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Hair Matting
by Charlotte

Hair Matting Our Maltese has just truned a year old. Lately, his hair has been getting matted even though we try to brush it very regularly and keep it in a puppy cut. However, Tuffy will not sit still long. When I brought Tuffy to the groomer this week, she said that Maltese go through hair change at about one year and that is why he has been matting more lately. She also said that mats can cause the skin underneath to "rot" or get eczema. Please confirm or discuss this information and offer tips on grooming.
Charlotte,What your groomer is saying about Maltese going the what I call coat change is true. They do experience a period of time usually around 9 to 12 months of age when they seem to mat more the than other times. Sores can develope if these mats are not brushed out as they cause irritation to the skin. More frequent brushing and bathing during this coat change time will help to minimize the mats. This is one of the reasons to teach your little one to tolerate grooming. Have patience this does pass.
Charlotte, Yes, anytime from 6 to 9 months of age the coat will change. I have not heard of the skin underneath "rot"? Maybe someone else has. They do get dry skin but a good quality coat conditioner will help. You should try to brush and comb your baby every day if possible. My Buster (5 mo old) Isn't quite use to it and bites the brush. We are working on this. A book I bought says to use a pin brush, sometimes called a "Poodle Brush" or a "slicker brush". But they say the slicker brush can severely break the Maltese's hair and damage the coat. The pin brush along with a fine-toothed comb should do fine. It takes alot of work and patience to get them to stand still. Supposedlt, so says the book......As your Maltese becomes accustomed to this you may find the puppy will consider this a time to nap. We'll see..Good Luck.
Libby Johnson
Our female Maltese also became matted at about 10 months of age. Like yours, she does not care much for the excessive brushing needed to prevent those mats. Finially, after much frustration, I broke down and had her hair cut pretty short.....and kept it that length for about 6 months. ( I think she rather enjoyed this cut too, as we live in Florida and it was during the summer months.) I have sense allowed her coat to come back in fully and we have no longer had any mat problems. Her coat is beautiful again! Also, our vet recommended I change her food to a "lamb and rice" base, rather then the chicken based we were feeding her, and it seems to have really helped her coat. We feed her the "NUTRO" brand, dry dog food and she seems to really like it. Good luck!
Our little "Pooki" is 7 months old and his hair just started matting. I use a wire brush but it is not quite able to do the job. Anyone have any ideas on getting the matted areas detangled? I hate to have all his hair cut off since we live in the north and he shivers now when he goes outside. Having a maltese is a new experience for me and any help would be greatly appreciated. He has been a real joy!
Karen Barnette
I have recently been determined on having a framed picture of my sweet little Pooh Bear on the wall at home. I have found that patience, a good conditioner, (like the one I use for myself) and a tired maltese ( so they won't fight the brush or comb as much) helps. I see all the pictures of the beautiful maltese with their elaborate hair dos and I just can't understand how they get the stains from the eyes and mouth and keep the dogs looking like they have never seen a real backyard with dirt and gosh knows what else!! I get frustrated beacause periodically I have to shave Mr. Pooh Bear's coat and start over. He does feel prettier with a long coat and recently have devoted special time to brushing. He is learning to be patient and I think I can learn from him & to just love him. And I wouldn't trade all the knots in the world for a long silky pure white coat on My dog in the cutest little white suit of all.
Aimee Duran
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