The Yorkshire Terrier dog is a healthy and hardy breed but prone to certain health issues such as:
Yorkshire Terrier dogs are predisposed to this hip and joint problem. When the dog has this disease, lack of blood supply in the head of the femur bone causes bone deterioration.
It causes the hip joint to weaken and slowly become deformed. Fortunately, this disease can be cured through surgery, which requires the removal of the weakened hip joint.
Some Yorkshire Terrier dogs inherit collapsed trachea from their parents. Their trachea walls become abnormally narrow and weak. The disease is also associated with Cushing's syndrome, which causes excessive production of the steroid hormone.
It is not advised to use traditional dog lead on a Yorkie as it can aggravate the disease. Cough suppressants and bronchodilators can ease the coughing.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed can develop this health condition because of trauma or genetics. The condition is also known as slipping kneecaps and it is a common problem found in toy breeds.
A Yorkshire Terrier dog with luxating patella will be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling of the joints. Bed rest will be recommended to avoid putting more strain on the affected area. Severe cases of luxating patella may require surgery.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
PRA is composed of various genetic ocular diseases that cause the degeneration of the retina. Yorkshire Terrier dogs with PRA will experience a gradual loss of vision. Cataracts may form in the eyes, becoming opaque, which can lead to permanent blindness.
Although PRA isn't painful, it has no cure. For dog owners that own Yorkies afflicted with the disease, the best thing that you can do is to make your home safe and comfortable for your dog. Avoid rearranging furniture to keep your small dog from bumping into them.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is prone to hereditary diseases. To avoid acquiring a sickly dog, buy a puppy from a reputable breeder who has health-checked dogs.
Health tests or screening are very useful in pinpointing dogs that are not fit for breeding, as they are likely to pass on genetic diseases. Recommended testing for the Yorkshire Terrier includes knee, eye, hip, and thyroid evaluation.
Your Yorkshire Terrier also needs adequate amounts of exercise and mental stimulation. Because he is small and is quite active indoors, he pretty much uses up his energy. He only requires minimal exercise like daily walks or playing fetch for a few minutes.
Mentally stimulating activities also keep this small dog happy and prevent him from amusing himself in destructive ways.
Teething Yorkshire Terrier puppies have a strong urge to chew on anything. Providing them with puppy-safe teething toys will keep them from chewing on the sofa and carpets. Plain ice helps relieve the itching and discomfort on their gums.
Safe-proofing is essential not only to prevent your Yorkshire Terrier puppy from damaging your home but also to keep him safe. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Place medications in areas away from your Yorkshire Terrier puppy’s reach.
- Avoid leaving small items such as jewellery, coins, and paper clips around as these can choke your puppy.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach, and use cord concealers on wires that cannot be moved.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed should not be allowed to go off-lead. His small size makes him an easy target for large dogs with high prey drive. This small dog also has a strong urge to chase moving objects. Without a lead, he may run off after a car or another dog.
How long do Yorkshire Terriers live?
Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy and can live around 13–16 years. If properly cared for, they can live longer with their families.
Thus, always make your home a stress-free environment for your Yorkie dog. Serve him healthy and balanced meals, provide him with sufficient bonding time, and be up-to-date with his routine vet check-ups.