Maltese Conditions

Conditions and characteristics of the Maltese breed

  • Tear Stains


    The red/brown discoloration in tears comes from porphyrin. Porphyrins are iron containing molecules produced when the body breaks down iron. Porphyrins are excreted through the gastrointestinal tract, urine, saliva, and TEARS! See Article By Carrie Hyde

  • Liver

    Suspected liver shunt – Rocky aka Teddy

    Rocky was a tiny thing at birth, weighing in at 1 7/8 oz.  He was a determined little guy from the get go and had better suction than most pups his size at birth. I could lift mom with him nursing and he would be hanging by her nipple which amazed me.  I still supplemented him in between feedings to make sure he was really getting fed and he continued to gain weight at a snails speed.  I took him into my veterinarian around 6 months of age and had a chemistry run.  All numbers were in the normal range except for the ALT. The results were 373 with a…

  • Tear Stains

    Article By Carrie Hyde, The Spaw Pet Life Coach

    By Carrie Hyde, The Spaw Pet Life Coach | January 12, 2022 An Important Warning Sign – The Spaw Tear stains are an unsightly problem that affects many dogs. Unfortunately, this issue isn’t just a cosmetic one. Dog tear stains are often a symptom of a larger problem and a significant warning sign owners need to pay attention to. If your dog suffers from constant or occasional tear stains, you’ll want to keep reading. In this article, we’ll look at the many causes of tear stains and how each can be addressed to tackle the root of the problem. By resolving the true cause of the issue and rebalancing your…

  • Maltese Conditions

    Tear & Saliva Stain Solution

    I truly believe that for some Maltese some just stain more than others and no matter what you try you aren’t going to stop the staining.  If you are dedicated I feel you can reduce the stain by cleaning the face several times a day but for some, they may never totally overcome it. Red fur staining is caused by a compound called porphyrin. Porphyrins are iron-containing molecules produced when the body breaks down red blood cells. They are removed from the body primarily through feces, but are also in urine, tears and saliva. Over the last 22 years of breeding I have tried so many new things and making…

  • Maltese Conditions

    A Possible Solution for Tear Stains

    After many years of breeding Maltese I determined that I have never come across a true fix for tear staining.  I have tried Angel Eyes, Eye Envy, used and still use stainless steel bowls, filtered water however I have never used distilled water so I can’t count that one out yet.  I have talked to families though that have used the distilled water and say it didn’t clear the staining up in their Maltese. The latest thing I have been using is baking soda or baking powder.  I clean my pets eyes well with a warm cloth and then I roll a q-tip in the baking soda and dab it…

  • Maltese Conditions


    Just because your dog has some lemon or buff color on the coat does not mean your dog is not a purebred Maltese, although any other colors would definitely be a sign that your pet is not a purebred Maltese.  Some breeders actually feel that the sign of lemon/buff in the coat as a puppy is needed for better pigment.   Many times puppies will have definite lemon/tan color  but in many cases the buff in the coat, generally on the ears, lightens up considerably or is totally gone by the time the dog is 1 to 2 years old.

  • Maltese Conditions

    Reverse Sneeze

    What is a reverse sneeze? Dogs have a condition we call a ‘reverse sneeze.’ It gets its name because the dog rapidly pulls air into his nose, whereas in a ‘regular’ sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed out through the nose.  If you witness a dog having a reverse sneeze it may seem alarming, but it is not a harmful condition, and there are no ill effects. The dog is completely normal before and after the episode. During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his head. A loud snorting sound is produced, which may make you think the dog has something caught in his nose.…

  • Maltese Conditions


    The patella (kneecap) is a part of the stifle joint (knee).  In patellar luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. Medial patellar luxation is generally classified by grade, from 1 to 4. Grade 1 luxations usually do not cause lameness or cause very minor signs of lameness but can be found on physical exam because the patella is fairly easy to push out of the groove it normally runs in. Grade 2 luxations are slightly more severe and cause the dog to occasionally carry one hind leg in a motion often described as “skipping”. Grade 3 luxations cause prolonged carrying of…

  • Tear Stains

    Article by Tonia Holibaugh

    Is there any way to control or keep the tear stains to a minimum on a Maltese? The answer is yes.  Daily maintenance of gently wiping your dogs eyes with a soft cloth dipped in warm water and you can even use a small amount of baby shampoo.  Consistent daily wiping is the key to keeping the stains at a minimum.  Be sure to have your Maltese vet checked to make sure there are no problems. If you continue to struggle with the stains on your Maltese I encourage you to read an article written by Tonia Holibaugh concerning tear stains. Her information is very educational and helpful and her site…

  • Liver,  Maltese Conditions

    Diagnosing Liver Issues

    From my experience in the 15 plus years of breeding these little fur babies, a handful (1 in 30), of Maltese puppies will have bloodwork done in their first year probably prior to being spayed or neutered and their ALT’s will come back elevated.  There are so many questions as to the severity of the diagnosis of your pet’s liver once this happens.  Could it be a Portosystemic Shunt, Microvascular Dysplasia, or a Small Liver?  These are all totally separate issues that affect the same organ – The Liver.  PSS likely does have a genetic cause, and is thankfully less common.  MVD does not seem to be as simple.  I…