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When grooming your Yorkshire Terrier as a puppy its important to keep the experience pleasant.  Your Yorkie will need to be combed and brushed and have their nails done for many years to come and it will benefit everyone involved if this doesn't become something they hate.  Some Yorkies will take to grooming right away where others will be more resistant and may not like it at all.  

I have had a couple Yorkies who have just plain hated being combed at all and it was a total struggle to get the job done.  So I decided to try a little trick I learned when training my African Grey Parrot to accept a harness.   What you do is basically a step wise desensitization method.  With parrots you begin with something as basic as sitting the harness next to the bird and doing nothing more than that.  With a yorkie puppy you may start with just touching them with the comb upside down so the teeth are facing away from them and just sort of mimic combing them until they relax and allow it.  Since there is no pulling from the teeth they will usually allow this.  Remember the goal is to get them to enjoy the excercise and not fight you.   Then slowly begin to comb them but when you reach a tangle stop. You can always cut the tangle out as its only hair and will grow back.  If the dog learns to hate being combed you will have years of having to contend with the problem.  
The same thing applies to nails.  Always leave the nail longer than you think you should because its better to be sure you don't cut the quick as that will make the dog lose trust in your abilities to do the job.  The vein will shrink back after you cut the end and you can come back the next day and take a little more off.  Remember slow and steady wins the race.  


see our document on grooming here


Some dog training methods are based on what makes the OWNER feel good, rather than what on actually makes sense to the dog. For example, "positive-only" dog training is a big fad right now. Now, treats can be great motivators for training Yorkshire Terriers, but if your dog will only obey for a treat, then HE is in charge of his obedience, not you.

 [read more]

Teach Your Yorkshire Terrier To Respect You

"Respect Training" is the dog training method I use and recommend for training Yorkshire Terriers. I often get phone calls from distressed owners who are having trouble with their dog. Let's listen in on a phone conversation between myself and a typical dog owner (we'll call her Kathy Armstrong). Kathy: "Michele, my dog Jake is being difficult. I can't make him do anything. He only listens to me when he's in the mood." Me: "I see. Would you say Jake is behaving rudely?" Kathy (surprised): "What do you mean? How can a dog be rude?" [read more]

Teach The Right Words In The Right Ways To Your Yorkie

My method of training Yorkies includes teaching specific words in specific ways so that your dog not only learns the words but also develops the respectful attitude that makes him happy to obey you. Teach your dog words and he will understand what you say. Teach those words in the right ways and he will actually DO what you say.[read more]

Solving Yorkshire Terrier Behavior Problems

One of the most common questions dog owners ask me is: "How can I stop my dog from (doing some specific behavior problem)?" They're hoping I'll tell them where to find a secret button on the back of their dog's head that will trigger a MISBEHAVIOR-OFF switch. :-) Alas, my answer is almost always the same, no matter what the misbehavior is. Here it is (free of charge!).... [read more]

Training Yorkshire Terrier Puppies

Just got a new puppy? Yorkshire Terrier puppy training starts the moment you bring your puppy home. If you use the wrong teaching method, your puppy will begin making decisions about how he wants YOU to fit into his life, and that's a recipe for conflict and behavior problems. Whatever he does, you must react properly or he will learn the wrong things. Here's my recommended schedule (what to teach, when to teach it) for training your Yorkshire Terrier puppy. [read more]

Housebreaking Your Yorkshire Terrier

There are two keys to housebreaking (housebreaking, potty training). Just two, but you have to get them both right. And I mean 100% right, not 50% right. Otherwise you're going to end up with a dog who is 50% potty trained, and who wants that? So here they are – your two keys to housebreaking (housebreaking, potty training).... [read more]

Socializing Your Yorkshire Terrier

Socializing means training your Yorkshire Terrier to get along politely with strangers and other animals. [read more]




Properly feeding a Yorkie is one of the most important elements to keeping your dog healthy. The food that you offer will directly affect not only your Yorkie's health, but can also many times affect their behavior. The section will give detailed information about:
  • The different ages of a Yorkie and food needs
  • When to feed
  • How much to feed
  • What to feed 
Yorkshire Terrier puppy autumn
Molly, 5 years old
Photo courtesy of Alyson, Brisbane, Australia
How Often to Feed a Yorkshire Terrier
The exact amount of food and the feeding times will vary depending on the how old your Yorkie is and your dog’s activity. In general, due to his very small size, this breed does best with 2 or 3 small meals per day. While other breeds may do okay with just one main meal, going for such long times in between feedings can cause problems that range from low blood sugar (signs are weakness and clumsiness) to stomach upset (the dog will vomit yellow/white foam).
Weaning age (4-7 weeks old) - 3 months old: A puppy needs to be free-fed as he is being weaned and up until he has gained enough weight to handle a more structured diet.. This is the term used when you leave food available at all times. This helps to prevent hypoglycemia and allows the pup to eat as needed during this important growth stage
3 months - 1 year: It is time to now start scheduled meals. If you free fed at this age, housebreaking will be much more difficult, as you will not be able to know when your pup needs to go outside. In addition, when a dog has a well scheduled day this equals better behavior. 3-4 meals per day is best. Morning, lunchtime, early evening (if 4 meals) and evening (no later than 2 hours before bedtime). 
You will also want to make room for snacks, which should only be given as reward for good behavior or when command training. For this reason, your Yorkie will not be eating a lot of food at each meal time. 
1 Year and on:  A Yorkshire Terrier is an adult at the one year mark, so there can be some adjustments to how often you feed your dog and also the type of food (more ahead).  At this point, two meals can be given as the minimum. You may find that your Yorkie prefers a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner or vice versa and that is just fine.
As touched on above, if only one meal is given to this breed, it can cause issues including stomach upset. When there is no food in the stomach, bile can build up. Also, going for too long of a time without sustenance can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low. 
How Much to Feed a Yorkshire Terrier
Different foods will have have varying levels of calories; some are calorie dense and others, not as much. Therefore, there is no exact rule such as 1/2 cup for a 6 month old puppy. On average, a growing puppy needs 45 to 55 calories per pound of body weight per day. Adults need less per pound. If you are feeding your Yorkie a manufactured food, you'll want to be sure to read the label, which often shows serving sizes determined by weight. If you are home cooking, this sort of wholesome food is very calorie dense and often less is needed than with dry kibble.  A Yorkie will eat anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup per meal. 
See Also: Constipation
Best Food for the Yorkshire Terrier Breed
Weaning Stage ( 4-5 weeks old):  When you are transitioning a puppy from liquid to solids, you'll want to start with a base of the same food that the dam has been eating.  This will help avoid possible digestive upset that can happen if too many new ingredients are introduced. Added to this is a quality canine milk replacer.  Do not use goat's milk, cow's milk or any other liquids.  Every few days, a bit less fluid is added in and soon the young Yorkie will be on a fully solid diet. 
8 Weeks & On: Manufactured Food
You have a choice between manufactured dog food or home cooking. We recommend home cooking. There are some things to keep in mind when choosing a dog food for your Yorkie:
1) The majority of commercial brands have ingredients that are not beneficial to overall good health. Many have artificial coloring and/or flavors. Simply due to what they are and how they must be packaged, many will also have chemical preservatives. These elements can cause quite a few problems ranging from allergies to digestive distress.
2) You'll want your Yorkie to be ingesting quality proteins. Many packaged brands add such things as meat by-products to reach the protein quota.... and those by-products are often animal body parts such as hooves, intestines and kidneys.  Animal meat can legally come from roadkill, diseases animals (that are 'cleansed') and even chickens that die on the way to processing facilities.
Yorkie eating from bowl
3) Many dog foods contain fillers. These are empty ingredients that plump up the food but offer no nutritional value. A dog will ingest a certain amount of food, but a certain percentage of that will pass right through the body since there is nothing in it that the dog's body would absorb. This can cause issues ranging from malnutrition to the behavioral issue of Coprophagia (eating feces).
4) If you do opt for manufactured food, some of the best foods that you can feed to a Yorkshire Terrier include Whole Earth Farms and Orijen brands. Avoid low-quality brands that are found at local supermarkets. 
Home Cooking
This can be a good choice for toy breeds since homemade food eliminates the possibility of food having chemicals, coloring and fillers. You want to offer: 
  • Meats - Lean chicken, turkey, lean hamburg, lamb, veal, bison, fish
  • Vegetables - String beans, carrots, sweet peas, spinach
  • Carbs - Sweet potato, regular potato, rice (white or brown), pasta
  • Fruits - Blueberries, raspberries, mango, banana
  • Extras - Whole white yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs (with or without the shell ground to a fine sand)
Supplements - A full and complete age-appropriate daily vitamin and mineral supplement is recommended.
Treats - Take care to avoid brightly colored snacks; these are high in chemical compounds. White or cream colored snacks are usually better. Try to offer real foods such as crisp raw baby carrots for treats. 
More Information
  • Odd Eating Habits
  • Finicky Eaters
  • Wondering if your Yorkie is gaining weight at the proper rate?
  • Every Yorkshire Terrier food issue that could affect your dog.... All in our eBook. Learn More



There are two schools of thought on the Yorkshire Terrier: (1) he is a vigorous terrier; (2) he is a delicate toy dog made for pampering. The owner's view of him has much to do with how an individual dog turns out.

For certain, the Yorkie is lively and inquisitive, physically and mentally quick, and spends much time trotting (or dashing) around checking things out.

Larger dogs may view him as a delicacy, so he must always be leashed or fenced for his own protection; in addition, he can be an excitable chaser of birds and butterflies.

A lover of comfort, the Yorkshire Terrier enjoys cuddling on laps and snuggling into soft pillows.

Keen of eye and sharp of tongue, he won't fail to announce strangers, often in a high-pitched voice. Early socialization is required so that he doesn't become too shrill.

Though he can be bossy and scrappy with other dogs, especially larger ones, Yorkies coexist well with other pets, but are typically overwhelmed by the roughhousing and mischief of small children. This is especially true of the smallest Yorkies -- larger individuals are sturdier.

Some Yorkshire Terriers are bright and quick to learn, while others are rather willful and opinionated. Yorkies often dislike walking on a leash and may dart to and fro until taught how to behave.

Housebreaking is notoriously difficult with Yorkshire Terriers, especially in cold or wet weather. Consider an indoor litter box, or a doggy door leading out into a small covered potty yard.

Barking must be controlled from day one, and this spunky little fellow often must be taught that possessiveness of his food and toys is a no-no.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is small, fine-boned, elegant, easy to carry, and doesn't take up much space
  • Sheds very lightly (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers)
  • Is lively and inquisitive, and moves swiftly with light-footed grace
  • Doesn't need a lot of exercise
  • Makes a keen watchdog -- won't fail to announce strangers
  • Is peaceful with other pets

A Yorkshire Terrier may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • The fragility of toy breeds (see below)
  • The fine line you need to walk with toy breeds, where you need to protect their safety, yet require them to stand on their own four feet and be well-behaved
  • Notorious housebreaking difficulties
  • Regular brushing and combing, or regularly trimming the coat short
  • Suspiciousness, shrillness, and highstrung temperaments in some lines, or when babied or spoiled or not socialized enough or made to behave
  • Excitable chasing instincts

A Yorkshire Terrier may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of Yorkshire Terriers

If I was considering a Yorkshire Terrier, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Grooming. Without frequent brushing and combing, Yorkshire Terriers become a matted mess. If you can't commit to the brushing, you have to commit to frequent trimming to keep the coat short, neat, and healthy. You can even shear the coat very short with clippers and then you won't need to brush it at all. Personally I love this sheared cut because it's so easy to care for and makes a Yorkshire Terrier look like a cute puppy throughout his life.
  2. Fragility. Too many people acquire a toy breed puppy without understanding how incredibly fragile a toy breed is. You can seriously injure or kill a Yorkshire Terrier by stepping on him or by sitting on him when he's curled under a blanket or pillow, where he frequently likes to sleep. And Yorkies can seriously injure or kill THEMSELVES by leaping from your arms or off the back of your sofa. A larger dog can grab a Yorkshire Terrier and break his neck with one quick shake. Owning a toy breed means constant supervision and surveillance of what's going on around your tiny dog. Yorkshire Terriers must always be kept on-leash -- they are just too easy to injure when not under your complete control.

    Yorkies are NOT suited to young children, no matter how well-meaning the child. Children cannot help being clumsy, and that a child meant well is little solace to a Yorkshire Terrier who has been accidentally stepped on, sat on, rolled on, squeezed, or dropped onto the patio. Most Yorkies feel overwhelmed by the loud voices and quick movements that children can't help making -- and stress and fearfulness (even defensive biting) may be the result.

  3. Housebreaking issues. As a behavioral consultant, I put the Yorkshire Terrier on my Top 5 List of "Hardest Breeds to Housebreak." If you live in a cold or rainy climate, housebreaking will be especially difficult, because Yorkies hate both the cold and the rain. A COVERED potty area is strongly recommended. Sometimes a doggy door is necessary so your Yorkshire Terrier can run outside the moment he feels the urge in his tiny bladder. Read more on housebreaking your Yorkshire Terrier.
  4. Providing enough socialization. Some Yorkies are friendly and outgoing, but many have the standoffish or suspicious nature of a true terrier. Thus, Yorkshire Terriers need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their suspicion can become shrillness, or even nastiness.
  5. Barking. With their keen senses, Yorkies make excellent watchdogs. However, this can make them too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them before this tendency becomes an established habit. If that training is to be successful, your Yorkshire Terrier needs to respect you so that he stops barking when you tell him to. 

    You must teach your Yorkie to respect you. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he's doing when you tell him "No."

    My book Teach Your Dog 100 English Words, gives you a unique vocabulary to use with your dog AND teaches my Respect Training Program. Your dog will look at you when you speak and do what you say. Not just when he's hungry for a treat or feels like it. But all the time. Because he respects you.
  6. Finding a healthy one and keeping him healthy. Many Yorkshire Terriers live a good long life, but unfortunately they are very prone to a severe liver disease called liver shunt. Other health concerns include knee problems that can require expensive surgery. Also low blood sugar, and eye diseases. To avoid these problems, you need to buy your Yorkshire Terrier from a person who can pass the "14 Family Companion Guidelines" in my book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams. If they're not following these guidelines, it's a big risk to buy a puppy from them.

    book coverOnce you have your puppy home, you need to keep him healthy by following the 11-Step Health Care Program in11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

    If you want your dog to live a long, healthy life and seldom need to visit the vet, this is the book for you.How to prepare healthy meals, getting only the right vaccinations (not the ones that are either useless or risky), preventing fleas, ticks, and heartworm safely, getting dangerous (to dogs) products out of your home, healing or improving current health issues, and much more. This is my best book, and bargain priced, too!




Yorkshire Terrier Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015



The Yorkshire Terrier, like any other dog breed, is prone to certain health issues. These may be inherited, congenital or acquired.

Even when a good & ethical breeder checks the pairing of dogs for genetic diseases which may be passed down from parent to puppy, genes may skip several generations.

The Yorkie may be more prone to these canine disease; but this does not mean that your puppy or do will develop any of them. It is wise to be aware of the more possible Yorkie health problems which will allow you to notice symptoms early, thus allowing for a faster diagnosis, treatment and easier recovery.

Yorkshire Terrier young puppy with flower
This is most common with toy breed dogs, such as the Yorkshire Terrier and if it does occur it generally will happen between the ages of birth to 4 months old. This is a typical Yorkie health problem that one should keep an eye out for during those first few crucial months of ownership.
An adult Yorkie may develop hypoglycemia, although it is much more rare. With adult dog, severe Addison's Disease liver disease, sepsis and pregnancy complications may bring this on.
What  is This? Hypoglycemia is fast drop of blood sugar levels. Just about every element of a puppy's body depends on the proper balance of sugar in the bloodstream. For example, the Yorkie's liver manufactures glucose and for stores it for release into the blood stream as needed. Muscle tissues store some of the important materials used in this process.
Brain function and motor skills depend on this. When Hypoglycemia develops, there is only a small window of time to treat the puppy. Several factors can bring this on such as stress, a lack of nutrients and puppies who are born much smaller than average...however this can happen to any Yorkie pup. Any breeder will be able to tell you that they have all experienced Hypoglycemia in puppies.
What are the Symptoms? There are symptoms for this. However, it is important to note that a puppy may not display all of them, they may not happen in the order in which they are listed or they may happen so quickly in succession that imminent danger is present within minutes. All small puppies must be watched very closely. If symptoms appear, immediately medical attention is required to save the life of the Yorkie puppy.
Look for: Drowsiness, shaking, fainting, confused behavior, seizures, weakness, depression, muscle weakness and tremors, a drop in body temperature, coma...some owners mistakenly believe that the puppy has passed on.
How is this Diagnosed? A veterinarian should be able to know immediately if a puppy has this. For older dogs, testing may be done. These would include:
  • Blood tests for sugar levels
  • Urinalysis
  • Serum Biochemistry tests
  • X-Rays & Ultrasounds
  • Evaluation for parasites
How is This Treated?  As soon as you notice the symptoms of this, you should rub honey on the gums of the Yorkie puppy. It is recommended that all puppy owners keep this on hand.
Warm heating pads should be placed around the pup to slowly warm up body temperature. These are steps to take just to stabilize the puppy so that you are then able to rush to the veterinarian for an emergency appointment or go straight to the animal hospital.
The vet will give the puppy a warmed dextrose solution that is injected subcutaneously and the puppy may be given an IV drip until stabilized.
Adult dogs with Hypoglycemia are treated for the underlying cause. In addition being fed small meals throughout the day, which are high in protein, fat and complex carbohydrates is helpful.
Yorkshire Terrier outside on grass
Having All of the Needed Knowledge
Find out about the most helpful, comprehensive Yorkshire Terrier book in the world. See what's inside.
Yorkshire Terrier sitting in wicker basket
Legg-Perthes Disease
What is This? This is a disease of the hip joint which sometimes develops in certain Yorkshire Terrier lines. The dog’s hip area begins to receive inadequate circulation of blood, the bone in the dog’s femur weakens and begins to collapse; the cartilage surrounding this can become cracked and malformed.
What are the Symptoms? If this is to happen, it usually occurs when the puppy is young, most often from 5 to 8 months old. Signs will be:
  • Limping
  • The leg going lame
  • Signs of pain
How is the Diagnosed? X-ray examination of the hip joints will confirm the diagnosis. As the bone changes happen very slowly, x-rays taken early in the disease may appear normal. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the x-rays again after 3 weeks to show any bone changes.
What is the Treatment? Treatment of Legg Perthes in a Yorkie is surgery to remove the damaged head and neck of the femoral bone (hip). 
After this is removed, the ligaments which interweave across the dog’s hip joint will strengthen and create a false joint.
The Yorkshire Terrier usually recovers much better from this than larger dogs and many regain almost normal use of the leg. Others may always have some gait irregularity but can live a very productive life. A dog will need time to recover and for the ligaments to grow strong; this can take up to a year or so before he or she can walk, exercise and play around normally. 
Retinal Dysplasia
What is This? This is an irregularity of the retina of the dog’s eye. Most forms of Retinal Dysplasia in the Yorkshire Terrier are inherited and therefore is a Yorkie health concern when breeding...If this is present in a dog, he or she should not be bred. The retina is a thin layer of tissue which cover the back of the dog’s eyeball, this is where the sense of vision occurs. When there is this irregularity, the tissue is affected which then in turn will cause vision problems. In some cases, blindness will occur.
This is not the only breed that is more prone to this, others such as the Beagle, Labrador Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier, Akita, Afghan Hound, Australian Shepherd, Doberman, Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler are prone as well.
What are the Symptoms? In mild cases, you may not see any signs and the dog will not have a problem that is severe enough to interfere with his or her daily activities. It is often only caught when a full exam is being performed, including an eye exam. If a dog only has retinal folds, this only creates small blind areas and the dog will adjust and be able to function just fine.
In moderate to severe cases, this affects the dog’s vision. You may notice that the dog bumps into objects, seems confused and/ or stumbles when walking up stairs or navigating around objects
Yorkie laying down red bow
What Causes This? Most cases are inherited. However it is presumed that trauma to the eye or damage from an infection may also cause this to develop. There is a theory that the herpes infection, prenatal infections with Parvovirus and exposure to some toxins may lead to this.
How is This Diagnosed? Compete physical exams should be performed each year and the eye exam may find this. When it is suspected that a Yorkie may have Retinal Dysplasia, there is a certain eye exam created by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and a certified ophthalmologist (CERF) will perform the test.
What is the Treatment? There is no treatment, as of yet. Dogs with mild cases can function perfectly fine. In fact, with puppies, the mild form may correct itself as the dog matures.
In severe cases, it is found that dog’s do very well at adjusting to a partial or full loss of vision. Since the Yorkshire Terrier has an incredible sense of smell an hearing, some owners do not even notice that their dog is compensating for a loss of vision.
When a dog has a case so severe that complete blindness occurs, an owner can help their dog by:
  • Always taking the same route when going for walks
  • Keep dog food, water, toys and other dog objects in the same spot, all of the time.
  • Introduce any changes, very slowly
  • Do not move around furniture or change the layout of the home
Yorkie in treasure chest
Luxating Patella - Kneecap Dislocation
What is this? The patellar (kneecap) is held together by tendons and tissue. When a Yorkie puppy has Patellar Luxation, the kneecap slips loose of the normally strong hold. The kneecap of the puppy may slip out and back in again or remain out. If not fixed, this can cause a dog to be lame and have limited or zero motor functions of the legs.
What are the Symptoms? A Yorkie may show just 1 or all of the symptoms of this. Also, symptoms may come and go. May puppies let out a loud "Yelp" when the kneecap slips out and then actually continue to walk and play even though the kneecap is out of place. It is usually only when it slips, that the dog is in severe pain. You may also notice:
  • Limping
  • An odd "skipping" walk
  • Avoidance of bending the hind leg
How is This Diagnosed? Your dog's veterinarian will be able to know via X-rays and ultrasound.
How is This Treated? Minor to moderate cases are treated with strict bed rest (3 to 6 weeks) along with anti-inflammatory medications. This works well in many cases; though once the knee has slipped it is more prone to do so again. Gradually helping a dog to build stronger muscles around the knee can be helpful in preventing another episode. With your vet's approval, walking uphill is one of the best ways to achieve this. For severe or for re-occuring issues,surgery may be needed; which has a 90% success rate.
Collapsed Trachea
What is This? This is common among toy breed dogs, this breed included. Tracheal Collapse is a narrowing or collapsing of the trachea (windpipe) . This can happen because the cartilage rings which hold the trachea soften due to genetic weakness.
This can also happen when a small dog such as the Yorkie is attached to a dog collar and leash. If the dog lunges forward or if the owner pulls back to hard, the trachea rings can collapse inward. For this reason, it is highly recommended to walk a Yorkie with a harness on, as opposed to a dog collar. Doing so also gives you better control when training your dog to heel,etc.
What are the Symptoms?
  • Noisy breathing
  • Gagging sounds
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing (mild to severe)
brown and tan Yorkshire Terrier
These symptoms may be more apparent right after the dog has exercised and/or in hot, humid weather. In severe cases, the gums may turn blue (due to a loss of air) and the dog may faint.
How is This Diagnosed? The veterinarian will evaluate the dog and perform X-Rays.
How is This Treated? Treatment usually includes steps to reduce coughing and trauma to the dog's airway.
  • Any irritants such as air freshener and 2nd hand smoke should be kept away from the dog
  • The dog should be kept out of extreme cold temperatures
  • A collar must never be put on a dog with a collapsed trachea; a harness must be used
  • If a Yorkie is overweight, a low fat diet will be recommended to help the dog lose weight
  • Medication to reduce swelling may be given
If it is determined that this is a severe case, surgery should be performed. Prognosis is good after surgery, with the majority of dogs able to breathe normally and go back to an active lifestyle.
Portosystemic Shunt
What is This? This is a canine disease in which there is an inherited abnormality of the portal vein (which brings blood to the liver for cleansing). In this condition some of the dog's blood bypasses the liver and the unfiltered blood flows throughout the dog’s body; this then poisons the dog’s heart, brain, lungs and other organs with toxins.
What are the Symptoms?
  • Small than normal stature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weak muscle development
  • Diminished ability to learn
  • Loss of coordination
  • Sporadic vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Drooling
In Late Stages:
  • Seizures (this can happen especially after eating a large meal)
  • Loss of sight
  • Coma
How is the Diagnosed? Blood work is done to look for either high serum bile acids levels after a the dog has had a meal or an increase of fasting blood ammonia levels.  
What is the Treatment? Surgical treatment is best, when it can be performed and the prognosis and benefits outweigh the risks. When surgery is not an option, PSS is treated with dietary protein restriction, antibiotics and other medicines which help to reduce ammonia production and absorption in the intestines.
A Note on Yorkie Health
While these are canine diseases of which the Yorkie is more prone to, this does not mean that a Yorkie will ever develop any of these conditions. 
Tips to Keep Your Yorkshire Terrier Happy and Healthy
Yorkie with toy
There are things that an owner can do to maintain good health. Some may seem very obvious; however in order to stick to a budget or not paying attention for even a minute can mean the difference between a Yorkie that lives a long & happy life and a Yorkie who has troubling health issues.
The owner of a Yorkshire Terrier should:
Pay close attention to their puppy - to keep the puppy out of danger, to not accidentally step on the puppy, to keep children from playing to roughly with the pup and to look for symptoms of health issues
Do not make fast changes to the dog's environment or food. Puppies are very sensitive to changes, which can cause stress, which then in turn can cause Hypoglycemia.
Properly groom, especially taking care of the ears, at-home preventative dental care of the teeth and clipping of the nails.
Always feed a very high quality food. This will have an enormous impact on health. From digestive problems, to the bad habit of eating feces...inexpensive food can cause havoc to the body and a high quality food will keep your Yorkie healthy.
Be sure to have your dog receive all vaccinations, worming, heartworm medication and flea prevention. Never think, "That won't happen". Even if he or she rarely goes outside, shots must be given in full. Puppies should not be brought out to any public places until all puppy shots are done, this is usually by the 14 week age mark. 
Arm yourself with detailed knowledge. Know about all symptoms, easy to understand details of Yorkshire Terrier Health & get expert advice before you rush out to the vet. For the most comprehensive Yorkie care book that exists,check out the YorkieInfoCenter eBook.

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