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Maltese Dog Breed

Aliases: Roman Ladies,Comforter Dog,Spaniel Gentle,Shock Dog,Maltese Lion Dog

Life Span: 12-14 years
Litter Size: Average is 2-4 puppies per litter.
Group: Toy Group
Color: White. Light tan or lemon on the ears is accepted, but not desired.
Hair Length: Long
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: 9-10 inches at the withers
Male Weight: 4-6 pounds, but no more than 7.
Female Height: 9-10 inches at the withers
Female Weight: 4-6 pounds, but no more than 7.
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Maltese dog ranks #9 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #9  1705  16.5%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The Maltese does not usually suffer from any major health problems, though because of their size there are a few things to watch out for. patellar luxation (in which the knee will pop out of place), hypoglycemia (low glucose or sugar level), slipped stifle, and problems with anesthetics. Some minor problems are: having an open fontanel (soft spot on head), hydrocephalus, distichiasis, entropion, teeth and gum issues, eye infections, liver problems, and of course low thyroid. Occasionally, deafness and white shaker dog syndrome is seen. White Shaker-Dog Syndrome is primarily seen in small white dogs, it causes an all-over tremor that may cause difficulty in walking. This disorder usually develops when they are adolescents or adults, and can be treated with medication.