Maltipoo, a cross between a Maltese and Poodle, have double the cuteness, intelligence, and trainability inherited from their parent lineages. But on the downside, these fluffballs are prone to health problems occurring in both Maltese and poodle. And Maltipoo seizures are one of the most common.
If your pooch has ever randomly fallen while shaking violently and eventually losing consciousness, chances are he or she may be experiencing a seizure. Not only does your heart skip a beat at that moment, but your dog may even stop breathing.
We’ve curated a list of possible health problems your Maltipoo may struggle with, along with the possible causes, some handy tips, and treatment suggestions.
Maltipoo Seizure Symptoms
Your Maltipoo may experience an isolated incident of seizure or repetitive seizures (epilepsy). Some commonly observed symptoms of seizure and epilepsy in dogs are:
- Blankly staring
- Muscle spasm
- Uncommon or weird movements
- Lack of response
- Visible confusion
- Stiff limbs
- Getting unconscious and collapsing
- Getting out of breath
Types of Seizures in dogs
Tonic-clonic –The most commonly occurring seizures in dogs is of the tonic-clonic, also known as the grand mal seizure. Here the dog shows physical symptoms of an ongoing seizure, lie muscle spasms or shaking limbs. It usually involves a loss of consciousness and delayed mental exhaustion. They can last from few seconds to few minutes.
Common symptoms include:
- Walking in circles
- Strange mouth gestures
- Bigger pupils
Petit Mal – It is a short duration seizure that involves loss of muscle control and a period of blank staring for your Maltipoo.
Partial seizures – Also called focal seizures, they affect only one side of your Maltipoo’s body and may involve strange repetitive actions like walking in circles, barking, again and again, biting the air. They last only a few seconds but can develop into generalized seizures.
Status Epilepticus – It is the most serious and rare kind of seizure. It may last for 30 minutes and may even lead to irreversible brain damage or death. It can be caused when a dog consumes large amounts of chocolate or toxic substances like toilet cleaner. .
Types of Epilepsy
Idiopathic epilepsy – These are the seizures that have no underlying medical reasons. They are more prevalent in dogs aged between 6 months and 6 years.
Symptomatic epilepsy – These are the seizures that have known medical causes, such as kidney disease.
What causes seizures in dogs?
If your Maltipoo experience a seizure(s), make sure to take them to the vet to understand and treat its underlying cause. At times, medical diagnoses are unable to discern the exact cause for the seizure. But you can still equip yourself to better help your pup.
Possible underlying causes include:
- Head injury
- Heartworm infestation
- Genetic predisposition
- Consuming poisonous substance
- Liver disorder
- Kidney disease
- Brain cancer
- Electrolyte imbalance
What should you do when your Maltipoo is experiencing a seizure?
- Clear the area around your dog, remove any possible obstructions like tables, chairs.
- Dim the lights and switch off any source of noise like TV, music speakers, radio, etc. Try speaking in a low, calm, and reassuring tone.
- Gently lift your dog’s head and place a small pillow under it.
- Make a mental note (or use a paper-pen) of the necessary details to convey to your Veterinarian – duration of seizure, signs and symptoms, what preceded the seizures, etc. Alternatively, you can record a video of your Maltipoo to help the vet understand the situation better.
- After the seizure has stopped, immediately take your Maltipoo to the nearest vet or animal emergency clinic.
Possible treatments prescribed by the vet
If your Maltipoo experienced only one or two isolated seizure episodes without causing serious health issues, the chances are that no medication will be given. However, the vet makes prescribe medicine if the episode is repetitive, or the seizures occur in a group one after the other, or cases of severe or long seizures.
Even though epilepsy can be controlled to a large extent using medicines, medication may continue life-long. In case the medicine is abruptly stopped, your Maltipoo may experience more intense episodes.
Generally, two types of anticonvulsant medication can be prescribed to canines, namely phenobarbital (works immediately but may cause liver damage) or potassium bromide (slow result, but does not harm the liver).
Maltipoo Common Health Problems
Apart from Seizures and Epilepsy, Maltipoos may suffer from other health problems, including Patellar Luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Portosystemic Shunt, Separation Anxiety, and White Shaker Syndrome.
Notwithstanding the so-called Hybrid Vigor, designer dogs like your Maltipoo are prone to skin sensitivity and food allergies. For the sake of your fluffball’s health, you must be aware of these possible health issues and consult with your vet if related symptom emerges.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This disease involves the gradual weakening of the photoreceptor cells of your Maltipoo’s eye. It starts with difficulty in seeing under dim lighting and eventually progresses to a complete vision loss. It is a hereditary disease, so before getting your Maltipoo home, make sure to ask the breeder about your Maltipoo’s parent’s medical history.
Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
It involves abnormal blood circulation between the dog’s intestine, liver, and body. Poor appetite, improper balance, lack of coordination, stunted growth, and urinary tract infections are common symptoms of PSS.
Maltipoo being a deeply affectionate companion dog, often suffer from massive separation anxiety. As a result, they must not be left alone for a stretch in time. But it can be controlled with proper training in due course of time.
Tiny Mouth Syndrome
This occurs when your Maltipoo has a very small mouth causing little space for optimal teeth development. It causes trouble in accomodating newly erupted teeth.
Due to their small appetite, Maltipoo can easily develop hypoglycemia or a fall in their blood sugar levels. If without any serious underlying condition, hypoglycemia is fairly easily treatable.
It refers to the inflammation of the intestines. Common symptoms include diarrhea or loose stool. The stool may be accompanied by blood or mucus traces. Bacterial infections, allergies, parasites, stress, or trauma are known causes. It must be treated with urgency.
Due to their small built, the Maltipoo dog’s trachea may collapse. It may cause mild to severe pain and lead to difficulty breathing and choking. Symptoms may include fainting, honking cough, wheezing breath, and difficulty eating. It can be treated using antibiotics or surgery.
Maltipoo Hind Leg Problems
Owing to their small size and short legs, these tiny furballs may suffer hind leg problems like Patellar Luxation, Leg Calver Perthes Disease.
It involves the dislocation of the kneecap and is extremely painful. It is caused by the non-alignment of the patella, femur, and tibia in your Maltipoo. If you see your dog limping or unable to bend their knee, they may have dislocated their kneecap and need to be taken to the vet immediately.
Legg Calve Perthes Disease (LCPD)
It involves disintegration of the femur, which leads to joint and bone inflammation. It compromises the movement of the hip joint. It is primarily caused by inadequate blood flow to the femur bone. Its symptoms include lame hind legs, pain, and muscle weakness. LPCD can be treated through a surgical procedure.
Your Maltipoo’s hip joint is where the hind leg attaches to the body. It consists of a ball and socket joint. In the case of hip dysplasia, the femur and the socket bone lose touch and get displaced.
Maltipoo Hind Leg Shaking
You might have noticed your Maltipoo’s rear legs trembling and worried for what might cause it. Your dog’s legs shake due to the involuntary contraction of leg muscles. It can be difficult to ascertain the exact reason for such spasms, but your dog-tor will be able to point out the cause after a thorough examination.
Several factors, including knee pain, arthritis, joint disease like osteoarthritis, can cause tremors in your Maltipoo’s hind legs. Fear, anxiety, or cold weather too can cause shivering. Chronic tremors may result from electrolyte imbalances or underlying neurological disorders.
Shiverings that are confined to just the hind legs and become visible when your Maltipoo tries to move them may signal an underlying degenerative disorder.
Plus, tremors signify different meanings according to your dog’s age. If a puppy or young dog has shaky hind legs, it points towards a disease or infection. Whereas if a senior dog experiences similar symptoms, they may have old-age issues like osteoarthritis.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your Veterinarian is the best person to ascertain the actual cause by running tests like X-rays, CT scan, MRI, and laboratory analysis. In case of neurological issues, your vet may suggest evaluating your pet’s cerebrospinal fluid.
Common treatments for degenerative joint issues consist of massage therapy, mild exercise, anti-inflammatory drugs, and ergonomic modifications to suit your dog’s needs. In case of serious joint problems, fusion surgery or joint replacement might be suggested by your vet.
Few neurological diseases like degenerative myelopathy are not completely curable. But regular exercise, a balanced diet, and nutritional therapy can significantly help your pooch. Regular consumption of Vitamins C, E, and B, epsilon-aminocaproic, and N-acetylcysteine acid, along with steroid prednisone, can possibly slow the degenerative process.
White Shaker Syndrome
Aside from hind legs shaking, small white breeds such as Maltipoo are prone to developing complete body tremors or White shaker syndrome. As the name suggests, this disease is primarily found in white-colored canines. The shaking is generally present in young dogs aged from 6 months to 3 years. It worsens with age until it becomes constant. But Shaker syndrome can be effectively healed with medicines and usually witnesses complete reversal of symptoms.
The Syndrome may be accompanied by a lack of coordination. Typically, these tremors are painless but are a source of discomfort for dogs. The exact cause is yet to be discovered, but the most popular theory considers autoimmune reactions to be the prime suspect.
On developing the White Dog Shaker Syndrome, a Maltipoo will typically experience symptoms between 6 months to 3 years of age. Tremors will develop over the entire body. Generally, after beginning, tremors increase in intensity for the first three days. After reaching the fourth day, the intensity will remain constant till treatment is met.
This is a serious-yet-curable condition, so you must take your Maltipoo to the vet immediately after noticing the signs and symptoms of this disorder. The vet will run a full check-up to rule out different causes and diagnose your dog with the White Shaker Syndrome on the basis of the symptoms and diagnosis.
Tests including Complete blood count (CBC), Electrolyte panel, and Urinalysis are often conducted. Medicines like Corticosteroids and Benzodiazepines may be used to treat a Maltipoo suffering from White Shaker Syndrome.
In most cases, dogs recuperate fully after completing the whole dosage of medication. Whereas some Maltipoo dogs may need to consume low doses of the medicine throughout their remaining life. But this will help manage or stop the tremors and will not in most cases will not hamper their quality of life. After treatment, a Maltipoo will go on to live a healthy, active, and happy lifestyle.
Monthly check-ups are necessary for the dogs that have been given steroids as part of the treatment. And prolonged usage of steroids may cause several side effects such as weak immune system, coat thinning, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), weight gain, skin infections, and/or muscle weakness.
To Sum Up Maltipoo Seizures
The adorable-sized Maltipoo inherits the paw-some gene pool of both its parent breeds, Maltese and Poodle. But it also runs a risk of inheriting their prevalent health ailments like seizures, Hind leg problems, White shaker syndrome, separation anxiety.
There is no sure-shot way of ascertaining whether your Maltipoos will inflict any one or all these health problems, but as a responsible pet parent, you must be aware of the symptoms and seek help at the first instance.
Despite the above-mentioned health risks, these hypoallergenic fluffballs make a wonderful companion for all-sized houses and families. A little care from your side, and they will bathe you in an ocean of affection and adorableness.
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