Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Boys. . . appearances can be deceiving

Prince and Mason, our two Maltese, were playing the other day and I caught it on video. They are well loved and well cared for, and look as healthy as can be. Appearances can be deceiving.

Mason came here scared to death. He started life in a mill in Texas, was sent to a mill in Oklahoma and eventually was rescued by a dear friend from Puppy Mill Rescue. He was flown from TX to OH and immediately became Mason the Magnificent and owner of my heart.

Prince's mother was purchased pregnant at a MO auction. Prince and his sister were both born with hydrocephalus, microvascular dysplasia and a few other problems as a direct result of poor breeding. Their two brothers fared a bit better, no hydrocephalus or MVD, but they too have poor teeth and luxating patellas.

They are both doing well today and to look at them, you would never know that at Prince's last dental he had 29 teeth removed or that Mason has lost a total of 26 teeth. Poor nutrition for generations of mother/father, grandparents, great grandparents along with inferior breeding practices have resulted in bad teeth being common place in Maltese.

Another common but avoidable condition is luxating patellas -Prince has Grade 2 in both knees and Mason has a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 - their knee joints do not stay in place sometimes making walking difficult. So far, we have been able to avoid surgery by managing their diet and keeping them at the proper weight. However sometime in the future, we expect Mason will need surgery as his luxating patellas are a bit worse than Princes'.

You'll also see Prince do his little "head shake" about half way through this video - a result of his medical issues. So far, Prince has not had seizures that often accompany hydrocephalus, but we are ever watchful.

I wanted to share this video because so many times, when taking the boys out in public, people see this kind of behavior and think that now that they are out of the mills and in a good home, Prince and Mason's mill experiences are behind them. But the sad fact is that regardless of how well they are cared for now or how cute, how playful, how down right adorable they are - they will carry the damage inflicted on them at their respective mills for the rest of their life. We manage their health problems, but they are still there. Sub-standard kennels are producing thousands of dogs just like these every year. Please gt involved and support the legislation needed to ensure the welfare of all of the "Prince's and Mason's" being born each year. As you can see from this video - Appearances can be deceiving. . . .