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As much as teacup Maltipoo dogs are adorable, they can also experience health issues. Like other dog breeds, Maltipoo health problems may affect the quality of life of your pet.
Let’s just clarify that all breeds, regardless if purebred or cross-breed, are prone to various health conditions. Most of these health problems can be prevented with proper care.
But when it comes to designer breeds like Maltipoos, there are some unique conditions that may affect them.
Common causes of Maltipoo health issues
For the most part, Maltipoo health problems stem from their small size. As teacup dogs, they are engineered to be as small as possible.
If the breeder isn’t skilled or the breeding process is done haphazardly, the puppy will suffer. This is why you need to find a legitimate breeder if you want to own a teacup Maltipoo dog.
Some of their health conditions are natural for their breed. Most aren’t life-threatening and can be cured with proper vet care.
Despite possible health problems, Maltipoo dogs can live for as long as 15 years in ideal environments.
Common problems among Maltipoos
The following are some of the common health conditions that may teacup Maltipoos and other small dogs may suffer from. However, this doesn’t go to say that all Maltipoos will have the listed conditions:
1. White Shaker Syndrome
The White Shaker Syndrome manifests as body tremors and is usually attributed to genetics. As its name implies, it’s common to white-colored dogs.
As for Maltipoos, this is a health condition they most likely inherited from their Maltese parents or ancestors. The risk will increase if the Maltipoo is the result of reproduction between a Maltese and a white Poodle.
The White Shaker Syndrome is usually observed to pups from 6 months to 3 years of age. Symptoms include mild tremors that will progress over the next 3 days.
On the fourth day, the tremor will be on its full strength and will remain the same unless it’s treated. The tremors will momentarily spike if the Maltipoo tries to move.
The good thing is that most dogs will recover if treated right away. And in the case of teacup Maltipoos, it’s important that only a small dosage of medications is administered each time.
2. Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation can both be a genetic and developed condition. This is very common among small dogs like Shih Tzu, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Chihuahuas. And with half of Maltipoo’s genes coming from the Maltese breed, there’s no doubt that they are at high risk.
If you’re adopting or buying a teacup Maltipoo, always ask for an orthopedic report or a clearance from a veterinarian confirming that the pup is free of this condition.
Also, ask the breeder if both the parents are free of patellar luxation and other orthopedic problems. The presence of this condition in either of the parents will increase the risk of the Maltipoo acquiring the condition.
Some symptoms of patellar luxation among Maltipoos are limping, yelping during physical activity, pain in the kneecaps, and so on.
Serious cases of patellar luxation among teacup Maltpoos will require surgery.
3. Dental Problems
One of the dental problems among teacup Maltipoos is the so-called ‘tiny mouth syndrome’. This happens when the Maltipoo doesn’t have enough space in its mouth to accommodate an erupting tooth.
Also, since Maltipoos have very tiny teeth, they can easily develop plaque and gingivitis if the owner doesn’t observe proper dental care. And as a Maltipoo grows older, the more that they become prone to dental problems.
If you smell a bad odor coming out of your pooch’s mouth or if adult teeth are falling out, you should seek the help of a veterinarian right away.
Also, blood in the mouth, bumps, and sores are tell-tale signs of dental problems. If you haven’t brushed your Maltipoo’s mouth for long, expect serious dental problems.
For those who adopted teacup Maltipoos from shelters, it’s imperative to get them checked by the vet first.
4. Collapsed trachea
A collapsed trachea is common among designer dogs like toy and teacup breeds. This condition among Maltipoos isn’t inherited but rather developed due to their small size.
A dog’s airway has rings of cartilage in it. This helps a dog breathe and eat without problems. But if the any of the rings break inward, it’s where the problem starts.
This can cause moderate to severe pain. In the event that the cartilages fall apart, it may lead to breathing and choking problems.
Some causes of the are the genetic weakness, trauma on the neck, and excessive force applied in the neck for a very long time. Simply put, leashing and too much tugging can cause the trachea to collapse in the case of teacup Maltipoos.
Symptoms of this condition include honking cough that worsens due to excitement, breathing noises, choking when eating, and difficulty breathing.
Maltipoos are hypoallergenic dogs which make them a top choice among dog owners. However, the pooch itself might be susceptible to some allergic reactions.
Maltipoos may experience food allergies due to artificial additives, flavoring, and poor food quality. Also, some grains like soy and wheat as well as eggs and soy might be possible triggers.
Also, you should watch out for contact allergy. The main culprit to this is plastic feeding bowls that are reeking with artificial chemicals. The fibers in a carpet can also be possible triggers.
Generally, cleaning agents, toys, grooming products, shampoos, and detergents are possible causes of these Maltipoo problems. It pays to check the ingredients and ask the opinion of a veterinarian to spare your dog from the discomfort.
If you observe rashes, dryness, excessive scratching, and coughing, you should send your dog to the vet for a medical check-up.
6. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
The Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA is a degenerative condition on which the photoreceptors at the back of the eyes start to diminish. The good thing is that this condition can be detected years before the first symptom manifests.
If you’re purchasing a teacup Maltipoo, asks for a certification proving that the dog’s eyes are healthy and not at risk to this condition.
Take note that if one eye gets affected with PRA, the other will suffer too. The only consolation is that PRA is not a painful condition. But as it progresses, the Maltipoo will go blind which will limit its day to day activities.
Some symptoms of PRA include nighttime blindness, very shiny eyes, dilated pupils, daytime blindness, and even cataracts.
As much as PRA can be diagnosed at an early age, there’s no available cure for this condition. The best that you can do is to test the dog before bringing it home.
Seizures may happen to any dog and in a ton of reasons. It can be an isolated seizure or a sign of a more serious health problem. Even veterinarians may sometimes miss some causes due to the range of possibilities related to seizures and Maltipoo health problems.
There are three major types of seizures: Tonic-Clonic, Petit Mal, and Status Epilepticus. Of the three, the most common among Maltipoos is the Petit Mal seizure.
Some signs of this condition include epileptic seizures, drooling, staring into space, erratic movement, rigid limbs, not responding and more. In Petit Mal, some Maltipoos may just stare into space or do repetitive movements.
There are times when dogs’ seizures manifest as aggressive behavior where they don’t recognize their owners. Partial seizures may also take place in Maltipoos.
If your pup suddenly experienced a seizure, it’s best to have a vet point out the cause.
Almost all dogs are prone to thyroid issues. This can be a matter of diet, genetic, and hormonal problem. What happens is that the thyroid glands don’t work properly resulting in problematic excretion of essential hormones.
Hypothyroidism can happen at any age, even as young as 8 weeks. Some of the symptoms include increased appetite, weakness, dull hair, weight gain even within a controlled diet, sleepiness, and infections. In case your Maltipoo has two or more of these symptoms, take the time to bring it to a vet.
Experts found out that many vegetables may affect a Maltipoo’s thyroid gland. As much as possible, limit their consumption of cabbage and broccoli.
You don’t have to worry that much because hypothyroidism is treatable. Still, it’s important to diagnose the problem early to avoid it from causing further complications.
9. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
This condition is congenital and characterized as the degeneration of the hipbone ends. This is a common condition among small and young dogs. When a dog got inflicted with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, the blood flow in the affected area will start to decrease.
Such a condition will lead to lameness, soreness, and weakness. If the Maltipoo didn’t receive treatment early on, it will lead their affected leg to stop growing. What happens is that one leg becomes shorter. This will impact their gait which will cause more health problems.
Male Maltipoos are most likely to be affected than female ones. The good news is that this condition is possible to treat but it will require patience and discipline.
The affected Maltipoo will need six months of bed rest, something that’s a big challenge for such an energetic breed. By continuous crating except during elimination, the dog will start to heal the affected bone.
Since teacup Maltipoos are very small dogs, they can only consume a small amount of food at each meal. With this, their blood sugar can easily take a downward spiral. At this point, the Maltipoo experiences a condition called hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Like seizures, there are many possible causes of hypoglycemia. It can be a simple case of lack of food or a sign of other underlying health problems. If you take your Maltipoo for a walk without feeding it first, it may experience the onset of hypoglycemia.
Maltipoo puppies around 3 months old can be more prone to this condition since they can’t control their blood sugar just yet.
Some of the symptoms include extreme weakness, trembling, loss of appetite, blindness, loss of consciousness, muscle twitches, and incoordination.
A veterinarian can run tests to identify if your Maltipoo has hypoglycemia. If it’s not a sign of other health problems, hypoglycemia is easily treatable.
Colitis happens when teacup Maltipoo’s large intestine gets inflamed. It’s also a common term for excessive diarrhea and loose stool.
The common sign of colitis is frequent loose or semi-formed stool among Maltipoos. Traces of blood on the feces are also a tell-tale symptom of this condition.
In some dogs, there would be traces of fat and mucus. The affected dog will usually exhibit urgency to eliminate. Some dogs would even vomit. In rare cases, the affected Maltipoo will start to lose weight.
The main causes of colitis are bacterial infections, stress, and trauma. The likes of allergies and parasites may also trigger this condition.
Colitis can be threatening if not treated for long. The poor water absorption may lead to dehydration while the inability to store feces in the colon that will lead to accidents inside the house.
12. Portosystemic Shunt
A portosystemic shunt is a congenital condition in which an abnormal vessel redirects the blood to bypass the liver. With this, excess protein, hormones, nutrients, and toxins remain unfiltered. Worse, it keeps circulating around the body which will also deteriorate the function of the liver.
Some of the common signs of the portosystemic shunt are a smaller body size than normal, prolonged recovery from anesthesia, and even behavioral problems.
This condition should be addressed as early as possible to prevent it from being life-threatening. The only possible cure for this condition is a surgical operation to remove the abnormal vessel and restore liver functions.
After the operation, your Maltipoo will need extensive care. It’s susceptible to any complications if not cared for properly. Some of the complications include hypertension, improper blood circulation, fluid distension, and more.
Most Maltipoo health problems can be treated and managed. But all of these can be prevented if you get your pup from a responsible breeder.