What Do Maltese Usually Die From?

Understanding the Life Expectancy of Maltese: What Do Maltese Usually Die From?

Maltese dogs are renowned for their long and healthy lifespan. However, like any other breed of dog, they are not immune to illness and diseases that may shorten their life span. For most pet owners, knowing the usual causes of death for Maltese can be vital, especially with the aim of preventing or managing such issues. In this blog, we will explore some of the most common causes of death for Maltese dogs and how you can help your furry friend live longer.

What Do Maltese Usually Die From?

Dental Problems: Dental disease is the most common health problem among dogs, and Maltese are no exception. In fact, with their tiny mouths and shorter snouts, Maltese are even more prone to dental issues such as tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay. Such conditions can be painful, affect their appetite, and result in bad breath. Failure to address dental issues can, in turn, cause more severe health issues such as organ failure. Regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian can go a long way in preventing these problems.

Liver Shunts: Maltese dogs are predisposed to liver shunts, which is an abnormality of the liver’s blood vessels. A liver shunt occurs when the liver fails to remove toxins from the body as it should. This can cause the accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream, leading to brain damage and other health complications. Liver shunts can be genetic or acquired and should be treated early to avoid a shortened life expectancy.

Cardiovascular Disease: Maltese dogs can develop heart disease such as dilated cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, and arrhythmia. The signs of cardiovascular disease include coughing, shortness of breath, and lethargy. If left untreated, cardiovascular disease can result in congestive heart failure and even an untimely death. Regular health check-ups, heartworm prevention, and a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease in Maltese dogs.

Cancer: Cancer is a leading cause of death in Maltese and other canine breeds. These tumors can appear in any part of the body, including the skin, bones, and organs. Some of the most common types of cancer in Maltese include lymphoma, mammary gland tumors, and hemangiosarcoma. Signs of cancer in Maltese include weight loss, lethargy, and a change in appetite. Regular cancer screenings with your vet, maintaining a healthy weight, and feeding your dog a balanced diet can help prevent the onset of cancer.

Kidney Disease: Maltese dogs are prone to developing kidney disease, which can lead to renal failure if left untreated. The main causes of kidney disease in Maltese include infections, urinary obstructions, and toxins. Symptoms of kidney disease in Maltese include increased thirst, loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. Treatment for kidney disease varies depending on the severity of the condition. However, early detection and treatment can prevent the progression of the disease.


In Conclusion, Maltese are generally healthy and can live long and happy lives when taken care of correctly. However, it is essential to be aware of some of the common health issues that can affect them and be proactive in preventing such issues. Regular visits to your veterinarian and a healthy, nutritious diet can go a long way in ensuring your furry friend stays happy and healthy for years to come. So, pay attention to your dog’s health, and don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in behavior.

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