Maltese Only Online Newsletter
JANUARY 1999 - Subscribers: 1,544 - Issue No: 007 - 7th Edition 1999© All Rights Reserved



  • What is R.E.S.C.U.E.?

    Submitted by:
    Ju-Dee Maltese
    John & Paula Crawford
    Cathy Brown
    Ginger Chamberlain

    by Dr. Margaret Muns

    Submitted by Kathy Merchant


    Submitted by Jay Bianco

    Well it has been a year now...

    New Forms of Old Disease Threaten U.S.Dogs

    Preparation can prevent tragedy













    22 December - 20 January

    The Capricorn Dog is patient and careful. Capricorn dogs seem to know that good things come to dogs that wait. That may explain why they sit so quietly by their owners in the kitchen. The Capricorn dog is meticulous and particular. He sleeps in a certain place, likes certain toys and patrols the yard in a certain way. The Capricorn dog is also very disciplined, except when it comes to enjoying liver snacks.


    Happy Birthday from MalteseOnly

    Linda R's Bailey 1/98
    Ann's Peaches 1/1
    Karen K's Jessie 1/2
    Pat's Buster Boo
    Margaret's Taffy 1/6
    Monica's Willie 1/6
    Laney's Toby 1/9
    Edi's Scooter 1/9
    Kathy M's Chipper 1/12
    Bianco's Lady Blandine 1/12
    Carie's Sasha 1/13
    Butterflie's Gizmo 1/14
    Anne H's Ellie 1/20
    Dottie S's Bubba 1/21
    Malteze's Aurora 1/23
    Judy F's Hillary 1/24
    Cathy V's Sassy 1/24
    Barbara O's Hope 1/26
    BethB's Cricket 1/27
    DisneyRN's Maggie & Molly 1/29


    Photos added December 1998
    Submitted by Jay Bianco

    Bianco's Baci Mi Bambina
    Strike Junior
    Tiara's Devon Lorenzo
    Casper Max
    Del Zarzoso Jazminito
    Evelyne Lneichen untere

    (Special Note: If your photo has not been posted please be patient. Jay has received an overwhelming amount of photos either by snail mail or e-mail. Your babys picture will get posted. Your patience is greatly appreciated.)


    Joie's Milky
    LisaC's Buffy
    Susan's Sugar
    JoanneC's Zorba
    Sharon's Harris
    Elaine's Casper
    Kim's Quincy
    MaryC's Princess
    Jill C's Jackson
    Tracy's Jackson
    Doug and Laurette 's Mingo Mya
    Chloe's Fern
    Carol's Lacey
    Carol Ryder's Cody


    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stella who lost her Chloe


  • Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 1999
    Time: 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. est
    Co-Host: Dr. Geraldine Hunt, BVSc MvetClinStud PhD FACVSc -
    Senior Lecturer in Liver Shunts
    Topics will include: LIVER SHUNTS, and other congenital problems like luxating patellae and hydrocephalus.

  • Date: SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 1999
    Time: 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. est
    Co-Host: Dr. Margaret Muns, DVM

  • Date: MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 1999
    Time: 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. est
    Co-Host: Dr Jan Bellows, DVM - Dr Bellows is one of 37 board certified veterinary dentists in the country. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, an organization that certifies veterinarians who exceed in clinical medicine and surgery.

    Note: The MalteseOnly Chatroom is hosted every night, Saturday through Thursday from 8:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST (No Fridays, yes Jay gives me a night off!)



    GALILEO Nylabone -

  • The World's Strongest Dog Bone
  • Mommie got me this for Christmas and I love it. This is meant for dogs that are aggressive chewers like me.

    The Galileo Bones are the toughest dog bones in the world. They are designed specifically for powerful chewers. Your puppy or dog should be provided with the LARGEST Galileo Bone that he/she is able to pick up in his/her mouth. Galileo Bones come in three sizes:

    A. Petite Galileo Bone is for most of the powerful chewers up to 10 pounds

    B. The Wolf Galileo Bone is for most of the powerful chewers up to 25 pounds

    C. The Souper Galileo Bone is for any powerful chewer capable of picking up the bone in its mouth.

    This bone is so strong that you do not have to discard it when the knuckles are chewed down. Discard it only when it is small enough for your dog to swallow whole. This product can be found in any petstore.


    1. You have a kiddie wading pool in the yard, but no small children.

    2. Lintwheels are on your shopping list every week.

    3. You have baby gates permanently installed at strategic places around the house, but no babies.

    4. The trash basket is more or less permanently installed in the kitchen sink, to keep the Maltese out of it while you're at work.

    5. You can't see out the passenger side of the windshield because there are nose-prints all over the inside.

    6. Poop has become a source of conversation for you and your significant other.

    7. You refer to yourselves as Mommy and Daddy

    8. Your Maltese sleeps with you

    9. You have 32 different names for your Maltese. Most make no sense, but your Maltese understands

    10. You like people who like your Maltese. You despise people who don't.

    To be continued

    by Jay Bianco

    As winter's cold weather moves in across much of the country there are a number of things you should do to "winterize" your Maltese.

    1. Keep outings short- After the weather turns, it may take more than a month before your Maltese's coat reaches its optimum thickness. Shorten your walks or the time your Maltese spends outdoors and remember, not that a Maltese dog does not develop a warm, insulated coat.

    2. Buy a pet bed- Or add more filling to your Maltese's bed. Beds provide a barrier from cold floors and your Maltese should have one. If you already have one and it's more than a year old, consider adding new polyfill so your Maltese can create more of a nest which will help them better retain their heat. Place the bed away from drafts, preferably near a heat register.

    3. Add a pet heating pad- Especially useful for older Maltese and dogs with thin coats that are less tolerant to cold, they slip in between the liner and cover of beds and do an excellent job of keeping your dog warm. Microwavable heating pads keep your pet/s bed warm for hours with no electrical cords.

    4. Slip on a sweater- Put one on for walks and before you let your Maltese out to relieve itself. Accidents are much more common in the winter since dogs often don't fully empty their bladders because they're hurrying to get back inside.

    5. Protect your Maltese's feet- Hair between toes is a magnet for snow which can develop into ice-balls and lead to frostbite. Keep toe hair trimmed and remove snow from paws after a romp. Boots will prevent snow from becoming lodged between toes and also help prevent cuts from ice or crusty snow. Remember, salt and de-icing chemicals can really burn your Malts paws.

    6. Don't leave in car too long!- It doesn't take long for cars to lose heat and become frigid. Even a few minutes in a freezing car can cause hypothermia , which can cause permanent damage or even death.

    7. Frostbite and Hypothermia- Cold exposure or hypothermia is most likely to affect your Maltese if it were to lose body temperature quickly. Especially susceptible are puppies and small breeds such as a Maltese. Frostbite can occur without suffering serious hypothermia. Areas most prone to frostbite are the tail, tips of the ears, and the footpads. To treat cold exposure cases:

    Warm your Maltese slowly by wrapping in a blanket and placing a hot water bottle or a heating pad under the blanket, not directly on him or her. A hair dryer may be directed toward your Maltese for passive warming. If your Maltese does not quickly show signs of consciousness and a normal shivering mechanism, it can be placed in a tub of warm (105 to 110 degrees F.) water until veterinary care is available. Frostbitten tissues appear leathery and hair may appear white; handle these fragile tissues gently. The extent of the damage may not be obvious for several days.

    Signs of Frostbite & Hypothermia -

  • Shivering
  • Ears, tail and or other appendages are red or discolored and swollen
  • Tongue and gums are normally pink and you notice its mouth is discolored
  • Depression and malaise, lack of energy and sleepiness
  • Rapid heart rate

    8. Add a fatty acid supplement- Cold weather dries out the air in your, home which dries out your skin and hair as well as your Maltese. It is especially important during the winter to provide extra fatty acids for your Maltese in the form of a supplement like Vitacoat, Vitatabs Granules, or Vitacaps (especially if your Maltese has allergies). Supplements help keep your dogs skin well lubricated to control dander and itching and nourish hair follicles to prevent the coat becoming dry and brittle. You may also want to add a biotin supplement which can help your dogs body break down fatty acids so they can be used efficiently.

    9. Anti-Freeze - A Sweet Killer- Be very careful that your Maltese doesn't get access to anti-freeze. If ingested, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) is often lethal -- even in very small quantities. Because many dogs and cats like its sweet taste, there are an enormous number of animal fatalities each year from animals drinking anti-freeze. Poisoning from anti-freeze is considered a serious medical emergency, which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY!

    Replace ethylene glycol-based antifreeze with propylene glycol- based antifreeze. Propylene glycol is less toxic and tastes bitter, making it less appealing.

    10. Ice-melting chemicals and salt placed across sidewalks and roads can cause severe burning to your Maltese's footpads. Whenever possible, avoid walking your dog through these substances, and wash off his footpads when you return home. There are also products available such as Musher's Secret which can be applied to your dog's footpads prior to going outside, that may help reduce the pain that is often caused by road salt and chemicals.

    11. For your Maltese who stays inside more often in the winter, stock up on a few extra chew toys and other playthings so he/she doesn't turn to the furniture or your best shoes out of boredom.

    12. Tinsel and Other Christmas Tree Ornaments when ingested by a dog (or cat), tinsel may cause obstruction of the intestines, and the tinsel's sharp edges can even cut the intestines. Symptoms may include: decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and weight loss. Treatment usually requires surgery.


    Submitted by Sandie Baker

    S)He lies there and sleeps, Like an angel! A saint!
    But, just for the record: A saint, (s)he ain't.
    Dishtowels are vanishing; Blankets are too!
    And where on the earth, Is my other shoe?
    I've even found Afghans, In heaps, on the floor.
    And newspapers shredded, In front of the door.
    I can't find a bath towel. I'm missing some clothes.
    Most of my socks, Are minus their toes.
    Magazines, ripped up, And under a chair.
    Things that were here, Are now over there.
    My glasses! They're gone too!
    They're not on my nose.
    Have these things just vanished?
    Only the Maltese knows!
    Author unknown

    If you don't want to be greeted with paws and swinging tails,
    don't come inside because Dogs live here.
    If you don't like the feel of a cold nose or wet tongue,
    don't come inside because Dogs live here.
    If you don't want to step over many scattered toys,
    don't come inside because Dogs live here.
    If you think that a home ought to smell of perfume,
    don't come inside because Dogs live here.
    But if you don't mind all of will be instantly loved
    when you come inside because Dogs live here.

    It's not so much the non-stop round
    Of food and clearing up.
    It's more the papers (still unread)
    Now shredded in a mound.
    It's not so much the constant noise,
    Of laces being chewed.
    It's more the holes in all the clothes,
    That once gave me some poise.
    It's not so much that on the stairs,
    Their paws have left a trail.
    It's more their tiny toothy marks
    That now grace all the chairs.
    It's not so much the early start,
    Or puddles on the mat.
    It's more the folded laundered socks
    They've just now pulled apart.
    It's not so much the time I lose
    While watching them at play.
    It's more the early morning songs
    And poohs on soles of shoes.
    It's not so much the way they race
    To greet me at the gate.
    It's more the wags, and bags and bags
    Of kisses on my face !

    On land and in the sea and air
    God ruleth over all
    But He intrusted to man's care
    All creatures great and small
    Not much is said about the vet
    Their praises sung by few
    Not many honors do they get
    But they are doctors, too
    It takes a very special kind
    To be a DVM
    To dedicate both heart and mind
    God must be proud of them.
    Hughe Lewis

  • POEM
    Husband's putting on a tie
    The kitchen smells of apple pie
    Floors are polished - Tables glow
    Music is playing soft and low
    Six o'clock and all is well
    At last I hear the front doorbell
    Pat my hair and check my face
    Not a thing is out of place.
    Then a voice screams loud and clear
    (Author Unknown)


  • How Dogs Are Better Than Men
    Submitted by Malteze

    Dogs do not have problems expressing affection in public.
    Dogs miss you when you're gone.
    Dogs feel guilt when they've done something wrong.
    Dogs don't criticize your friends.
    Dogs admit when they're jealous.
    Dogs are very direct about wanting to go out.
    Dogs do not play games with you -- except fetch (and they never laugh
    at how you throw).
    Dogs don't feel threatened by your intelligence.
    You can train a dog.
    Dogs are easy to buy for.
    You are never suspicious of your dog's dreams.
    Dogs understand what no means.
    Dogs understand if some of their friends cannot come inside.
    Middle-aged dogs don't feel the need to abandon you for a younger
    Dogs admit it when they're lost.
    Dogs are colorblind.
    Dogs aren't threatened if you earn more than they do.
    Dogs mean it when they kiss you.

    Note: If you are having trouble dealing with the loss of your Maltese or any other pet please visit the following internet sites: or There are several support groups who can help in dealing with this loss.


    Make '99 A Year To Remember - Make yourself or a dog loving friend a present of the 1999 Maltese Calendar.

    Mary Stabile has agreed to donate $3.00 to our National Maltese Rescue Fund for every calendar sold through this special offer. Mary's Maltese is featured on the cover.

    This is a wall calendar and measures 12" X 12". The monthly photos of the Maltese are of extremely nice color quality. To get yours you can send a check or money order for $10.95 + $3.00 shipping for a total of $13.95 (NJ residents add appropriate sales tax) to:

    Mary Stabile
    6 Massing Place
    Milltown, NJ 08550

    (Please allow 2 weeks delivery time)

    I've got 2 calendars and they are really nice! Come on everyone! We need to support the National Maltese Rescue Fund! Let's show these furbabies we care about them.



    The Pet Perch retails elsewhere for $39.95, your cost through this Special Offer will be only $24.95 + $6.25 shipping & handling with $5.00 going to The National Maltese Rescue Fund. This special offer available only through the MalteseOnly Website. To get yours, simply mail a check or money order for $24.95 plus $6.25 for shipping and handling for a total of $31.20 (anywhere in the continental US), Florida residents add applicable sales tax to:

    Jay Bianco
    PO Box 383
    Mt. Morris, Pa. 15349

    Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery via UPS


    * 1-800-548-2423 *

    The National Animal Poison Control Center has a 24-hour toll-free number to assist with poisoning problems --


    Submitted by Tracey Wells

    10...Thought the house was too orderly
    09...Never did like having a full nights sleep
    08...Wanted my Vet to get a new BMW
    07...Thought the furniture looked too nice
    06...Love the sounds of puppies in the morning, noon, afternoon, evening, midnight, pre-dawn, etc.
    05...Garden and backyard needed renovations, and didn't want to pay a gardener.
    04...Neighbors didn't complain enough
    03...Kids weren't enough of a challenge
    02...If you can train & show one dog, why not ten
    01...Wanted to see if spouse really meant those vows
    ~Dr Catherine A Priddle


    Taken from the Book What Do Dogs Dream About? *By Tom Kuncl*

    1. If barking is a canine trait that annoys you, the pet for you is the basenji - the only dog in the world that doesn't bark. This breed, which dates bck to the kingdom of the ancient Pharoahs of Egypt, nearly became extinct, but luckily a few remained. It wasn't until the 1930s that these lovable creatures made their way into the United States. While they don't bark, they do make a sound that experts describe as something like a cross between a yodel and a laugh.

    2. Tiny Chihuahuas were once sacred to the Aztecs of Mexico. They are among the smallest of all the canine family. But it was not a job without its perils. History relates that on special religious holidays they were cooked and eaten. They took their name from the region of Mexico where they were first bred. - the State of Chihuahua.

    3. The little spikes on today's dog collars once had an important meaning. They were shapr and protruding and protected the dog's vulnerable throat whey he was fighting other dogs or hunting animals, such as wild boar, that ferociously fought back.


    Can you guess the name of the most common infectious disease in Maltese? If you think you might know the answer, check out the new Maltese Only Trivia question at


    Submitted by Cindy Shaffer

    Afghan: Light bulb? What light bulb?

    Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?

    Border Collie: Just one. And I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

    Dachshund: I can't reach the stupid lamp!

    Toy Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

    Rottweiler: Make Me!

    Shi-tzu: Puh-leeze, dahling. I have servants for that sort of thing.

    Lab: Oh, me, me!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh?

    Malemute: Let the Border collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.

    Springer Spaniel: Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?

    Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I'm just as cuddly in the dark.

    Collie : While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch.

    Mastiff : Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.

  • Submitted by KathyS
    The policeman walked quickly over to Diego, who had stopped to let his dog give birth to puppies in the middle of Fifth Avenue. "Say," said the officer, "you can't let your dog do that here!" "Why not?" said Diego. "See the sign over there, it says, 'Fine for Littering'."

    * * * * * * * *

    As the fire truck roared past, the Taylor children stared with wide eyes at the stately Dalmatian riding on the back. "Y'know," said one of the kids, "I bet they use him to pull the kids to safety." "Nope," said another. "They prob'ly use him to keep people away from the fire." The third child shook his head. "you're both wrong," he said. "oh? said the others in unison. "what's he for?" The child replied, "They use him to find the fire hydrant."

    Submitted by Halen Foster

    11. There is a potpourri pomander hanging from his/her collar.

    9. The dog's nails have been cut with pinking shears.

    8. The dog toys are all stored in McCoy crocks.

    7. The pooper scooper has been decorated with raffia.

    6. That telltale lemon slice in his/her new silver water bowl.

    5. You find liver and whole-wheat dog treats stamped out with copper

    cookie cutters and decorated with royal icing using a #2 rosette tip.

    4. Dog hair has been collected and put into wire baskets for nesting material for the birds.

    3. A seasonally appropriate grapevine wreath adorns the front of his/her crate.

    2. Your dog goes outside naked and comes in wearing a thyme colored virgin wool hand knitted sweater with matching boots.


    #1. The dog droppings in your back yard have been sculpted into swans.
    ~Frank Severa

    50 WAYS TO

    Contributed by Groomers themselves

    • Call in to make an appointment. Tell the groomer you have an adorable little Maltese puppy (1 and a half years old) its ALREADY been done ONCE before..........but you just didn't like the way the previous groomer did it. You want it in a puppy cut.....and oh by the way, those tangles just fall right out when you brush him a little.
    • Bring your one year old Maltese "puppy" in for it's "first" that she has enough hair.
    • Make sure your Maltese relieves itself on the walkway outside your groomers he doesn't mess on the floor.
    • Always ask for a little something extra, more hair off here or there, different color bow.....just be a PITA customer....nothing is ever right, ever.....and
    • Never tip before you leave, no matter how much extra time and attention the groomer gave to your "custom" job.
    • Feed your Maltese one hour before your appointment.
    • Come in two hours late for your appointment or don't show at all.
    • Make sure you wait until after closing time to pick up your Maltese
    • As you walk out the door when dropping off your Maltese, let the groomer know that Fluffy has never bitten anybody.
    • Teach your Maltese that brushing is a game and its fun to bite the brush.
    • Play with your Maltese's feet so that he will bite any hand that goes near its feet
    • Call up and complain about the $5 extra brushing charge for your 2 yr.old Maltese that had NEVER been groomed before.
    • Make an appointment at one shop and show up at another. . .
    • Don't bother to cancel your appt.....just show up ""whenever"" with FIFI and make up some excuse like, I tried to call but... I just have to have her done NOW....
    • No Show on your appointment day and show up the next day pretending that your appointment is today.....
    • Come back for your Maltese an half hour early and stand there in plain view while the groomer tries to do the finish.
    • Smack your tiny and oh so cute dog down on the desk and yell at her for not wanting to be groomed while trying to knock out the groomer by breathing alcohol fumes on them. (The only dog this groomer ever plotted to steal)
    • Bring in your Maltese that is solid mats, bites and write a check that later bounces
    • Don't bother to tell the groomer FiFi has been sick for the last few days, until the groomer calls and wonders why FiFi isn't quite herself. By that time, all the dogs in the shop have been exposed to ????
    • Always complain about something and never tip or say thank you for a job will done.
    • Wait till the last possible moment to call for a holiday appt. and sound surprised when the answer is no. Repeat for all holidays, year after year....
    • Call hours after the shop closes just to see if there's any appts. left for tomorrow....that is, if you have access to your groomers home number.
    • Come in for your first appt. with an ATTITUDE and NICK CUTILLO'S THE COMPLETE MALTESE BOOK. Then plop the book down and FIFI right next to it, and open it to a Multi Best In Show dog in full coat and tell your groomer this is EXACTLY what you expect FIFI to look like.
    • If the groomer does groom your Maltese in the previous paragraph....and it was a strip.... Arrive to get your BABY and go ballistic...for 20 minutes in front of everyone else picking up their dogs...who just happen to have YOUR full show type coat and come in every 2 weeks. Then complain to everyone at the vets office about what YOUR GROOMER did to FIFI ...after waiting for 3 days to take the dog in... because of a bad skin condition you found under the MATTED mess YOU call BABY.
    • Make ""fun"" of any awards or trophies your groomer displays in their know anybody can buy one of those pretty silver bowls at your local dime store. Besides, all groomers do is PLAY WITH THE DOGS ALL DAY's not like a real job.
    • Make ''''threats'''' like, I'll just have to go down the street, if you can't get FIFI in today but I really like the way she looked when you did her....which was 3 months ago.
    • Phone every 1/2 hour asking if "Max" is done yet after you were late bringing him in and you were told he would be late out and and the groomer will call when he is done?
    • Open the door and let Poochie run out, without a lead OR collar. Say "Oh, don't worry, he won't run away." Then spend the next 20 minutes trying to catch Poochie, who KNOWS this is bath time and is not coming back tooquickly!
    • If you aren't happy with the way your Maltese was groomed, spread the word. Tell all your friends, your vet, the Maltese Only internet discussion group and the lady at the supermarket check-out counter. But DON'T tell the groomer!


    Looking for Special Valentines Poems and Jokes for the February Issue. Maltese Valentine Personals: Do you have a special Valentines wish from your Maltese or to your Maltese you wish to submit?



    A special thanks goes out to the Sponsors of MalteseOnly:

    Woof Online Auctions


    Note: If you wish to submit an article, poem, joke, birthday, etc. for MalteseOnly News please send an email to: All submissions must be to me by the 25th of the month.


    At this time of year we pause to thank the many people who have made this website and newsletter such a success. A special thanks go out to our Sponsors. The entire gang at MalteseOnly wish you joy and peace as your family enjoy the new year observances and festivities. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! From Jay, Bev, Libby & Buster

    As quoted by Dr. Jane Leon, from America's Health Network, "Be good to your pets, they try so hard to be good to you and for you"

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  • January 1999
    Maltese Only News

    redbullet.gif - 0.1 KEditor's Note:
    Welcome to MalteseOnly News! MalteseOnly went online in May of 1996. Created by Jay and Bev Bianco of Mt. Morris, PA. Today over 1,400 visitors daily find themselves at this website.

    The Maltese Only site provides a multitude of information on the health, care and training of a Maltese. The Discussion Forum is the #1 Dog Discussion on the Internet.

    Maltese Only has the most dedicated fans on the Internet. This Maltese Only News is dedicated to them.

    To unsubscribe from the MalteseOnly Newsletter, simply go to then enter your email address and check "unsubscribe" and submit. You will be removed immediately from any future mailings and announcements.

    Libby Johnson, Editor

    Jay Bianco,Co-Editor

    Happy New Year!

    Interested individuals may now subscribe to the new National Maltese Rescue email list of announcements. To subscribe or unsubscribe, point your browser to:

    What is R.E.S.C.U.E.?

    Repetitive- A rescuer will often hear the same excuses over and over when a Maltese is turned in. "He grew too large"; "He won't obey commands", "We're moving, divorcing, etc., and we can't take him with us", and on and on. Obviously, it takes alot of self-control on the part of those in rescue to listen to these things day after day.

    Essential. - Without these wonderful folks who help Maltese' in need, there wouldn't be a second chance for many of them. Some unscrupulous breeders will not take back their dogs, no exceptions, so these Maltese', with luck, end up in the rescue system. Hopefully, there will continue to be enough good homes willing to adopt these unfortunate souls.

    Salvation. - Shelters are so overwhelmed with dogs, at times, that they cannot keep even the sweetest Maltese for a long period. Maltese rescue folks are often the only chance these dogs have of finding a good, permanent home with a responsible owner.

    Costly. - Most if not all rescuers are paying out of their own pocket for their expenses. Some breed clubs provide limited support, but fear of a lawsuit prevents many from contributing directly to rescuers. Expenses include food, vet care, training, transportation from shelter or previous home, transport to a new home, crates, toys, beds, leashes, collars, etc.

    Unrelenting. - For every Maltese who is taken into rescue, there are dozens more who must be turned away due to lack of room and lack of funds. Many breeders won't take responsibility for the pups they place if their new family won't or can't keep the dog. Add in puppy mills, and the number of unwanted Maltese is staggering and never ending.

    Exhilarating - Despite all the heartaches and all the hard work involved in rescue, there ARE happy endings! These come when a rescuer finds a responsible, caring new owner, and sends another Maltese off to enjoy a full, wonderful life in a good, loving home.


    Submitted by Ju-dee MALTESE
    "No matter how little money and how few possessions you own. . . having a dog makes you rich." Louis Sain, author

    "Human beings were not meant to be on this planet alone. We totally underestimate our interaction with other species and how they enrich our lives and our children's lives". Jane Leon, D.V.M.

    Submitted by John & Paula Crawford
    "Of all the things I miss from veterinary practice, puppy breath is one of the most fond memories!" Dr. Tom Cat

    Submitted by Cathy Brown "If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons." James Thurber

    Submitted by Ginger Chamberlain "I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." Rita Rudner

    Treating canine marking behavior
    Submitted by Dr. Margaret Muns, DVM

    Remember this a behavior that is influenced by both social and hormonal factors.

    Neutering should help most dogs. Removing the hormonal influence does help to decrease the dog's interest in the behavior. Therefore, the dog has less chance of reinforcing the behavior through repeat performance. However, the longer you wait to do the surgery, the less chance that neutering will have a significant impact.

    I would also spay any intact females in the house. Intact female dogs also mark with urine in the house just by being in the presence of intact males. This will also help to perpetuate the behavior in the house.


    1. Neuter all intact animals.

    2. Keep a close eye on all the social interactions between the dogs, plus between dogs and people. That way, you can tell which social interactions need to be suggested. For example, if a male dog lifts its leg on the couch every time the owner's boyfriend comes over, then the dog has to be taught to interact with the boyfriend in a positive manner. Once the dog becomes comfortable with the relationships, the marking should slow down and stop.

    3. Marking is also an advertisement used by very confident dogs. So obedience training to establish the dog's rank in the household should be done.

    4. Confining the dog when unsupervised so they can't repeatedly mark a certain area can be helpful.

    5. When supervised, the dog's behavior must be monitored. Put a bell on the collar, or keep the dog on a leash. Some people have also gotten very creative and used mirrors, remote video cameras and remote sound detectors to monitor the dog. As soon as the dog starts to display behaviors that precede marking (leg lifting), it must be startled. The amount of startle should be enough to stop the behavior without inducing fear. Remote punishment devices can be used, but sneaking up on the dog and using a water pistol, whistle or foghorn may work equally well. If its timed right, the dog will associate the startle with the behavior and not the owner's presence.

    6. Dogs that mark as a consequence of anxiety can be helped with anti-anxiety medication. The most common drug used for this purpose is the human antidepressant drug, Elavil.

    7. Remember that all soiled areas should be first cleaned with plain soap and water before rinsing with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. The vinegar water mixture chemically destroys the smell, so the dog is not attracted back to the spots. Do not use anything with ammonia in it. Urine contains ammonia, so all you'll do is attract the dog to the spots.

    Submitted by Kathy Merchant

    To true dog lovers the word "pet" is synonymous with "dog." They cannot imagine being without one. Most people don't realize breeders classify dogs into two groups-pet (companion) and show. And most people start out wanting nothing but a companion. But, when they hear about the two classifications, they fear perhaps they are getting an inferior dog if they ask for a pet. To a professional breeder, the terms mean something different. A show puppy is the one that has the best chance of finishing its championship In competition, and a pet is one that probably won't. A breeder's desire is that each of the pups will be somebody's beloved companion. Pet or show, they want the best for each pup. They hope the buyer will love this Pup the way they have. It would be to a breeder's advantage if every pup were a show prospect, but that doesn't work out in the percentages. It is much more likely the litter may turn out all pet than all show. So exactly what classifies a dog as a pet?

    A pet has the same number of legs as the show dogs. It's put together with the same number of bones, has a noisemaker located just under its nose, a fast-licking tongue, and sheds hair just like show dogs. So what's the big deal?

    There are several imperfections that can turn a prospective show puppy into a good pet. Among these are coat texture and length, poor markings or mismarkings, orchidism (undescended testicles), attitude and bite (dentition).

    What may be confusing to the buyer is that what is a no-no in one breed is a "must have" in another. An all-white dog in German Shepherds or Bearded Collies is undesirable. Yet that's just what a Samoyed or West Highland White Terrier breeder wants. Long-coated Corgis are not shown, but a long flowing coat is an Irish Setter breeder's dream. These little differences are exactly what make a pet.

    A pup's coat may be silky rather than harsh, long rather than short, smooth rather than fluffy, curly rather than straight-or vice versa. Obviously, dogs with these flaws can still be outstanding companions, as a coat has nothing to do with good health and temperament. If a bite is overshot or undershot, even or wry, it doesn't make much difference to the pet owner. The owner of a companion dog is much more concerned about the "Will he or won't he" bite, than an Andy Gump bite. Missing teeth may also mark a dog as a pet, although these usually do not show up until late puppyhood. Unless it's all the teeth that are missing, that dog will happily chomp his food on your hearth. Orchidism is said to be the ideal pet fault. Only you and the veterinarian know for sure. The common term "monorchidism" is used for one undescended testicle, and cryptorchidism identifies both as undescended. Again this has nothing to do with whether or not the dog is a good pet. In fact, since dogs that are not close to breed standard should be neutered, a dog with orchidism will be no different than any other pet after the surgery.

    Attitude simply means the dog does not have enough sparkle to win in the ring. Actually those dogs who do not have the extra zip and animation for life on the dog show circuit are sometimes easier for the average person to live with.

    Some breeds specify no preference in markings, Old English Sheepdogs and St. Bernards, for instance. Others, such as Shetland Sheepdogs or Welsh Corgis, have minimal requirements. Still others-like Dalmatians and harlequin Great Danes-much meet definite specifics. Color or pigmentation is highly important in some breeds. Pale eyes or washed-out color will not offend a doting owner, but are a distraction to a judge. Ears that are too high set or don't stand or don't "fold" may zap a show career, but that dog can still hear a chewbone drop a mile away, and he can hear his master's voice. At the other end, tails may be low set or carried too gaily over the back, but they still wag the same when you walk in the door.

    A dog, which is undersized or oversized for the show ring, may actually be ideal for the pet owner who really wants a Belgian Tervuren, but prefers one that could sit in his or her lap. Another owner may want a Tibetan Spaniel who strikes fear into the heart of an intruder and looks like he'd do something more than nibble an ankle. The differences between a show dog and a pet may not be obvious to the untrained eye. Examples are infinitesimal flaws in movement, angulation or extension of gait. Without a period of intense study, most observers will never know.

    Although these and other points may matter a great deal to the professional breeder and/or exhibitor, they won't mean a whit to the person just looking for a good friend. After all, we don't judge our human friends by the length of their hair, their color, their overbite or how fast they can run the mile. So a pet's not perfect, just like us. But, most importantly, a pet is a dog God made for love.

    Submitted by Cathy Brown

    1. You own more leashes than belts.

    2. You can't understand why heads snap around at work when you discuss your "bitch."

    3. All your clothes have plastic bags in the pockets.

    4. Your dogs have more -- and better! -- toys than you do.

    5. You think it's completely normal to discuss your dog's stools at the dinner table.

    6. You select a new vehicle solely on its suitability for carrying your dogs and their gear.

    7. Your mattress is old enough to vote, but your dogs get brand-new beds every Christmas.

    8. You watch "Letterman" only on Stupid Pet Trick night.

    9. You have no photos of your spouse in your wallet -- just the dogs.

    10. Your dog's shampoo: $18.00 a bottle, plus $5.00 for second-day air shipment. Your shampoo: Whatever's on sale.

    11. You never bother to wash you hands after petting the dog even before eating.

    12. You expect to find a little dog hair in each meal and think of it as "added fiber".

    13. You wake up instantly when your dog whines, but never wake up when someone calls your name or your alarm goes off.

    14. You will rush your dog to the vet at the smallest injury or cough, but wait to take yourself to the doctor unless it is really severe.

    15. You are willing to get up and walk the puppy at any time of, night with a cheerful "good dog", but grumble and complain when someone calls you in the middle of the night.

    16. You know peoples' dog's names before you know theirs. And when you talk about someone it goes like this: "You know the person that owns the sable German GSD really got some good advice from the person with the corgi..."

    17. You notice the breed of someone's dog, but don't even notice if the person who had the dog was male or female.

    18. When someone does something that pleases you are inclined to reach in your pocket for a piece of food as a reward.

    19. You feel the urge to put choke chains on people when they misbehave.

    20. You ask old friends about their dogs before you ask about the family.

    21. You send out Christmas pictures of the dog, not the family.

    22. When you are away from home you call to ask about the dog.

    23. You open all doors cautiously to make sure the dog doesn't run out, even at other people's houses.

    24. Dog related activities dictate your weekends and evenings

    25. You have more pictures of your dogs on the walls of your house than of your human family, or the dog is included in all family photos.

    26. You greet your dogs before you greet the rest of the family when you have been gone.

    27. Your dog's food costs more in one month than your own.

    28. You celebrate your dogs' birthday by giving your dog presents, cake and have their "friends" come over for a party.

    29. Your dog receives a stocking at Christmas

    30. Your favorite stores to go to are pet stores, because your dog is welcome to come in.

    31. You hate people that beg, because they just can't get that innocent look like your dog.

    32. Your phone bill is full of calls to your dog's groomer, breeder, trainer, show handler, hotel reservations for dog shows, dog show friends, other dog people, etc.

    33. Every conversation you have tends to turn to the topic of dogs.

    34. You spend more time at work reading dog-related e-mail than you do actually working.

    35. You can recognize more than 100 breeds of dogs on sight.

    36. Westminster Dog show on TV takes all precedence over any other program during the dates it is on.

    Submitted by Kathy Merchant

    When I first got my male Maltese, Chipper, I showed him in the breed ring myself. During my 3rd trip in the breed ring, the judge put me in front of the other exhibitors. I'm thinking, "Why is she doing this. I wish I could tell her to let me follow someone else so I could watch and not make a fool out of myself. She looked at Chipper for a long time and then at the dog behind him. I'm still thinking how to hide behind the others! She put us first place and I didn't even realize it until after we won the class. (And maybe it didn't really hit me until we were out of the ring.)

    At the show the next day, I was as nervous as ever. Having shown in Obedience first, I was used to going down to the corner of the ring. When the judge made me lead this time; she said take them around and I went down to the far corner of the ring - alone. Everyone else cut the circle short like they always do! The judge gave him the points (a major!) and as we were getting a picture taken, I said to the judge, "It was my first time winning." She said, "Yeah, I almost needed binoculars to see you out there!"

    Chipper's breeder wanted a CD title on one of her dogs, Chipper's half brother, so I made a deal with her that I would put a CD on Buddy if she would finish Chipper's championship. (Then we could both do what we were better at!) She finished Chipper and I set to work training Buddy. I got his first leg at my own club's show, with a fairly decent score. We decided to take a trip to North Carolina from Florida, to go to some shows. The first day in the ring, Buddy decides the big stubble of grass and weeds in that outdoor ring were just right for lifting his leg! (A BIG No-No in obedience.) He would have NQ'd on another exercise anyway. With 2 days of shows left, I doubted we would be bringing home Buddy's CD!

    The next day was even more scorching hot. (Even hotter than Florida!) Buddy was doing a pretty good job, but his healing off lead was not very close to me because he had to weave in and out among the big pieces of grass stubble again. After the individual exercises went OK, I was beginning to think we might make it this time.

    Buddy had to sit between 2 big dogs for the long sits & downs. It was a German Shepherd and a Golden, I think. Then during the long down, Buddy sat up. He did it quietly and gracefully, by just pushing up onto his front feet. The judge was talking to the exhibitors at the time. He wasn't giving instructions, just chatting. When we returned to our dogs, the judge said, "Exercise finished." I told Buddy in my firmest voice, "DOWN!" (If we blew it, why not get in a little training!) When the judge passed by he was calling out numbers saying this number qualified, etc, and I thought he called our number. I left the ring puzzled and saw the same puzzled look on my friend's face. Unlike the judge, she also saw Buddy sit up. My first reaction was to want to go up to the stewards and tell them that Buddy was sitting up on the down, but he wasn't my dog, so I didn't tell them. After some other dogs had their turn and there was another group of sits & downs, the judge called the qualifiers, including my number, to come back into the ring for their ribbons. Urged on by his owner, but still hesitantly, I went back into the ring. We got the green ribbon and also got second place! The only thing we could figure out was that terrible grass that poor Buddy had trouble navigating was what hid the fact that he was sitting from the judge. The contrast of the 2 big dogs on both sides of Buddy also helped hide it. (They were so big & Buddy so little.) From a distance it was hard to tell he was sitting unless you saw him down first!

    The next day Buddy did OK, but on the off-lead healing, the judge called a halt and Buddy walked over to sniff the judge's pant leg! The judge was trying not to laugh and said, "Call your dog to heel." Buddy came back to heel position right away and he did get his CD that day. His score was terrible. He squeaked by with a 170-something, but he made it! His scores had gotten progressively worse! I had only been training him for 2 months, so I think he did everything at first without even thinking about it. By the last show he was asking himself why he should do it!

    While getting Chipper's CDX, I found out what a mommy's boy his is! On the way out of the ring he ran to me on the long down exercise before I had gotten out of the ring. At another show he howled like crazy for the whole 5 minutes and I was so embarrassed when someone told me about it later. We had already gotten 2 legs of his CDX when he started doing that. I started to think we would never get his X. I also started thinking that the 2 legs he did get were at our own club's shows where he trained every week. So we worked really hard at the long sits and downs and entered the next show that our club had. Chipper did really well, only loosing a few points for whining. We finally got his CDX! The crowd loved watching him fly over the jump with his long hair streaming out behind him. I kept him in full coat for a long time after that too. It was a good thing he got his CDX when he did, because our club stopped using that big building and moved to a smaller place that was too small for trials. He might not have gotten it at all in a strange place or we would have really had to work at it! A friend of mine had a male Maltese that had the same problem on the long sits and downs. We have heard of other Maltese males that have this problem too. Well, I think I should get some sleep so I'll have the energy to cook a turkey tomorrow.

    By Malteze

    Well it has been a year now, but I can still remember the day like it was yesterday, the day that Aurora rescued me. It was in January 98 that my little Lasha named Missy, had heart failure and passed on to Rainbow Bridge, and my home was very sad, at this loss, she was old, and we had lived with her for about 3 years. This was such a sweet dog, which had more love in her than he little body could hold, she had to be petted all the time, and everywhere in the house she was there, looking for someone to pay attention to her. Well needless to say after she had gone, everywhere I looked there she was, a towel on the floor, the empty space where she waited to play, her food dish was still there waiting for to finish her dinner; she never would eat alone, and demanded that someone watch her, the empty bed that now looked so cold. All of this left the house so empty; she had taken alot of enjoyment with her, when she left. My wife said that was it never again did she want a dog in her life, and my daughter was just plane heartbroken. Missey was like my wife's shadow; whenever my wife moved it was like they were welded together, and would often move in step one right behind the other. There was darkness that only a dog could fix, but where to get one. Well I remembered that some of the best dogs that I had ever had came from the dog pound, well now they are called shelters, but why not give it a try, maybe there would be one there for me. So for the first time I went to the shelter, just to look around and see what they had, it was only three weeks, after Missy passing, so I was just going to look it was just too soon to have another dog. Well I looked at all the dogs that were there, but not one that has that special look, that feeling you feel when you have matched spirits with a dog and you know that that is the right one, the dogs did not seem to be so picky, which make a dog lover like myself feeling like I was betraying dogdome, by not giving one of them a chance. I knew I had to find the right dog or I would not have the strength of effort to go through what it would take to bring a new dog into the house. That the dog I found would have some real big hearts to fill, so I had to find the just right dog. I asked the man in charge if they had any small dogs, being a small dog kind of guy, he said that there was a waiting list for small dogs, so if one did come, there would be a waiting period, so once more in the back to give all the other ones another chance, but still no luck, the right dog was just not there, and it was time to leave, and anyway the adoption fee, was more than I could afford to spend. I was walking out the door, when the guy at the desk said, "If you are looking for a small house dog that lady there just brought in a small dog, but you have to take it right now, before it is admitted to the shelter, or it will go on the list, and will have to go through all the adoption requirements." One look at this dog whatever kind it was, the feeling was there, she was so scared, so lonely looking, so small, I could not help but to pick her up right away, and I asked the lady what she knew about the dog, all she said it that the dog had been hanging around her yard for a couple of weeks, she already had a dog and could not handle having another one. There was a sadness in her voice and eyes as she spoke that sounded like she really loved this dog and had finally given up on her for some reason, and that giving her up was something very hard for her to do, I have never seen or heard from the lady again, she also had small child with her who was looking very sad. Well it was into my van with dog in my arms and of course the first place would be my vet to make sure the dog was ok and also to find out just what kind of dog it was, one look and the vet said you have a Maltese there, after a quick check he said she is about 3 years old, so there was all I knew about this furbaby was all I have just said. Now was to come the hard part, how to bring her home, but that is all I could do now, so I had to do what must be done. Well my wife was working so that would give me a couple of hours to make the house right, for what was about to come. I got home but the dog down on the ground so she could get used to the yard, big mistake, it was here that I found out how fast these little dogs can run across three yards, with a guy running after her, she got to the road, and there were 3 dogs on the other side; this is where I found out that she could run very fast back to my yard, so eventually I was able to round her up, and get her into the house. Well I knew the dog that I was now calling Sydney must be hungry, so I figured I would feed it, I opened a can of dog food, and Sydney was so hungry she wolfed down the whole big can, of course it came back up as fast as it went down, so after I had cleaned that up, I was going to fix her special place so she could be there when my wife got home. Well the first to arrive was my daughter who looked at Sydney and Sydney look at her and it was total love at first sight between the two, they fell madly in love with each other, and the love still goes on today, anytime my daughter is around forget anyone else, my daughter may as well be the only person in the world to the dog. When my daughter asked me what her name was I said Sidney, the dog and daughter looked at me and replied stupid name, the dog spoke with her eyes. It was at this point that my daughter point to the yellow on her ears, and said that is the color of the sunset, I want to call her Aurora, the dog also wanted to be called Aurora, so that was that the dog was going to be Aurora. Well my daughter was off to work and now my wife car was coming in the driveway. My wife walked in and looked around, saw the dog and said "I told you no more dogs, what is that doing there, she can not stay, get her away." Aurora had another idea in mind and with the biggest saddest eyes a furbaby could of ever used walk up to my wife and like her feet, of course my wife looked down at her eyes met and it was all over, Aurora had won herself a new home, and she has been here sense then. Aurora has become a much a part of the family, and has filled that empty darkness that was left with the passing of Missy, she is her own dog, but she is such a special dog, that her personality has blended so well with us that it is like she has been with us forever. Post Script: Like I said Aurora has been here for about a year, and has had only one major problem, and that has been house breaking, but has made a slow steady improvement in that department and I am sure that she will figure it out all someday, but that is the only bad thing she does. As close as I can tell is that from the way she acts and from many hours on this site and chatroom, that Aurora was more than likely kept in her crate almost all them time to the point she would mess in her crate and than roll, walk, throw it all over, so we do not crate her. She also does not play with toys, but will play with my wife, daughter, and has started playing with me more and more, so things are getting better there. She may not be the sharpest claw on the paw, but she makes up for this 100 times over in love.

    New Forms of Old Disease Threaten U.S.Dogs, Cornell University Veterinarians Warn

    ITHACA, N.Y. -- A potentially fatal bacterial disease that damages the liver and kidneys of dogs, humans and other animals -- leptospirosis -- is appearing in new forms in the United States. Citing an alarming increase in leptospirosis cases, bacteriologists in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Diagnostic Laboratory are urging dog owners to watch for symptoms of the disease until improved vaccines are available.

    "We're especially concerned about some of the new types of lepto, such as grippotyphosa, that we first documented in the New York City metropolitan area in dogs, but which probably is not confined there. We're finding grippotyphosa in the Northeast and in other areas of the country," said Patrick McDonough, a veterinary bacteriologist at the Cornell Diagnostic Laboratory. That laboratory is the official diagnostic center for animal disease control in New York state and each year conducts more than 700,000 diagnostic tests for animals of all species, including humans.

    While currently available vaccines do protect against some serovars (serological varieties) of leptospirosis, newer serovars, such as grippotyphosa and pomona, are not included in that protection, McDonough noted, saying: "There is room for improvement in the vaccination protocols." Worldwide, there are more than 200 known serovars of leptospirosis infecting many kinds of mammals, including rodents and cattle.

    Leptospirosis is spread by a spirochete (or spiral shaped) bacteria called leptospires in the urine of rodents and other infected animals, as well as in water, such as pond water. The leptospires enter the body through mucous membranes or through abraded skin.

    For dog owners, the first signs of leptospirosis in a pet often are several days of anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhea or bloody urine. Veterinarians examining dogs with leptospirosis find depression, fever, dehydration, jaundice and abdominal pain. The disease damages the animal's liver and kidneys, sometimes resulting in renal failure and death.

    If the disease is caught in time, McDonough said, it can be successfully treated with penicillin and -- when the kidneys have recovered -- with a lengthy course of tetracycline drugs. During their recovery, dehydrated animals need intravenous fluids and "good, supportive nursing care," he added.

    "Until vaccines are upgraded to include these new types of lepto, we're advising dog owners to watch for flulike illnesses in their pets," McDonough said. "If the dog has been exposed to the urine of another domestic animal or a wild animal, either directly or in ponds or run-off water that collect urine, and if you notice these flulike signs, the pet should be tested for lepto."

    Noting that leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that can pass from animals to humans, Cornell Diagnostic Laboratory Director Donald Lein said the infection can be an occupational hazard for people who work with animals. "This used to be called 'milkers' disease,' and there is real potential for its spread among dairy farm workers, as well as people handling other animals." He said that personnel in large dairy farms, where hundreds of cows are milked several times a day, must work in pits at eye-nose-and-mouth level to a continuous stream of cows -- and to an aerosol form of their urine that could contain leptospires.

    "Leptospirosis is a disease that's been around for a long time," McDonough said. "Now we're recognizing new types. Certainly in different areas of the country there are endemic types of lepto that aren't found in other areas, and each area might have its unique lepto problem."

    Lepto Facts from the Diagnostic Laboratory College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

    What causes leptospirosis?

    Leptospirosis is caused by spirochete (or spiral-shaped) bacteria called leptospires. The leptospires live in fluids from infected animals, including urine, saliva, blood and milk. The disease-causing organisms are transmitted by direct contact with the fluids or with an infected animal, as well as by indirect contact, including contamination on vegetation, food and water, soil and bedding materials. Disease transmission is increased in crowded conditions. The disease may be carried for years in animals that serve as host reservoirs without the animals showing clinical signs of the disease. The leptospires enter the body through mucous membranes or through breaks in the skin.

    Where are leptospires found?

    The leptospires cannot survive for long outside their ideal environment: water or other fluids, moderate temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and neutral or slightly alkaline pH. Stagnant water or slowly flowing streams may carry the leptospires; worldwide, leptospirosis infection increases with flooded conditions. A 1996 outbreak of leptospirosis among white-water rafters was traced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contaminated river water in Costa Rica. Leptospires are known to survive in urine-soaked soil for six months. Summer and early fall are the most likely times for leptospirosis transmission to dogs. Milk from infected dairy cows may carry leptospires, although heat from the pasteurization process should kill the microorganisms.

    What are the symptoms of leptospirosis?

    In general, the disease resembles the flu with fever, headache, chills and myalgia (muscle pain). Dog owners may notice vomiting, lethargy, depression, muscle pain and sometimes diarrhea or bloody urine in the pets. The disease damages the liver and kidneys and, if untreated, may cause death.

    How is leptospirosis treated?

    Dogs are treated with a course of antibiotics and with intravenous fluid to overcome dehydration. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and laboratory tests, including tests for the disease-causing organism, urinalysis and blood tests.

    Can vaccination prevent leptospirosis in dogs?

    Currently available vaccines for dogs cover only the icterohaemorrhagiae and canicola forms of leptospirosis but not certain emerging forms in dogs, such as grippotyphosa and pomona. Vaccine makers are now attempting to include protection for emerging forms of leptospirosis.

    Do humans catch leptospirosis?

    Leptospirosis is a so-called zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. People can catch the disease from water that is contaminated by infected wild or domestic animals, as well as from more direct contact with animals, such as rodents, raccoons, skunks and cattle. A well-known Hollywood actress is now recovering from leptospirosis. Public health authorities suggest keeping dogs away from children's play areas, including sandboxes and wading pools.

    Why are cats not affected by leptospirosis?

    Tests for antibodies show that some cats are exposed to the disease, but cats almost never show clinical signs of leptospirosis. Some experts believe that cats have developed a kind of immunity to leptospirosis from their longtime association with rodents.

    Submitted by Jay Bianco

    Maltese owners and breeders alike should be aware that a Maltese can have an allergic reaction anytime it receives a vaccination. Many reactions seem to involve combination shots with Leptospirosis and the Lepto fraction may be responsible. However, this is not definite as another component, such as the preservative, could be the cause. The important point is your Maltese could react to any shot.

    If the your vet gives your shots, schedule them early in the day; remain at the vet for at least 20 minutes or so after the shots, and monitor your Maltese for any sign of reaction. If you give your own shots, have Epinephrine or equivalent on hand and be familiar with its use. Give your shots early in the day and when the vet is available, and monitor for signs of reaction.

    A reaction can cause your Maltese to go into shock, evidenced by symptoms such as lethargy, depressed breathing, and gums turning gray. Death can follow quickly, especially in puppies. An injection of Epinephrine can counter the effects of shock and provide valuable time to get the animal to the vet for treatment.

    Being prepared can help prevent a crisis from becoming a tragedy. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions.

    ©1999 Jay Bianco
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