Dog diseases that could threaten your Yorkshire Terrier’s health

Dog diseases can become one of the main concerns of their owners. For this reason, in addition to ensure good health, habits and hygiene of our pet, we need to have a trusted veterinarian to help us in monitoring, vaccination and urgent interventions or treatments if necessary.

It goes without saying that a close relationship and collaboration between the dog owner and his veterinarian will help the specialist to make a proper diagnosis and, therefore, allow him to establish the correct therapies for each problem. But, what are the dog diseases that most affect the Yorkshire Terrier breed? We tell you!

How do dog diseases affect the Yorkshire Terrier?
We, the Yorkshire Terrier owners, are the ones who know our pets best: their character, behavior, habits, manias and even their physique and appearance. Any anomaly or symptom that we detect at any given moment, we must examine it to identify what it is.

Although a priori it may seem harmless, it could lead to a more worrying health problem. That is why we should also go to our veterinarian in case of doubt or uncertainty in order to favor a diagnosis in time.

Therefore, it is up to the owners to observe any behavioral change in our Yorkshire Terrier (feeding, playtime or walks, sleep …) that could alert us to any problem. When the time comes, we should request the help of a specialist to make a diagnosis and indicate a treatment if necessary.
And remember! If you cannot go to your regular veterinarian and you consider that the problem cannot wait, take into account that there are veterinary emergency centers open 24 hours a day where they will be able to help you.

Prevention and regular check-ups
In addition to regular visits to the vet, deworming and vaccination of our dog, there is a process of prevention from periodic checks that we can perform ourselves routinely to maintain in optimal conditions the health of our Yorkshire Terrier.

The coat, for example, should be inspected periodically, checking that no insects, objects, excrement or brambles have been caught. In this review, it is also important to observe the state of the dermis and to be attentive to possible changes, spots or disturbances in it.

Regarding the nails, they should be checked at least every two or three months to ensure that they are not too long and do not split. This control is especially important in the case of more sedentary dogs, dogs that develop a great daily activity, by themselves wear and file their nails naturally, so it is not necessary to cut them.

Special attention should be paid to the dewclaws, those upper nails located on the back legs of our dog. Because of their location, it is more complicated to file them naturally and we will have to cut them more frequently.

Dog’s nails should be cut very little and it is recommended to seek the help of an expert, especially in the first occasions, otherwise we could cause damage or wounds.

Eyes and ears should be cleaned frequently, avoiding the accumulation of secretions in each of them. The eyes can be cleaned with the help of cotton and warm water; while in the ears we should remove the accumulated dead hairs and sanitize with cotton and specific liquids to eliminate earwax and avoid possible complications and cases of otitis and chronic otitis in our dog.

The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is especially susceptible to the appearance of tartar and diseases derived from it. For this reason, we should frequently check the state of their dental health (especially in older dogs) and take care of it with specific products. In cases where the accumulation of tartar is excessive, we should visit our veterinarian to check the teeth and, if necessary, perform a dental cleaning.

Signs of absence of diseases in dogs
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, probably any dog owner is able to detect possible symptoms or problems in his pet. However, there are a series of parameters that we should know very well to make sure of the good health of our Yorkshire Terrier and the absence of any kind of disease. They are the following:

  • Attentive behavior. It is activated before calls and stimuli.
  • Maintains appetite at all times.
  • No breath odor.
  • Eyes are not red and do not show excessive tearing or catarrh.
  • The ears are clean, without irritations, scratches or deposits.
  • The skin is elastic and does not present inflammations or irritations.
  • The coat is shiny and clean.
  • It does not cough and only hyperventilates in case of high activity or high heat.
  • The abdomen is soft and not dilated.
  • The feces are solid and do not present blood stains.
  • It presents a cheerful posture, does not crawl when walking.

On the other hand, there are some obvious symptoms of indisposition to possible dog diseases. The most common, among others, can be:

  • Apathy, crestfallen attitude or refusal to activity and play.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea that does not stop.
  • Excessive nasal and/or conjunctival secretions.
  • Unwarranted thirst or hunger.
  • Elevated rectal temperature (over 39 ºC).

Normal physiological parameters of reference in the Yorkshire Terrier.

Parameters Adult Puppy
Rectal temperature (ºC) 38-39 37,5-38,8
Respiratory frequency (per minute) 20-22 14-20
Heart rate (per minute) 100-130 60-120
Infectious diseases of dogs
Throughout a dog’s life (we tell you more about Yorkshire Terrier life expectancy here), it is continually exposed to bacteria and viruses that can end up causing dog diseases or other types of ailments. For this reason, it is very important to know and be aware of the main rules of hygiene and care to avoid any contagion from other sick dogs, especially in cases of young dogs or puppies that have not yet received the corresponding vaccinations to immunize them.

🧬 Transmission: very contagious, it is produced by direct or medium contact. It can affect dogs of any age and has an incubation period between 3 and 7 days.

🩺 Symptoms: nasal and ocular secretions, conjunctivitis, cough, gastroenteritis, very high temperature (41 ºC). It has a high mortality rate.

💉 Prevention: vaccination and booster doses.

🧬 Transmission: by contact of mucous membranes and dermis. Incubates for approximately 3 to 9 days.

🩺 Symptoms: thermal rise (especially at the beginning), polymorphic picture, conjunctivitis, abdominal pain… Once the symptoms are eliminated, the virus can be eliminated in the long term.

💉 Prevention: vaccination and booster doses.

Herpes virus
🧬 Transmission: intrauterine and by contact.

🩺 Symptoms: onset in the neonatal phase is usually fatal. In puppies different organs can be seen, and episodes of diarrhea, vomiting and nervousness can be observed. In adults, however, the most frequent symptom is laryngotracheobronchitis and rhinitis.

🧬 Transmission: highly contagious and resistant, especially in puppies.

🩺 Symptoms: hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, weight loss, hypothermia, despondency… One of its fatal manifestations is often fatal.

💉 Prevention: vaccination and booster doses.

Kennel cough
🧬 Transmission: spreads very rapidly in kennels and catteries.

🩺 Symptoms: laryngotracheobronchitis with cough.

💉 Prevention: vaccination and booster doses.

🧬 Transmission: bites, saliva… This disease can also be transmitted from animals to humans.

Symptoms: affects the nervous system (paralysis, aphonia, inability to drink or swallow…). It usually leads to the death of the dog.

💉 Prevention: vaccination and booster doses.

🧬 Transmission: by oral route. Like rabies, it affects other animals and humans.

🩺 Symptoms: nephritis, conjunctivitis, gastritis, vomiting, jaundice… Often fatal.

💉 Prevention: vaccinations for the most frequent strains repeated at least once a year.

Vaccination schedule for dogs: when to vaccinate a puppy?
As we have already commented on occasion, complying with the vaccination schedule for our dogs is the best guarantee to maintain the health of our pets, but also our own. Although there is no vaccine schedule or any kind of universal standard, it will be the veterinarian who, depending on the characteristics of the dog or puppy, as well as its habitat or environment, will establish recommendations and an adapted schedule.

But… when to vaccinate a puppy? Generally, until after three months of age in puppies, the optimal immunity responses are not obtained. However, it is advisable to protect our dogs at an early age, especially against diseases such as parvovirus or distemper, avoiding unnecessary exposure to viruses and bacteria in the street or areas frequented by other dogs. Here we tell you when is the best time for a puppy to go outside for the first time.

When a puppy arrives home, it should have been vaccinated at least twice against parvovirus and at least once against distemper. Also against leptospirosis if considered necessary. Always taking care to avoid the effect of dog diseases.

Hereditary dog diseases in the Yorkshire Terrier
Given its small size, the diseases that most affect the Yorkshire Terrier are usually related to bone or muscle problems. In addition, as they have a jaw with teeth very close together, problems such as loss of teeth or bad breath due to poor oral hygiene are usually generated.

Beyond this, there are some hereditary pathologies that affect this breed of dog to a greater extent. Discover the most important ones!

Hip dysplasia
This is a pathology of the coxofemoral joint that usually manifests itself with lameness of the hind limbs. It causes wear and erosion of articular cartilage, with the appearance of deformities.

This type of hereditary disease is more frequently found in specimens with rapid growth and development, as it negatively affects the development of the hip joint.

In milder cases, dogs can develop their normal life, avoiding great physical efforts or periods of great activity. However, in more severe cases, they may present intense pain and difficulty in getting up.

The proliferation of this pathology can be avoided with genetic control, hence it is recommended to know the origin and ancestors of the puppies before adopting one to avoid any kind of deception or scam. Although there is no treatment that restores the functionality of our Yorkshire Terrier, it is possible to resort to therapies that help to mitigate the pain.

Eye pathologies
The eye pathologies are usually of great incidence in different dog breeds. It is convenient to take this into consideration at the time of mating, since it avoids the suffering of the animals that can see their functionalities limited due to this type of pathologies.

Among the most frequent are entropion, ectropion, cataracts, complete retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (APR) and central progressive retinal atrophy (CPRA), among others.

It occurs in males when one or both testes remain in the inguinal or abdominal canal. As the temperature in these areas is higher than in the scrotum, it can cause degenerative processes.

To combat cryptorchidism, surgical intervention is necessary. Breeding of these specimens is not recommended because it is a hereditary disease.