The Maltipoo is a relatively new breed of dog, and as such, there is not a recognized list of disorders associated with them. However, some conditions still crop up in the Maltipoo population, and some seem prone to them due to their ancestry.
It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to make sure your Maltipoo is healthy. A healthy dog is a happy dog. And a happy dog can make its owner smile even more.
Signs of a Healthy Maltipoo
There is a “checklist” you can go through every day to make sure all is well with your Maltipoo:
- Eyes – These must be clear without any trace of discharge. The whites of the eyes shouldn’t be tinted with yellow or bloodshot.
- Ears – There should be no blockage like ear wax. There should also be no unpleasant smell.
- Nose – A nose on a healthy dog must either be cool and moist, or warm and dry. There must be no discharge. If there is a green discharge, that might mean your dog has a bacterial or fungal infection.
- Mouth – No bad breath or warts. The cause of warts will be explained further in this chapter.
- Breathing – Rasping or wheezing breath could be a sign of illness.
- Behavior – Your dog should also be quick to be up and about; if it seems lethargic or unwilling to engage, it might have health issues.
Signs of An Unhealthy Maltipoo
Now that you know the signs of a healthy Maltipoo, you should also know the signs when it could be in trouble where its health is concerned.
- High temperature – Dogs should be warm to the touch. However, if they feel overly warm like a human feels when one has a fever, this should be taken as a sign that something is wrong. By four weeks or older, your dog should have a temperature of between 99.5F and 102.5F. Difficulty breathing – See if your dog has difficulty breathing or experiences shortness of breath.
- Change in temperament – If your normally-loving Maltipoo may seem suddenly irritable or quick to anger, then there is something wrong.
- Limping – Your dog is doing its best to avoid using one leg or another. Or it may even not be able to stand up at all.
- Excessive drooling – Dogs usually drool at the sight of food, but if your Maltipoo is drooling more than normal, take it as an indication of something wrong.
- Loss of appetite – Dogs love to eat, so if your dog suddenly loses its love for food, then something is wrong.
- Seizures – Dogs can suffer from epileptic seizures; this will be discussed in further detail later in this aticle.
- Uncoordinated movement – Your Maltipoo may seem like it cannot control its muscles, no matter how hard it tries.
- Vomiting and diarrhea – The same with humans, this is always a sign your dog needs medical attention. Dry heaving or retching should also be taken seriously.
- Urinary problems – If your Maltipoo has difficulty peeing, or cannot pee at all, this is an indication it needs help.
- Abdominal pain – If your dog has a swollen abdomen or experiences abdominal pain. If you see any of those symptoms in your Maltipoo, it may be a good idea to con- tact your veterinarian. Those might be indications of illnesses and maladies that we will discuss later in this chapter.
The average lifespan of a Maltipoo is 12 years. However, if you happen to take exceptionally good care of your Maltipoo, it might even live up to 14 to 16 years old.
The parents of the dog influence the lifespan of this crossbreed. The Poodle and the Maltese can each live up to 12 to 15 years old.
Maltipoo Food Allergies
While there are foods you should give your dog, there are also other foods that you should never give to your dog.
Take note that these foods may be used as ingredients in some of the foods you intend to feed to your Maltipoo.
At least not in excess. Make sure the rest of your family, the other humans in your house, or those you might recruit to watch over your Maltipoo know what is harmful to your dog.
Yes, bones are suitable for a dog because they do wonders for their teeth and give them nutrients the body needs.
However, they have to be raw bones. Cooked bones tend to splinter in your dog, causing possible damage to the windpipe, esophagus, and internal organs. You also have to be mindful of the size of the bones since Maltipoos are small dogs. Pick a big bone that the dog can gnaw on, but not swallow.
Chocolate or coffee
These two have the same effect on a dog; ingesting a little can cause them to have an upset stomach and diarrhea. A lot will wreak havoc on their circulatory system and cause heart failure, ultimately killing your dog.
Some fruits can actually be good for your dog, but not all.
- Avoca– does have a toxin that also upsets the balance of the dog’s digestive and circulatory system, causing an upset stomach and even heart failure.
- Pear seeds– contain a sufficient amount of arsenic that can be fatal to a Maltipoo.
- Peach pits turn into cyanide into a dog’s stomach.
- Fruits like plums and persimmon– can also become a choking hazard for such a small dog.
- Raisins can cause damage to their organs like the liver and kidney.
Sugar and sugar substitutes
A little sugar won’t harm your Maltipoo, but if it eats too much of it, it can become obese, and this can lead to complications. Sugar substitutes pose a more direct threat to dogs. Substances like Xylitol can cause them to go into a seizure and die.
Spices like garlic, leeks, chives, and onions can cause anemia at best. In the worst-case scenario, they can wreak havoc on your dog’s circulatory system, ultimately causing heart failure.
When inhaled, cinnamon can disrupt a dog’s respiratory system. When consumed, it does even worse and causes upset stomach, vomiting, and liver disease.
Almonds can damage a dog’s windpipe and esophagus. Nuts like pecans, walnuts, and especially macadamias are poisonous to your Maltipoo.
Salt increases water retention. It can also ruin their circulatory system and ultimately lead to heart failure.
Like sugar, a little of it now and then is good for your Maltipoo, but if they have too much of it, this can be bad for their muscles and bones.
A little can cause the same effect in humans; lack of coordination and in- toxication. A lot can cause your dog to go into a coma and die. How might your Maltipoo ingest alcohol, you may ask? They might lick it from dis- carded cans in the kitchen, so be careful where you throw those away.
Maltipoo Medical Conditions and Their Solutions
There are several maladies known to affect Maltipoos. Because they are considered a crossbreed, and breeding has never been a precise science, the Maltipoo can become prone to some of these medical conditions and birth defects. Here are some of them:
White Shaker Syndrome in Maltipoos
This may be noticed in puppies as young as six months old and up to one to two years of age. You might notice them suddenly having tremors all over their body, or exhibiting rapid eye movement, and lack of muscle coordination, especially when it becomes stressed or excited.
While it might be disconcerting for you to notice this condition, the good news is your dog isn’t in any pain. It will also not affect your dog’s personality in any way. However, you should still ask your veterinarian about how to deal with this condition. Treatment with corticosteroids may be recommended.
Epilepsy in Maltipoos
Similar to a human having a seizure, your Maltipoo will start to shake uncontrollably for a few seconds, sometimes even longer.
While the episode will not kill your Maltipoo, it can still die as a result of their temperature getting too high. This usually happens if the seizure goes on for more than five minutes.
Like in humans, medicines can be used to effectively treat, but not totally cure, episodes like these.
Patellar luxation in Maltipoos
This is a birth defect that doesn’t manifest in your Maltipoo until it grows old. If you notice it starting to limp with a skipping or hopping motion, it can be a result of patellar luxation.
This happens when the patella – made up of the thigh bone, kneecap, and calf – are not aligned properly as a result of the birth defect. The result is that the bones rub on each other because they aren’t aligned properly, and this can make the Maltipoo’s leg limp.
There are degrees of severity, called grades, for patellar luxation. In Grade 1, the symptoms will be mild and infrequent; in Grade 4, lameness and limb deformation will be observable. At this stage, a surgical procedure might be required.
Portosystemic shunt in Maltipoos
If you notice your puppy suffering from lack of appetite, stomach issues, and an overall lack of balance when it is around two years of age, this might be a result of having a portosystemic shunt.
This happens when the blood flow between the dog’s liver and the rest of its body becomes abnormal. Like in a human, the dog’s liver is also responsible for detoxifying the body and metabolizing the nutrients from the food it eats.
This condition can also be confirmed if the above symptoms come with hypo- glycemia and stunted growth.
A special diet consisting of little to no meat, breakfast cereal, vegetables, and even fruits safe for dogs can correct this condition, but it may also require surgery in se- vere cases.
Legg Calve Perthes Disease in Maltipoos
This is a disease that is common in small dogs. If your Maltipoo has this condition, the head of the femur bone on the dog’s hind leg will start to degenerate.
This will result in the slow destruction of the hip joint and also cause bone and joint inflammation. The immediate cause remains unknown, but veterinarians think this is caused by the loss of blood flow to the head of the femur bone.
This usually happens in puppies around four to six months old. The usual symptom is limping. You may also notice its leg muscles have become stiff. The usual solution to severe cases is surgery.
This is a genetic disease that affects certain breeds of dogs. Similar to what is called retinitis pigmentosa in humans, pigments in the dog’s eye slowly build up. The peripheral vision of the do will go first, then total blindness will follow.
It can take years for a dog to become totally blind. Sadly, there is no treatment for this disease. The good news is that if your Maltipoo ever gets the misfortune of having this illness, it can still live a happy life using only the rest of its senses.
Canine oral papilloma in Maltipoos
These are warts that can build around the lips, gums, and mouth of a dog. This usually happens before they reach two years of age because, at this age, their immune systems haven’t fully developed yet.
Warts are caused by a virus that can be transmitted from one dog to another by direct contact, drinking from the same bowl, using the same chew toy, or sharing the same food bowl.
Over time these warts can cause pain, bad breath, and swelling. By itself, warts should disappear between one to five months, depending on your dog’s immune system, but you shouldn’t take the chance.
Antibiotics ought to cure mild cases of this illness. However, in more severe cases where warts have become infected, there has to be surgery.
Colitis in Maltipoos
This is an inflammation in the large intestine of the dog. It can be caused by many things, including bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, giardia, and even stress.
If your Maltipoo seems to experience pain while pooping and the feces have small amounts of bright red blood, this is often an indication of colitis.
The feces will also appear to be semi-formed or totally liquid. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend a diet to treat this.
We aren’t saying your dog will suffer from any or all of these illnesses within its lifetime. However, it pays to be prepared and know what you and the dog are facing if they do occur.
How to Choose a Good Veterinarian For Your Maltipoo
We have previously mentioned you need to always ask your veterinarian about your Maltipoo’s health issues. However, we have never talked about the veterinarian itself.
How do you make sure you choose the right one? You might be tempted to go for one that doesn’t charge a lot. However, as the saying goes, you usually get what you pay for.
A cheap veterinarian can also mean he or she isn’t fully accredited to handle specific procedures, or qualified enough to make certain diagnoses.
Just like when you first searched for a breeder, find the ones closest to you, then make a list of them. It won’t do you good if you seem to find the perfect veterinarian for you but is located too far away to be a practical choice.
From there you should narrow it down after the following:
Make sure he/she has AAHA approval
The American Animal Hospital Association sets the standard for animal clinics. While it’s true that a lot of good clinics don’t have AAHA accreditation, going to a clinic with one will ensure you get a certain standard of service.
This is where other dog owners can help. Ask the ones who meet in the dog park, or even your neighbors, if there is a vet they can recommend.
See the office
A well-equipped clinic should have the necessary equipment need- ed to diagnose and treat what ails a dog like X-ray, ultrasound, IV pumps, and the like. It should also be able to do basic laboratory tests, so you don’t have to go to another clinic or a dog hospital.
Talk to the staff
Are the staff familiar with how to take care of animals? Are they passionate about them? Or are they just in it for the paycheck?
Last, but not the least, make sure that your veterinarian can be available at all hours in case of emergencies. Choosing the right veterinarian for your dog can mean the difference between a healthy dog and a sickly one. It can also be a matter of life and death for your Maltipoo.