, insect poisons, rat poisons and other items in cabinets or on high shelves. Remember, as your new puppy grows, he will be able to explore higher places and be tempted to jump up on shelves.
Check Your Plants
Many plants in and around your house can be harmful to your pup. Did you know that the pits of apricots and peaches, as well as spinach and tomato vines, can make your puppy sick and, in large dosages, can even be fatal? Click here to learn about the plants that should be kept away from your furry companion. For a more complete list of plants that are dangerous to dogs, consult your veterinarian.
Take a Puppy's-Eye View
Get down on all fours and look around. Are there any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other tempting objects that will be in puppy's reach? If there are, be sure to put them away immediately.
Keep your toilet lid down
Puppies are often tempted to play in toilet bowl water. This can be a hard habit to break and toilet cleanser may be harmful if swallowed.
Some Additional Tips
* Never leave your puppy unsupervised inside or outside, and keep him off balconies, upper porches and high decks where he can slip through openings and fall.
* Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords in your puppy's confinement area. It is also a good idea to cover electrical outlets, when they are not in use.
* Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects out of your puppy's reach.
* Tying ribbons around your puppy's neck could choke him if the ribbon gets caught on a fence or other object.
* A good rule to follow is that anything that is not safe for children is not safe for pets.
"Find a Good Vet"
It is important to find a good veterinarian before bringing your puppy home.
The best way to choose your pet's veterinarian is to obtain personal referrals from friends, neighbors and other animal lovers reagarding the choices in your area. Personal experience of others is the most reliable method. Then, I would recommend the following:
* Vist the facitily. Is it clean? Is the staff courteous and friendly? Are they willing to take the time to talk to you even though you do not have an animal with you? Just get an overall sense of the place. Gut feelings are important.
* Is the facility convenient to get to an do they have hours that will accomodate your schedule?
* What is the policy for after hours emergencies?
* What is the basic fee structure? Is it in line with surrounding facilities? Do not let the fees be the overriding factor, though, because most places within a certain area will have similar fees, give or take 10-15%.
If you are new to an area and cannot rely on personal referrals, check the local listings in the Yellow Pages. Then take the time to call and visit a few of the places, keeping the above in mind. In a very short period of time you will get a sense of the places that make you feel comfortable; and those that do not.to help.
" Research Health Insurance"
There are a lot of different companies now offering health insurance for yorkies and other breeds. I would highly suggest you research them to see what has benefits that will fit your needs and works best with your budget.
Here are just a few to name
Pets Best www.petsbest.com
Pet Care www.petcareinsurance.com
Embrace Pet www.embracepetinsurance.com
Pets Health www.petshealthinsurance.com
Go Pets Plan www.gopetplan.com
" Bringing maltese Puppy Home"
" Becoming the Pack Leader"
Try to keep visitors or abrupt changes in the environment to a minimum until your puppy is settled in. You want to make your home as relaxed and stress-free as possible.
Initial introductions are the perfect time to start building habits for house training and obedience training. The first few days will offer lots of opportunities to praise good behavior and establish you as pack leader. One of the most important things to remember is do not punish your puppy. It's too soon to discipline for any behavior. Your maltese puppy has no idea what you expect of him and punishing him will only create confusion and stress.
As soon as you bring puppy home, take him to the area you've established for bathroom breaks. He'll probably need to go after the car ride. If he does eliminate, praise him to start the housetraining process on a good note.
When you bring your puppy indoors, let him explore on his own for awhile.
If you've taken the time to puppy proof your home, he should be safe but keep an eye out. If your puppy gets into something he shouldn't or chews on an object that's off-limits, don't punish him. Simply exchange the object for something you've designated as chewable, such as a rawhide or nylon bone.
Whenever your puppy focuses his attention on you, either by looking up at you or following you, say his name cheerfully. This connects his name to paying attention to you and marks you as pack leader, which is extremely important for obedience training.
Until the teething phase is over, which should occur at about 6 months of age, they will need to be fed three meals a day. However, between 6 months and 1 year two feedings should be sufficient. At this stage in a young maltese life it is very important that you feed them a healthy, well-balanced meal in order for good development and growth. Nutritional deficiencies that are developed in youth are practically impossible to make up for later on. It would be beneficial to supplement your yorkies diet with some vitamins.
Talk with the breeder you purchased or adopted the puppy from and ask what type of food they have used in the past. This is will help with a non-stressful change in environment.
If you wish to change the food you will need to do over a week. Do not change food quickly or all in one feeding or you could upset the maltese tummy.
It is best to gradually add a little of the new food to the old food over a week time period.
As your dog gets older its body will be able to digest far better than when it was a puppy or when it gets very old. In this case a dogs body works very similar to that of a humans.
Housebreaking maltese can be a fun and rewarding process. Puppies tend to need the toilet more often than more mature dogs so teaching them the ropes at this early stage of their lives is a very good idea.
Puppy training gives you and your dog the perfect opportunity to bond. By expressing delight and displeasure at the appropriate moments your dog will soon understand what it is you are on about!
Puppies, as mentioned above, need to urinate quite regularly. The first step should be to take it outside after its had a drink or got over excited and see if it will 'go'. Using words like 'go', 'wee-wee', 'potty' or anything else you can think of, will soon register in the dogs brain once they have been repeated plenty of times.
Remember, a puppy is very similar to a human baby, in the sense that it is learning how to understand what you say, and it needs words to be repeated constantly.
Training maltese is very similar to most other dogs. maltese are very intelligent dogs and are fast learners. Some dog owners feel it is important for their dog to know that it can 'eliminate' in the house aswell as outside if need be.
Although in an ideal world dogs would only 'go' ouside the house, it does help not to frighten it into thinking that it is going to get into trouble if it does anything in the house. A designated area inside the house is therefore a good idea.
Some people prefer to have newpapers on a tiled floor which is easy to clean. Some dog owners also like to use dog crates for puppy training, this is a good idea, as with others, when executed with plenty of patience and praise.
Keeping puppies in areas with few personal items and surfaces that are easy to clean is a very good idea. Puppies will want to get used to their new surroundings and so they will chew away at things and leave their 'mark' around interesting smells.
Trying to get your dog to find a good spot somewhere that is also good for you is an important step. Puppy training should definately involve this as once they find a spot that they are happy with and see that they are receiving praise for it they will continue to use that spot.
Dogs of all ages will associate their actions with praise so by praising them when are they please you is vital.
So, in conclusion, housebreaking maltese can be a rewarding experience, it is a chance for the two of you to bond. Praise plays a monumental part in this process. By using praise puppy training will become easier as your dog will associate its actions with it. Remember that when training maltese to be gentle, these dogs are small and fragile and need a lot of love!
"Bathing and Drying"
The maltese coat is not as hard to care for as many believe. It is important however, to not skip your weekly bath and at least twice weekly brushing. If you have a heavy coated yorkie, brushing every day would be a good idea. Sound hard? I am sure there is at least once a day your little friend will be cuddling on your lap. So start brushing then.
Before the bath I like to clean the ears. By applying a small amount of Ear Powder to the ears (this enables the hair to pull out easier) you can pull the hair out in small tuffs. This will enable you to clean the ear more efficiently and thereby preventing ear infections and ear lice.
The Bath - Make sure you have everything you need right from the get-go. You never want to leave your baby unattended while you go searching for shampoo or a towel. Make sure you have shampoo, conditioner, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste and scissor.
Some maltese breeders say a weekly bath is too much and that it will dry the skin. I allow my babies outside to play for a bit each day and they get dirty. Dirt is the hardest thing on a coat not to mention the fact that my babies sleep with me.
One of the biggest mistakes in the shampoo process is rubbing the shampoo in circular motions, or scrubbing it into the coat. You are creating many, many tangles when you do this and will brushing it out later will be murder. Gently work the shampoo into the coat, from the body down . It is made to lift the dirt out, you don't need to scrub to get it clean. Now rinse thoroughly, and rinse again!! Any shampoo left in the coat can dry out
Follow the shampoo with a light conditioner. A light conditioner will leave less buildup in your pups coat. The residue from a heavy conditioner will only collect more dirt, and cause more tangles. Leave the conditioner in a couple of minutes and rinse again. You may want to rinse lightly this time, if your pup is extremely dry.
You can blowdry your yorkies coat as well. It is best to place hairdryer in a coffee can and then you have two hands to work with to help manage and brush while blow drying the coat.
You will have less tangles if you brush while you dry.
Brush – A good pin brush with a rubber back that is soft is an excellent grooming aid also because the pins are longer to reach through the coat. Do not buy a brush that has small balls on the end of the pins as they tend to pull at the coat and break it. Please do not use brushes with nylon bristles because they tend to break the hair.
Better to do this after bathing because the toenails are softer and easier to trim. Keep them wrapped up in the towel for better control. Check the toenails, if they are too long, cut them. There are products called "Kwik-Stop" or “Medi Styp”, be sure you have this on hand prior to attempting any toenail clipping. If they bleed, "don't panic", just dab a little of the powder on the toenail and it stops the bleeding right away. A good guide is the curve in the nail. I hold the clippers flat against the upper part of the nail and whatever curves down into the clippers gets cut off. Again, if this is too much for you to handle, then have your Groomer or Vet do it.
Many maltese are prone to excessive Tartar which causes premature tooth loss. They make a number of products now to help keep the teeth clean. If you do not brush the teeth, this will mean additional professional cleanings at the Vet's, and it can also lead to Bacterial Infections to develope causing additional expense to you, and pain to your friend.
The only trimming that needs special attention is under the pads of the feet to remove the hair, on the top 1/3 of the ears and around the rectum. If you leave the hair on the ears and never trim them, then possibly the weight of the hair will not allow the ears to stand erect as they should be. Cleaning the hair carefully around the rectum will help with cleanliness.
You can always take your yorkie to a vet or groomer to help you with the trimming or clipping part of the grooming routine.
"Common Health Issues with maltese"
The knee cap (patella) normally fits into a groove in the thigh bone (femur). The patella slides up and down in this groove as the leg bends and straightens. Patellar luxation means that the knee cap has slipped out of the groove. There are several reasons why this happens, including malformation of the groove. Luxation may happen only occasionally, or may happen continuously. The knee cap may pop back into the groove on its own, or your veterinarian may need to push it back into place. Yourmaltese will be lame when the patella is out of place. Over time your maltese may develop other degenerative joint changes, such as osteoarthritis.
Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt)
In a maltese with a portosystemic shunt (PSS) there is abnormal blood flow in the liver. Blood should flow from the digestive tract to the liver via the portal system into the blood vessels of the liver, and then to the caudal vena cava which is the large blood vessel carrying blood back to the heart. In a portosystemic shunt, as the name implies, portal blood by-passes the liver and goes directly to the systemic venous circulation (caudal vena cava). One important function of the liver is to clear toxins, many of which are by-products of protein digestion, from the blood. In PSS, these toxins are not cleared, and circulate in the body. This causes the clinical signs associated with PSS, many of which are neurological. The complex of neurological and behavioural signs caused by liver dysfunction is called hepatic encephalopathy.
Portosystemic shunts may be acquired secondary to another disease, or they may be congenital - that is the maltese is born with a shunt. A congenital shunt usually occurs as a single abnormal blood vessel that is a remnant of normal embryonic development. These shunts are defined as intra-hepatic or extra-hepatic depending on the location of the blood vessel in relation to the liver.
Most yorkshire terriers with congenital portosystemic shunts show clinical signs before 6 months of age. Where signs are subtle, the condition may not be diagnosed until much later.
The normal retina lines the back of the eye. The retinal cells receive light stimuli from the external environment and transmit the information to the brain where it is interpreted to become vision. In retinal dysplasia, there is abnormal development of the retina, present at birth. The disorder can be inherited, or it can be acquired as a result of a viral infection or some other event before the maltese pups were born.
There are 3 forms of retinal dysplasia
i) folding of 1 or more area(s) of the retina. This is the mildest form, and the significance to the dog's vision is unknown.
ii) geographic - areas of thinning, folding and disorganization of the retina.
iii) detached - severe disorganization associated with separation (detachment) of the retina.
The geographic and detached forms cause some degree of visual impairment, or blindness.
Tracheal collapse is a narrowing of the inner diameter of the trachea, that fluctuates with the stage of the respiratory cycle. The rings of the trachea (made of cartilage) lose their ability to maintain their shape, and collapse when the maltese breathes, causing a harsh cough. Most often this disorder is seen in middle-aged toy and miniature breeds. Chronic respiratory infection, obesity, and heart disease can all contribute to the development of the condition, but it appears that there is also a congenital deficiency (ie. a maltese is born with it) in the make-up of the trachea itself.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a common problem with all toy breed puppies including the yorkshire terrier. Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, which is a condition in which there is a drastic, sudden drop in the level of blood sugar in the puppy. In small breed puppies from post-weaning to 4 month of age, the most common form of hypoglycemia is called Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia: “Transient” because the symptoms can be reversed by eating; "Juvenile" because it is seen in young puppies. Veterinarians unfamiliar with toys often mis-diagnose the condition as viral hepatitis or encephalitis. As a toy maltese or pet owner, it is important to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and know how to treat it. Hypoglycemia is easily treatable in the early stages, but fatal if allowed to progress. Many puppies are lost needlessly to hypoglycemia because of ignorance on the part of their owner or veterinarian.
It is important to understand that just because a puppy has an episode of hypoglycemia, it does not mean that the puppy is truly "hypoglycemic." True hypoglycemia is a chronic condition caused by overproduction of insulin by the pancreas. Even though the pancreas may normally function properly, toy puppies can still have an isolated hypoglycemic incident in reaction to stress or fasting. Pups of any breed are more likely to develop hypoglycemia than adults, because their skeletal muscle mass and liver size are smaller and brain size, larger, in proportion to the rest of their body. Therefore, there is less glucose being put out into the blood and more being used by the brain, which is dependent upon adequate glucose in order to function. In small and toy breeds, this discrepancy is more pronounced. Even a brief period of fasting or stress in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic "attack. Maltese puppies with Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia have normal liver size and function, but inadequate glucose precursors or glucose in its stored form (body fat). Hypoglycemic incidents are almost always preceded by a stress of some kind. Some examples of common stresses include: weaning, teething, vaccinations, a change in environment, shipping, over-handling, cold temperatures, intestinal parasites, infections, anorexia, etc. Many yorkie puppies simply play too hard and stress their system or forget to eat. I have heard of young males experiencing hypoglycemia when a female in heat is around. They become so worked up over the female that they do not eat and their blood sugar drops.
The first sign of hypoglycemia is the maltese puppy slowing down and then acting listless. The puppy will then begin to tremble or shiver. This is a reaction caused as the brain is starved for glucose. More signs of an attack are a weakness, confusion, wobbly gait, frothing or drooling from the mouth - sometimes even a seizure and drain of blood from the head. His body will be limp, lifeless, and a check of the gums will show them to be pale, almost a grayish white in color rather than a healthy bright pink.. The body temperature will be subnormal. After a time, the puppy will become comatose and may even appear to be dead. The puppy can go into shock and, if not cared for properly and promptly, may even die.
If Maltese hypoglycemia is caught in the early stages, rub Nutri-Cal (Caro syrup will do if you have no Nutri-Cal) on the puppy's gums, under the tongue, and on the roof of the mouth. Get a heating pad or heating blanket and slowly warm the puppy to proper body temperature. If the puppy responds, all is well. Feed a quality, canned food containing, high-carbohydrates and protein right away (you may want to mix it with egg yolk) and then monitor the puppy to be sure that the condition does not recur. Be sure to eliminate the stress that caused the episode if at all possible.
If Maltese hypoglycemia is caught in the more advanced stages, rub Nutri-Cal or Caro in the mouth, and carefully insert a small amount in the rectum. Slowly warm the puppy to normal body temperature (101-102 degrees F) and keep him warm continuously with light heat. If the maltese puppy still does not respond, carefully eye dropper dextrose solution or Caro water into the mouth, a little at a time only if the dog can swallow. Call your veterinarian immediately and inform him that you have a hypoglycemic maltese puppy.