Common Health Issues
Yorkshire Terrier ( Yorkie )
Health issues often seen in the Yorkshire Terrier include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, hepatic lipidosis, cataracts and keratitis sicca. Additionally, injection reactions (inflammation or hair loss at the site of an injection) are common.
Another common health condition in Yorkies are their sensitive skin. The most common type of skin conditions Yorkies face are brought on by allergic reactions to seasonal pollen, pollution, food, and sometimes the air itself. Their coats may get very dry due to scratching and biting and eventually leading to massive hair loss.
Yorkies often have a delicate digestive system, with vomiting or diarrhea resulting from consumption of foods outside of a regular diet. They are usually picky with which foods they eat. They usually will not eat what they don't like, it will be left aside. Trying to mix foods is not a good idea because they tend not to enjoy it.
The relatively small size of the Yorkshire Terrier means that it usually has a poor tolerance for anesthesia. Additionally, a toy dog such as the Yorkie is more likely to be injured by falls, other dogs and owner clumsiness. Due to their small size, Yorkies may be endangered if kept in the house with an undiscerning or abusive person, especially a child. Many breeders and rescue organizations will not allow their Yorkies to go to families with young children, because of the risk it poses to the dog.
The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 8-15 years. Under-sized Yorkies (3 pounds or less) generally have a shorter life span, as they are especially prone to health problems such as chronic diarrhea and vomiting, are even more sensitive to anesthesia, and are more easily injured.
Low blood sugar in puppies, or transient juvenile hypoglycemia, is caused by fasting (too much time between meals). In rare cases hypoglycemia may continue to be a problem in mature, usually very small, Yorkies. It is often seen in Yorkie puppies at 5 to 16 weeks of age. Very tiny Yorkie puppies are especially predisposed to hypoglycemia because a lack of muscle mass makes it difficult to store glucose and regulate blood sugar. Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, and a change in diet or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can also be the result of a bacterial infection, parasite, or portosystemic liver shunt. Hypoglycemia causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless (glassy-eyed), shaky and uncoordinated, since the brain relies on sugar to function. Additionally, a hypoglycemic Yorkie may have a lower than normal body temperature and, in extreme cases, may have a seizure or go into a coma.
A dog showing symptoms should be treated by a veterinarian immediately, as prolonged or recurring attacks of hypoglycemia can permanently damage the dog's brain. In severe cases it can be fatal.
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