My Tiny Maltese Guidebook
Imperative to read and memorize for every buyer of my babies!!!
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Maltese are very fun and loving breeds and can give you years and years of joy. However, this breed especially the tinies ones have a need for a training manual . These babies are similar to human babies and will always crave your approval and love. There are a few things to learn about toy dogs that I wish to share with you that I learned about tinies over the years.
Maltese Babies MUST eat
Even more so with tinies . Maltese are toy dogs and all toy dogs can have problems with sugar dropping by not eating. Your baby MUST EAT to keep the sugar level up. If he or she is homesick or has a stomach ache, it is up to you the pet parent to make sure they get sugar. You do this by giving a pea to a nickel sized amount of Nutri-Cal or mixing light Karo Syrup into some water. It’s always safe to have it on hand in case you need it. Give it by dabbing a small amount in the side of their mouth so they have to lick it off their gums.) That is for energy, for food I will give a very picky eater Gerber Chicken with Chicken Gravy. I try to get 6 CC's about 4-5 times daily in a tiny puppy that is not eating their hard food interchangine with nutrical that should be given 3 times daily. I will also try organic plain yogurt with pure cane sugar to taste in it. Also Karo Syrup is good mixed in a little cottage cheese is also good option for picky eaters or stubborn babies that are in a rutt of not wanting to eat their kibble. If all else fails, make sure your baby sees a experienced tinies vet, not a vet without tinies experience your better off handling yourself than to take to a regular vet that takes ordinary steps on typical dog care, not the right move on these tinies. Tinies can go downhill VERY FAST if sick, so always take quick action against not eating enough.
If he/she is homesick, tempt him/her with fantastic treats. I use 1 max per day, Gerber baby Meat Stix and I cut those into tiny 1/3 inch slices and hand feed them. Also,the Gerber Chicken is a great alternative to get tinies appetites on track when they are stressed from the transition to your home. I also make sure to weigh them on a daily basis to make sure that they are not loosing weight, There is nothing worse than a puppy that has gone too far without eating, they are most assuredly to enter into a hypoglycemic attack. On the flip side, some tiny puppies will gorge themselves to the point of throwing up and getting into a hypoglycemic attack. So there is a balance here, do not allow them to eat freely especially if you have one that doesn't stop until they get sick! For tinies, I usually feed 2 tablespoons total of Royal Canine Xtra Small Breed Puppy. I will give guidelines based upon the weight and age of your baby. DO NOT OVERFEED, THIS COULD BE DEADLY! Also if you are one of those people who must have thier puppy stay at expected weights, then you need to feed them according to the micro guidelines during the first year of life. Puppies who get larger eat more during the first year of life than puppies who stay micro tiny. One tablespoon twice a day is protocol for tinies during the first year of life. Any more than this will add structure and weight to any sized puppy.
The Tiny Dog Shuffle
Shuffle is way of walking as to not step on the tiny dog. It is important to walk where your feet never lose touch with the floor. Walk this way until the puppy learns not to walk in front of or between your legs. Too often, I have heard of story after story of these babies getting stepped on or sat on. It is so important that your home be "baby proofed" and that you make a few changes when they enter into your life, such as shuffling. They will learn this in a short time, but until they do, you will have to learn the Tiny Dog Shuffle. I have known some owners to attach jingle bells to a harness (never a collar) used only for this purpose, to know where they are at all times.
It is MANDATORY for the tiniest babies to have a crate to retire into. It is so scary to allow your tiny roam of the home. Too often there are terrible stories of these tinies eating something on the floor that may have been overlooked or gone un noticed. Well these babies are very inquisitive and will taste everything that they see. It may be poisonous to them. They have very small digestive systems and what may not be poisonous to me or you, may be to them. Also a crate will prevent them from expending too much energy that could deter a hypoglycemic attack. What I REQUIRE for the first year of life for all my babies especially the tiny ones is this, a Laborador Retriever size crate with room enough for a pee pad to be attached down. I use a tray that secures the pad down. I also have a water bottle attached to the side (always always make sure that the water is coming out of the spout freely). I put about 2 teaspoons of sugar in this 16 ounce water bottle for puppies and extreme tinies. Then on the other side (from the pee pad) of the crate I have a big fluffy soft bed. Then of course the food bowl, most puppies should eat 2 times a day, about a heaping tablespoon each feeding for tinies. Much more than that on a tiny and your asking for trouble such as joint problems, obesity which will lead to other problems ect. We use Royal Canine Xtra Small Breed Puppy. This crate is mandatory for all of my babies during their first year of life. Then I leave it up to the owners after the first year of life then they can allow the babies more free roam in your home, providing you do not have larger dogs or young children in the home. Most of my puppies only eat dry food. I will let you know if wet is recommended.
Don't allow your dog or puppy to Jump
Maltese puppies love to jump especially when playing. They jump and expect that you can always catch them. You can’t. Especially be careful holding them in your arms if they see something like a toy on the floor they want. Also when carrying them, always carry them firmly so that if they do try to jump they don’t escape your grasp. Also be careful that they don’t climb up on furniture when they are so small. A jump from the chair or sofa is too much for a tiny puppy. It is very important especially when grooming your baby to have a firm grip on them. They are so curious and will leap out of your arm in the blink of an eye especially when your combing, bathing or drying them. A small fall to a tiny on a hard surface, even just a few feet off the ground could prove to be deadly, so always always be aware with a CLASPED fingers grip on your baby at all times!
Always use harnesses, NOT collars
Never put collars on tiny toy dogs and lead them around with a collar like you would a regular sized dog. A collar can break their little necks or cause trachea collapse. Instead use a step in harness that does not encircle their necks. Most clothes for puppies have a harness built in. Please do not put a harness on your puppy until he is almost an adult as they are just not ready to be walked around when a tiny is in puppy stages. Maltese Puppies have such tiny tracheas they sometimes make a snorting noise as they breathe. You can help by stroking their throats and the episode will soon pass. Do not attempt a harness on your baby until he is almost a adult.
Maltese Puppies and harnesses and leads
When your puppy is old enough to have a harness, usually about 9-10 months old, make sure to always have a leash and harness on your dog when you take them outside. They can easily see something that catches their attention and before you know it, they are gone. Too many Maltese babydolls get killed by cars this way, and it can be EASILY avoided.
I have started housebreaking puppies to pads. They are not to go outside until they are a certain age and have had all vaccinations. Puppy pads are great ways to get started. I suggest having the pad within eye range of the puppy at all times in the beginning. And again, crates are wonderful ways to get your dog used to going on the pad, if the crate is large enough to have a pee area and also a bed and feeding ares. Positive reinforcement works best. Make sure and highly praise your baby when they pee on the pad. A firm "NO" will suffice when they have mistakes.
Walks and Excercise for Babydoll Maltese Puppies
Exercise is vital to average size toy dogs. I would make sure and take an average toy size dog (5 pounds and over) on several walks every day even as puppies. On the flip side, with tinies you need to be so careful as exercise can easily put them into a hypoglycemic attack. For Adult tinies, you must make sure that they just ate a full meal and then also had a dab of Nurtical to follow before any excercise is attempted. I would never attempt exercise with a young micro tiny puppy EVER! They are to go from the crate to your arms when until MUCH later in life! Too dangerous on a micro tiny in the puppy stages!
Grooming and shaving the puppy hair
Grooming is one of the most important areas of well care to a Maltese Puppy. Maltese are one of the most high maintenance dogs in full coat. However, thanks to grooming salons, you don't have to keep them in full coat. Maltese become very unhappy as a matted mess, so its so important that they visit the groomer on a regular basis. Once every 2 months should suffice. If you decide that you want to keep Maltese long coated, well then on top of the 2 month groomer maintenance, you should prepare to comb your baby on a daily basis with a comb and a brush. Also make sure to clean their eyes everyday. Maltese in full coat need a bath twice a month to maintain cleanliness. Maltese require extra attention to their face as they can stain. I use daily products called Page One eye powder (you can contact me for sale of these products) and solution to clean their faces.
Constipation and or Wet Stool
Always change foods by mixing the new with the old for about a week so that the puppies system gets used to the new food, I do require however, all my puppies to remain on Royal Canine Xtra Small Breed until your puppy reaches 10 months old, then they can be changed to XS Adult Royal Canine slowly changed, unless reactions to it. You will also have to cut or shave the hair around the anus if you do your own grooming. This is to prevent that area from getting plugged. Yorkies and Maltese babydoll puppies should poop twice a day. You will need to make sure he/she does. At the first sign of constipation, I do administer 1-2 cc's of olive oil directly to my puppy, if you think your baby has a sensitive tummy, you can add this to their food. If that doesn't produce a bowel movement, I have used Fleet for human babies suppositories on tinies that have had a tough time expelling their stool. I have only used a sliver though and ask that you contact your vet before attempting this method for agreement. Also when a baby is very constipated, to me I am first concerned that they are not drinking enough water so please make sure that your baby is and has been consuming enough water, always always keep monitor of the level of water in your puppies water bottle on their crate. You can also keep their food wet with a small amount of warm distilled water to ease the digestion process.
Young Children and Tiny dogs
We highly suggest that you carefully consider getting a larger more standard of the breed when you have young children around. Yes, there are more mature children that can respect these little tiny dogs, but most young children do not have the capacity to understand that these babies must be handled with the utmost care and awareness as they are not toys. Too often young children carry these babies very carelessly, even possibly around their necks which could cause trachea collapse, or worse suffocation. Also young children can overstimulate these babies and not have the knowledge or understanding when enough is enough and its time for puppy to rest now. Children also tend to jump around and walk not paying attention to the ground, this could be a terrible fatality to a tiny!!! A simple mistake of a unknowing child, dropping the baby, possibly on their head, could very easily prove to be fatal! So please think twice before you consider purchasing such tiny babies if you have young children in your household. It isn't fair to the children, nor the dogs.
Predators-hawks, bigger dogs
Maltese are a toy dog, so he/she is very small. But to a hawk he is a rabbit and a meal. If ever you see big birds in the sky, do not take your Tiny outside. I have heard dusk and dawn are the big feeding time for hawks so I do not take my my Maltese outside then. These Babydoll Puppies also seem to have the instinct that big birds are predators and will look toward the sky when hawks are there. Bigger dogs naturally seem to NOT like Maltese because they honestly do not know what they are, a friend or foe. To a big dog, a Maltese may be viewed as a cat or rabbit or even a big rat. I do not allow my Tinies to associate with big dogs they do not know very well and I am always cautious even then.
Ugly duckling Stages
Puppies do go through stages of being an ugly puppy. Maltese puppies usually go through an awkward stage once they hit about 6-12 months old, their hair actually seems to thin around the face causing a more harsh look, thier bodies actually grow and their adult coat hasn't come in totally yet, causing a "awkward" stage. So if you fell in love with a Maltese at a younger age, just hold tight, they will most likely return to their glory in a few more months! Once they hit 9 months, they tend to start coming into their own. By 12-14 months, you can really see a HUGE transformation in the maturity and true Magnificence of your dog! They grow from the UGLY DUCKLING STAGE into the LOVELY SWAN STAGE. Do not be alarmed when your puppy enters one of those stages as he/she will be beautiful when the stage is over.
When to spay and neuter
Females and males can be sterilized upon reaching 6 months old, but you can wait a few months longer especially for the tinies. I suggest that you consult with a tinies specialist veterinarian before deciding when to do this. I wouldn't put a tiny through this operation unless they were at least 2 pounds. Also, make sure that the vet uses only gas sedation and never intravenous.
Wet and dry foods
Puppies especially like wet food. Do not give them too much wet food, just a few bites is enough. This helps their bowels not be so hard. You could mix a few bites wet into their dry food for an extra treat. Good choices are Wellness Puppy or Science Diet Puppy.
Please use distilled water for your puppy's water. Distilled water is free of many chemicals found in tap waters. Some puppies get eye goopiness and also sometimes make their poop very soft.
Bumps under skin
You may feel bumps or marble sized balls on the back of the neck. These are NOT tumors or something else. They are simple medicines in the baby shots which are absorbed by the body gradually, so there is no need to worry.
Puppies will chew. That’s what dogs do, so if you leave something within his reach, he thinks it is fair game to be chewed up. So, put everything you don’t want chewed out of his reach. Buy toys of different textures to satisfy his chewing yearnings.
Tinies tend to wait longer than average toy dogs for their teeth to come in. So do NOT fall victim of the uneducated "tinies" myth about the teeth tell the age. TINIES ARE A DIFFERENT ball park! Once again this shows ignorance on those who don't know tinies!!!! Some tinies don't get their front teeth until 5-7 months old!!!! Between 5 months and 7 months they will be cutting their first teeth so just like a human baby, needs things to teeth on. Plastic teething toys are great as long as they don't chip off. Teething also tends to bring more tears. So if your puppy is staining a bit more from Tears, this is generally very normal. You can purchase a eye wash and a eye powder that would help manage this. Always make sure you supervise anything your tiny is chewing on!
Vaccines and Veterinarian Care
It is of upmost important that you would find a vet that understands about tinies and dosing requirements. Too many times it is unfortunate that these babies get into inexperienced hands. Not that the vets are not capable vets, its just that tines require "speciality" care. Such as a premature baby requires certain care, so do tines require care from a vet that understands that a tiny can not handle the same care as regular sized toy dogs. Such notions of a full vaccine could be a "DEADLY" to such a tiny baby, or intravenous sedation, they should only be given sedation through gas. Or a full dose of medication given to a large dog, can kill a tiny. Tinies tend to be more sensitive to certain medications and need to have the due diligence in care with a vet that is versed into what medications usually give adverse reactions to tiny dogs. Unnecessary testing is a huge hurdle that inexperienced Veterinarians (in the sense of tines) put these tines through FAR TOO MANY times. For example, if your dog is having a hypoglycemic attack because he/she refused to eat because he was stressed from the move into a new environment, a liver shunt test at this point would be NEGLIGENT! If you can not find a vet that "specializes" in tiny care, I urge you to find a larger more "standard" of the breed dog as these babies deserve it! I had seen a vet that openly admitted to me that he would not treat a tiny as they need specialized care and one that does not have the experience can easily get into trouble with these types of babies! So do your homework before employing a veterinarian for your tiny. And do not whatever you do, settle for inappropriate care!
Besides Leptospirosis, by far one of the MOST dangerous vaccines on the market to a tiny dog. Many times this vaccine causes proven nuerological damnage to a tiny dog such as a permanent seizure disorder also noted outcome of this vaccine is newly diagnosed Heart Problems months after administration of the rabies vaccine that can lead to death. Most inexperienced with tinies vets will not acknowledge this problem however there have been irrefutable evidence, proven by nuerologists that diagnosed seizure disorders due to this vaccine. (this is a touchy subject in the dog world as it is not socially correct to acknowledge this in the dog world) The worst problem comes from full doses. Lethargy, lack of appetite, eye twitching, Rabies symptoms, seizure disorder, cardio myopathy, Head tilting, walking incoherent, has been known to incur months after this vaccine has been administered. When this vaccine is administered to a tiny dog in full dose form the worst being a 3 year vaccine, you can bet on problems, within a few months after administration. If your tiny dog must receive this vaccine, you must seek out the advise of a seasoned tiny vet that understands that a full rabies vaccine is deterimental the health of these tiny dogs. A smaller dosage is vital to your dogs well being. Don't listen to tiny inexperience. Make the decision for the sake of your dogs life!
List of known Medications to NEVER give your tiny....will kill them.
Panacur (use Metronidazole if needed, but NEVER Panacur)
Lepto shot, if your vet wants to administer this vaccine to your tiny....FIND ANOTHER VET! This is negligence and lack of experience with tinies. This shot could EASILY KILL a tiny! FIND ANOTHER VET, YOUR settling for inappropriate care!
Are the Extreme Tinies for Everyone?
The simple answer is NO!!!! Inexperienced hands and vets tend to over test, prod, poke, stuff unnecessary medications into these tinies for simple causes such as stomach aches, or possibly depression. You see, when tinies move into new environments, sometimes they don't want to eat at first. It is very important that you get them to eat something as this can cause a full blown hypoglycemic attack. Also, when you allow a tiny to freely eat, and MOST LIKELY overeat, this can cause them to vomit quite a bit which can surely lead to hypoglycemia and possible death. Many times at this point, a tiny could possibly die from this experience. At this point, if you take a tiny that is weak and vomiting to a inexperienced vet, they have no clue as to what is going on and start, poking, proding and accusing every disease known to BIGGER dogs. This is because a bigger dog doesn't react as strongly to small issues. Once they come up empty handed with their current oblivious testing, they advise even more invasive tests and once they have quite possibly damaged your baby beyond repair from all of the unnecessary medications that they have stuffed into the tiny's delicate system, they want to call on more testing because they are perplexed and can't compute that it is as simple as hypoglycemia because of stress or over eating. Tinies also are known to get poisoned by simple items that they have tasted or ingested somewhere in you home, that you may or may not have not even been aware of. 20 years ago, one of my first tinies was left to play in my home for no more than 20 minutes. I didn't know that he had eaten some plastic overlay for some wedding favors that I had out. I didn't know of this until he was gone and the autopsy results revealed the truth. I had found teeth marks all over the plastic overlay. Well after he began to eat the plastic, it began to TEAR apart his stomach to the point the baby began to vomit blood. The vet thought for sure there was something hereditarily wrong with the dog, but autopsy revealed he had died for intrusive objects that tore his stomach lining and he could do nothing but vomit!!!!! So yes, tinies are a lot of work and are similar to premature human babies until they reach a well mature age. They need to also have specialized veterinarian care. AND NOT AN AGGRESSIVE approach of care. Most of the time a tiny only needs to be stabilized from most hypoglycemic incidences and not taken extreme amounts of blood from, or pumped with enormous amounts of medications on a every so tiny stomach that can only lead to possible death. A simple IV of fluids, sucrose and anti nausea medication will suffice, without all of the unnecessary poking, proding, antibiotics, and other medicines. The very best train of thought with a tiny is "if its not broke, don't try to fix it"! Please don't allow your vet to do practice this negligence on your baby, besides, your pocket book will thank me as well!
Tinies and Shark Teeth
There is a misconception by those not well versed in tinies that Shark teeth are a bad thing! Well this is ignorance on a vet's part and a buyers part. Double rows of teeth are "expected" in ALL tinies or dogs with shorter muzzles. This is handled at the spay and nueter appointment. At the time the vet puts your baby under sedation by gas (NEVER INTRAVENOUS) to spay/nueter he will also remove retained baby teeth and do a cleaning at this time. A EXPERIENCED tinies vet will understand this. Once again, here is another reason that you will know that your vet is not experienced in tinies if he sheds negative light on this and causes UNECCESSARY stress on the owner!
How to interview the Proper Vet for Tinies!
My recommendations for a vet is to find one of the most "old fashioned" experienced, more mature vets that do have experience with tinies and also the ability and experience and humbleness if not to let you know, "hey, this isn't my area of expertise", if that would be the case. Also a great source for finding a tiny vet is to call local teacup breeders of any teacup breed and ask them who do they trust for their vet services? The worse ones of all are the ones that say....oh yes, we can handle small dogs and consider small dogs 10 pounders....and honestly at this point, it is up to you to grill your answer out of them! Your questions should be, 1. how many dogs do you care for that are at 2 -3 pounds full grown. 2. Do you believe a tiny especially a tiny in PUPPY STAGES, requires a full vaccine? if the answer is yes, no matter WHAT the reasoning......RUN FOR THE HILLS 3. What type of sedation do you use on tinies....if its intravenous....again, run for the hills.....they should only be sedated by gas.... 4. What types of medications do you know of that would be harmful to a tiny....their first answer should be "panacur and a lepto vaccine"!!! If they don't know that, then they are NOT versed in teacup dogs! So finding the RIGHT vet will take some time and some interviews BEFORE you get your dog in hand! 5. How aggressive is your approach toward tinies, if for instance they were having a hypoglycemic attack.....would you (a) begin testing right off the bat and at that, I do mean taking a lot of blood to rule out bile acid test and start the dog on antibiotics and other medications? (b) first try to just stabilize the dog with intravenous fluids and maybe a little sucrose and possibly even some anti nausea drugs? A experienced with tinies vet answer should be "B".......they should always begin their treatments with THE MOST NON INVASIVE therapy! 6. Do you understand that the vaccine LEPTOSPIROSUS is FATAL to small dogs?? If not, they are not an "experienced" tiny veterinarian! 7.Does your vet know that 80% of tiny micro dogs or puppies have a 2-4 grade Luxating Patellas and it is a very common condition that should not be over exaggerated. An inexperienced "tinies" vet in most cases will stir up unnecessary worry and anxiety in owners and most of the time, call for all kinds of tests. Tinies do not weigh the same weight that a larger dog weighs, they rarely require surgery on their patellas unless in visible pain and its not usually required until much LATER in life. Inexperienced with tinies bone specialists or inexperienced with tinies vets say negligent things when it comes to tinies and luxating patellas. Do your puppy and yourself a favor and unless you see your baby in terrible pain and immobile, do not condone to surgery no matter what anyone tells you to try to create fear in you unecessarily. Makes me sick to hear such negligent arrogant so called professionals with hardly any tinies experience try to force their false information on you or your baby! Its terrible stress on the babies and the owners because if the same dog lived in my care with my vet, they would have a much less poked, proded on and for sure a cheaper vet bill! We beg our owners not to fall victim to these careless so called professionals! They do not have the knowledge or experience to know that tinies are a whole different species than that of larger sized dogs. Not only does this cause stress on you and the dog, but you end up being charged for excessive, unnecessary testing! Don't fall victim to this, if you can't find a vet with these answers......KEEP LOOKING they are out their.....Just remember, its usually the OLD FASHIONED vets that have teacup breeders as clients that are the most experienced vets for tinies. "How many clients do you serve that breed teacup puppies??" If they say none, they are not the right vet for you tiny!!!!
Emergency Procedures for Hypoglycemia
If you see your puppies back legs immobile and a glossy non-responsive look to them or maybe they are now in the seizure stage of hypoglycemia. You need to be as quick and methodical as possible. Step one is to immediately get a jar of honey and rub a quarter size amount of honey under the top lip and bottom lip directly on the puppies gums - all over. Wait for 15 seconds and repeat this process a few times. Once your puppy is back enough to be responding to you, get about 2-3 cc's of nurtical or nutrigel into the mouth of your baby only if he/she can swallow, if swallowing is not capable at this time, go back to step one until your baby is alert and strong enough to swallow on their own. Wait for a few minutes. Continue back to step one if still lethargic. If still unresponsive, you will need to take your puppy to A EXPERIENCED tinies vet immediately. A ordinary animal hospital will most likely do the wrong thing to your dog at this point and quite possibly cause death upon your baby, not to mention accuse every known disease on the planet because of lack of experience, "big mistake". Book knowledge may call to sedate the puppy and complete several unnecessary tests more so than just a simple sugar test, if this happens from lack of tinies experience on a vets part, your tiny is in grave danger of death. So never take a hypoglycemic puppy to a inexperienced tinies vet as you may loose that puppy that very day. A hypoglycemic puppy may also begin to vomit, and they do need something to calm their tummies down. If you are near a drug store, I use .2 cc's (that is point 2 cc's - not even a 1/2 of a cc) of a liquid called Anti Nausea for babies every couple hours until the baby vomiting has ceased. If I am at my experienced tinies veterinarian facility, the licenced veterinarian would give a shot of anti nausea medication. But any aggressive veterinarian procedures done at this point will most likely cause more problems than helping your baby if not death.