Yorkie Health: Common Conditions to be Aware of

In this article we will discuss the most common health disorders in Yorkshire Terriers.

Even though Yorkies are highly sought after, they do not have perfect health records in general – what do I mean by this?

Unfortunately, Yorkshire Terriers are prone to and have a high potential for contracting several health problems that you should know about before you make the decision on whether or not to acquire a Yorkie.


One of the more common health conditions is Hypoglycaemia. Hypoglycaemia is not only for Yorkies however – many other small dog breeds are susceptible to this condition.

In the early stages of Hypoglycaemia, it is quite easily treatable however once in the later stages or if left untreated – it can be fatal.

That is why it is imperative to know what to look out for and take action immediately.

If the condition is allowed to progress, it can lead to seizures which is why it can be so dangerous.

Also important to note is that if a Yorkie has an episode of Hypoglycaemia it does not necessarily mean that it is a chronic problem.

Yorkies can have a bout of Hypoglycaemia in response to many different triggers.

Here are a few examples of stressors that can cause an episode of Hypoglycaemia:

  • House training / potty training
  • Over-handling
  • Vaccination shots

A lot of puppies get triggered by simply playing too “hard” if that makes sense.

Some common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale gums
  • Abnormal walking
  • Salivation

A note about pale gums: puppies should always have bright pink gums – certainly not pale grey gums.

In the event that you notice symptoms in your Yorkies: make sure to contact a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible.

One thing you can do in the name of prevention and preparedness is to have a supply of Vet-Cal at hand just in case.

Vet-Cal and other similar solutions are a high nutrient and high calorie paste.

A small drop of this rubbed onto the gums can potentially do wonders and prevent the onset of and worsening of Hypoglycaemia in your Yorkies.

With regards to application schedule: an application can be applied on the gums of your Yorkie once before bed every night.

Another preventative measure is to make sure your Yorkie has a high quality food – you generally do not want to cheap out on dog food here – Yorkies benefit greatly from high quality food.

Make sure you are keeping a close monitor on your Yorkie to be aware of whether the condition is recurring or not. Simple awareness of the situation can help tremendously.

Hypoglycaemia in more advanced stages needs to be handled and assessed by a qualified veterinarian.

Note: Always do thorough research and be careful when choosing a breeder. There is nothing worse than getting a Yorkie, developing a relationship with them and then having to deal with health issues because you rushed the process of finding a good breeder.

Luxating Patellar

This is a condition where the knee cap slips away from the entry point of the leg and while is certainly not life threatening, can cause mild to moderate pain in Yorkies.

What causes Patellar Luxation?

Injury to the leg can cause a luxating patellar – whether it is from falling off a high surface or a blunt force injury – even falling off the sofa can cause injury to a puppy – be aware.

Another cause is genetic defect. (Remember what I said about choosing a good reliable breeder?)

In general – a puppy under 4 months old may have a slight amount of malformation of the knee but your vet will know whether it is something to keep an eye on or not so when in doubt – contact a vet.

Liver Shunt

Liver shunt, or “Porto Systemic Shunt” is a notorious condition in Yorkies. I say notorious because it is fairly common when considering Yorkie health problems.

The basic explanation of it is that it is abnormal blood flow within the liver.

The result is that toxins are not filtered through the liver and circulate within the body.

The tangible end result is most often a set of neurological problems for the dog.

Liver Shunt may be present at birth or acquired over the lifetime of the Yorkie.

If Liver Shunt is present at birth you will notice symptoms at 2 to 4 months of age.

Sadly, it is not a one-size-fits-all situation so in some cases, symptoms may not be present and therefore the condition will probably not be diagnosed until much older than 2 to 4 months of age.

This is one of the reasons that Yorkie puppies should not be introduced in your home before the age of 4 months. This gives a good reliable breeder who cares about the health of their Yorkie, the necessary time to diagnose the issue if it is present.

This is a basic article explaining some common health conditions that current Yorkie owners, and future Yorkie owners must be aware of.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal Collapse is the shrinking of the circumference of the throat.

A great example of this is trying to suck air within a straw too quickly – you will notice the diameter of the straw narrows and limited air or no air gets sucked through.

It is not fatal in general but can cause a “reverse sneeze”.

It can be genetically delivered or can be acquired over time due to age or obesity.

Retinal Dysphasia

An abnormally developed Retina (part of the eye) – it is most commonly present at birth and can be inherited or acquired due to a viral infection.

These are a list of common health conditions that Yorkies have.

Please note that the information contained within this article does not substitute a relationship with a qualified veterinarian.

  1. mary BURRRY

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