Maltipoo health issues are important regardless of whether you’re a current or prospective dog owner. All of us have the goal of giving our Maltipoos a long, healthy, and happy life. To make that possible, it is helpful to know some surface-level knowledge of common Maltipoo health problems and what measures we can take to help prepare ourselves or possibly prevent them completely!
Do Maltipoos Have Health Issues?
Yes, Maltipoo health issues do exist. Mixed breeds, such as the Maltipoo, tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts due to their more diverse gene pool. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t get their fair share of health issues. While their genetic diversity helps, Maltipoos still run the risk of inheriting a disease or condition from either parent.
While this breed is considered pretty healthy in general, there are plenty of potential Maltipoo health issues that can arise throughout your dog’s lifetime. As responsible Maltipoo owners, we don’t want to gamble with our dog’s health. That’s one of the reasons I recommend all dog owners consider investing in a quality, affordable pet insurance policy that covers up to 90% of veterinary expenses.
I personally chose to use Healthy Paws and love having peace-of-mind knowing that I’ll never have to make the choice between getting the best veterinary care for my dog and paying my day-to-day expenses.
Maltipoo Health Issues from the Maltese Side
Shaker Syndrome in Maltipoos
Shaker syndrome, also known as “little white shaker syndrome” due to its prominence in small white dogs, is classified as general head and body tremors. This condition is an inherited disease of the neurological system. Issues can arise suddenly and often worsen without treatment. Treatment is available and generally consists of Benzodiazepine drugs. The cost for this is relatively low, generally within the hundreds of dollars.
Dental Issues in Maltipoos
The Maltese is more prone to developing dental issues than other breeds. Therefore, tooth and gum issues are common in Maltipoos. This may lead to premature loss of teeth or the development of gum disease. Maltipoos are also at an increased risk of gingivitis and tartar.
“Dental issues” refers to a wide spectrum of problems and therefore the treatment cost varies. Regular cleanings can start around $300, but if treatment for periodontal disease or a tooth extraction is needed, the cost increases significantly to a minimum of $1,000.
Portosystemic Shunts in Maltipoos
Portosystemic shunts are either caused by a birth defect or severe liver disease. When this happens, the vein that usually delivers blood to the liver to be filtered forms an abnormal connection with another vein, allowing blood to shunt around the liver instead of going through it.
This is obviously a serious issue, as the liver is what filters blood of toxins and other byproducts. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive to correct. Treatment costs range between $2,000-$6,000.
Corneal Ulcer in Maltipoos
Ocular ulcers are most commonly caused by some sort of trauma to the eye. This could be anything from a paw scratching it, contact with a sharp surface, or even a chemical burn. This is a painful condition where there is a tear in the first few layers of the cornea. A severe abrasion can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated quickly.
A one time corneal ulcer may require antibiotics and an emergency vet visit, but should heal within a week. The emergency vet visit alone averages between $800-$1,500. Dogs who have recurrent corneal ulcers may require surgery which can cost up to $2,000 depending on the size of the ulceration and the amount of anesthesia needed.
Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in Maltipoos
This is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis stimulates the swelling of the tissues that line the central nervous system and the brain itself. It typically has a rapid onset and progresses to death within a few months. This disease is more common in small dogs including the Maltese.
Unfortunately, even with treatment, the prognosis is poor. Treatment involves supportive care and minimizing symptoms. The diagnosis, an analysis of the cerebral spinal fluid, costs around $1,000. Other screenings tests, medications, and tests can quickly add on to that sum.
Maltipoo Health Problems from the Poodle Side
Bloat in Maltipoos
Sometimes referred to as the “mother of all emergencies,” bloat is a serious condition where every second counts. Bloat is the accumulation of gases in the stomach which leads to the stomach twisting. This twisting of the stomach cuts off the blood supply and can lead to the death of the organ. This progresses to shock and causes deadly toxins to be released throughout the body.
Emergent treatment is necessary to stabilize the dog and surgery almost always follows. This treatment costs anywhere from $1,500-$7,000.
Luxating Patella in Maltipoos
This condition is essentially a dislocated knee. This can be caused by genetics, poor nutrition, excessive stress on the joints, or pre-existing medical conditions.
Surgery is almost always required and can cost between $1,500 and $3,000. Some luxating patellas are worse than others. There are four stages of classification ranging from easy to manipulate back into place, all the way to being impossible to fully correct which causes chronic pain.
Addison’s Disease in Maltipoos
Addison’s Disease occurs when the outer layer of the adrenal gland is destroyed. The adrenal gland is responsible for secreting hormones that help regulate the metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, and other essential functions.
Unfortunately, diagnosis is often missed until the disease has progressed. The first time owners usually find out is when their dog is being rushed to the emergency vet for an “Addison’s crisis” which manifests as a low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, and increased potassium.
The cost of diagnosis can vary, but typically falls between $500-$1,500. This disease can be managed with medication and frequent lab work. Cost depends on the dog’s response to treatment and the medications prescribed, but a ballpark range would be $50-$200 a month.
Hip Dysplasia in Maltipoos
Hip dysplasia is by far the most common orthopedic condition in dogs. This is simply an alteration to the hip joint, which causes an uneven movement of the joint. Long term, this results in friction and deterioration of the joint leading to pain and mobility issues.
Fortunately, there are a ton of treatment options for Hip Dysplasia in Maltipoos. Most involve surgery, which can be pricey. Other methods focus more on pain management, weight management, and supplements.
For a single hip, the cost of surgery ranges from $1,500-$3,000. Unfortunately, oftentimes this disease affects both hips. Corrective surgery for both hips is closer to $7,000-$12,000.
Are Maltipoo Health Issues Common?
Maltipoo health problems exist, but they’re not known for being plagued with an abundance of health issues. Individual DNA plays a large role in what health issues a Maltipoo will develop. Some health issues are more common in Maltipoos, but health issues can be caused by a variety of things ranging from DNA, to breeding practices, to age, and much more.
While these Maltipoo health issues may be impossible to protect your dog from entirely, there are some preventative measures that can be taken in advance to give your Maltipoo a long, happy, and healthy life…
How to Protect Your Pet from Maltipoo Health Problems
Choose a Reputable Maltipoo Breeder
Ensuring a healthy Maltipoo begins when you first make the decision to get them. A reputable Maltipoo breeder can make a world of difference in the long-term health of your dog compared to patronizing a puppy mill, pet store, or backyard breeder.
Responsible breeders screen the parents for genetic diseases to help reduce the odds of them being passed on. To make a long story short, getting your Maltipoo puppy from a reputable breeder means your dog is less likely to develop certain hereditary diseases.
Invest in Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is becoming more and more common, and it’s no surprise why. Vet bills can quickly add up! Many of the Maltopoo health problems discussed above can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Luckily, with a quality pet insurance policy, you can pay as little as 10% of those vet bills. This gives you reassurance knowing that your finances will never prevent you from getting the best possible care for your beloved pup.
While there are certainly a lot of pet insurance companies out there, I personally use Healthy Paws and highly recommend them thanks to their comprehensive yet affordable options.
Screen for Hereditary Disease Risks with a DNA Kit
With a simple, mail-in DNA test from Embark, experts can look at your Maltipoo’s genetic makeup and determine which of 190+ genetic health conditions your dog could be at risk for. This can be very useful to know as it can help you and your veterinarian look for early symptoms and take preventive measures.
Additionally, if you are the proud owner of a rescued dog or you happened to lose contact with your breeder, this test allows you to look at your Maltipoo’s ancestry and potentially even find their siblings or other related dogs across the globe!
Embark Breed + Health Kit
Proper Diet & Exercise Can Prevent Maltipoo Health Issues
Diet and exercise is important for obvious reasons. Poor diet and a lack of exercise leads to weight gain and obesity, which can lead to a whole slew of health issues. Specifically for Maltipoos, excess weight puts an increased pressure on the joints, which increases the risk of hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Preventing obesity may be the key to preventing other health issues.
One helpful tool for keeping tabs on your Maltipoo’s exercise is the Fi GPS Smart Collar. Not only does it work like a Fitbit for dogs in that it tracks their steps, but it can also track them down if they get lost! To read more about it, read our Fi collar review and experiment!
Fi GPS Smart Collar for Dogs
Use the promo code POPULARDOODLE25 to get $25 off your new Fi collar!
Don’t Ignore Oral Hygiene to Prevent Maltipoo Health Problems
Teeth cleaning is especially important for Maltipoos because they’re prone to dental issues. A regular dental hygiene routine can help prevent some of the previously mentioned Maltipoo health problems such as plaque, tartar, and gum disease. Oral health has an effect on the rest of the body as well. Poor oral hygiene can cause endocarditis, jaw issues, or systemic inflammation. Oral health is an easy preventative measure that can make a huge difference!