15 Most Common Yorkie Health Problems


15 Most Common Yorkie Health Problems

My Yorkie Boss has never been sick yet. He is 5 years old and thanks God he is a very healthy doggy. I give him dog food, “scooby” snacks from the vet’s office and some treats I find at the pet shop. Some healthy food which we eat too. I assumed that is why he hasn’t got any trouble so far. However, to make sure about what illnesses Yorkie might have, what really cause them, I researched and listed 15 most common Yorkie health problems. That after you read this article, you would know what might be dangerous for your doggy and the signs of it.

Yorkie health problems are divided into three types: inherited, congenital, acquired. Knowing more about those problems might help you to prevent the complications, to notice the symptoms early and choose a treatment. These are the most common Yorkie health problems I will describe in this article: 1. Hypoglycemia; 2. Legg-Perthes Disease; 3. Retinal Dyslapsia; 4. Cataracts; 5. Progressive Retinal Atrophy; 6. Luxating Patella; 7. Collapsed Trachea; 8. Portosystemic Shunt; 9. Skin Alergies; 10. Pancreatitis; 11. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis; 12. Jaw & Dental issues; 13. Bronchitis; 14. Lymphangiectasia; 15. Dry Eye Symptom.

Whoever is concerned with his dog’s health, might find this article useful. You won’t become a vet, but you will have a clue what illnesses your Yorkie might face during his lifetime: the causes, the symptoms, the treatment and the consequences. 


Hypoglycemia is one of the most common Yorkie health problems. Usually this disease appears to Yorkie between the birth and the fourth month. This period is the most critical. But it might show up in older age too due to the complications of other illnesses.

Hypoglycemia means that the level of sugar in your dog’s blood drops really fast. It affects the brain, the motor skills, and, what is the most important for us, the puppy must be treated as fast as possible.

Hypoglycemia might occur because of lack of nutrients, stress, born with less weight than average.

The symptoms are: shaking, drowsiness, seizures, confused behavior, weakness, depression, tremors and even coma. The tricky thing is that the puppy might not show all of them or it might appear just for a few moments. That is why the puppies must be observed well. 

There are several things you can do when the symptoms show up before you take the dog to the vet. First of all, rub some honey on the dog’s gums. Secondly, warm the body temperature by placing warm heating pads around the puppy’s body. That should help to stabilize the condition.

Legg-Perthes Disease

This is an illness of the hip joint. When the bones in the hip turn weaker and after some time – collapse. It might appear at the age between the fifth and the eighth month.

These are the symptoms: signs of pain, limping, leg going lame. The next step is X-ray examination for confirmation and if the results are positive, – a surgery.

After the surgery dogs fully recover after a year and can live a normal life.

Retinal Dyslapsia

The description of this illness can be put down as irregularity in the dog’s eye. This disease is inherited and for this reason the dog having it shouldn’t be bred – for not passing the disease to the offspring. It might affect the sight and even make the dog blind.

Unfortunately, there is no way to see with your bear eye whether the dog has this disease and a particular examination is needed, So that is why it is recommended to check your dog’s health, including the eye health, every year. If your Yorkie had a trauma of the eye or an infection, there are more chances he will get retinal dyslapsia so this is also an occasion to check the eyes. 

There is no cure for this disease. However, even having it, many times dogs can function normally. And if they go totally blind, the owners can improve their pets’ life making as less changes in the daily routine as possible.


This is an eye problem which appears due to a change in the structure of the protein in the eye lens. The main symptoms are white opaque eye color and eye cloudiness. It might be inherited or be caused by diabetes, improper nutrition, trauma of the eye. 

Cataracts always affect the vision. However, the dogs can adjust to poor vision pretty well if the cataracts develop slowly. Another option is to correct it surgically if it was noticed on time in an early stage.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

It is a genetic condition which dogs might have and it can cause two-sided retina degeneration. It might end up with partial vision loss or complete blindness. Whether the dog has it, the owners get to know in the first two months of the pet’s life and he might get blind in the first year.

The symptoms of this disease are not well visible so you can notice something out of the ordinary just in dog’s behavior, for example, if your pet doesn’t want to go down the stairs or into a dark room. 

Regular visits to the vet might help to find out the occurrence of the disease but there is no treatment for it. However, your Yorkie can still live a normal life because his other senses will get stronger.  

Luxating Patella

It is also known as a kneecap dislocation. It happens when kneecap gets loose of the hold. If it is not treated on time, your dog might lose the motor functions of the leg. 

The sign which will help you to notice the problem is the reaction of your dog when the kneecap slips out of its place – then the dog is in pain and should start crying. Other symptoms are limping, bending the problematic leg all the time or a different, unusual way the dog walks. Eventually you need to take your dog to do X-ray and ultrasound examination to make sure. 

If your doggy has a moderate case, then the treatment is strict rest in bed from three to six weeks with some medications against inflammation. If the case is severe, a surgery is needed. 

It is useful to know that if your dog has this illness once, it might appear more times too. After the period of rest the dog must build stronger muscles around the knee.    

Collapsed Trachea

The name of the illness indicates its kind: trachea collapses or gets narrow. 

The reasons are: genetics or you pull the leash too hard and the collar affects the trachea.

The symptoms to be aware of: gaggoing sounds, noisy breathing, troubled breathing and coughing or the dog might even faint not getting enough air. The first thing you need to do is take your dog to a vet and do an X-ray. Sometimes the vet suggests home treatment, in severe cases a surgery is needed. After the dog recuperates, he can live a normal life.

Portosystemic Shunt

Portosystemic shunt appears when there is an abnormality of the portal vein which brings the blood to the liver and the blood is cleaned. When this system doesn’t work, the whole dog’s body gets poisoned. 

The symptoms are: loss of appetite, smaller stature, loss of coordination, weak muscles, diarrhea, sporadic vomiting, drooling, behavioral changes or even a coma if you don’t notice the previous symptoms early and let the disease flourish. 

The best thing you could do for your dog is take him to a vet for a surgery. However, if it is not possible, there are some alternative ways: antibiotics, dietary protein restriction and other specific medicine which your dog’s vet will prescribe. 

Skin Allergies

Yorkie have a very sensitive skin. Skin allergies might appear because of several reasons: chemical exposure, pollens, fleas, fleas, improper shampoo.

The signs that your dog has a skin allergy: scratching, itching, skin irritation, hair loss. 

When your dog faces these problems, take him to the vet and he will prescribe medicine. 


It is a grave illness your dog might get sick with. It is an inflammation in the pancreas which appears if you fed your Yorkie with fat food, kept him on a bad diet or when his body has a high level of toxins. The symptoms of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea, pain in abdominal area. It might be this or a common stomach bug. To be sure, you should take your dog to the vet who will most likely give a balanced diet.  

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Having this disease your dog will vomit, have bloody diarrhea, lose his appetite. Most often it appears for young adult dogs and the cause is uncertain. It is thought that it’s an abnormal response to bacteria or bacterial endotoxin. Or it might appear due to the dog’s very big sensitivity to food. The disease is very dangerous and rapid, in 24 hours your dog can dehydrate and die. So it is especially important your dog gets an immediate medical attention in this case.  

Jaw & Dental issues

Because Yorkie are pretty small dogs, their jaws are small too and this might lead to having an overcrowded mouth. Yorkie puppies sometimes don’t lose their teeth sooner than the adult ones grow up and that leads to teeth problems as well. 

The cure is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly or take him to the vet for tooth extraction. Though it doesn’t seem as the worst problem ever, the treatment is not so difficult either. Because if you don’t take precautions, your dog might suffer pain in the mouth and won’t be able to eat. 


Small dogs are especially susceptible to bronchitis because of week lung capacity. Because bronchitis is an inflammation of bronchial airways. It can be chronic (lasts more than two weeks) and acute. It is progressive, too. So it is one of the diseases which must be treated fast. If your dog has overweight, it is more likely for him to get bronchitis. 

The symptoms are the following: daily coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing.

You can help your doggy by feeding him with anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting food, taking him to the vet too.


Another name to call this disease is protein losing enteropathy: your Yorkie’s body doesn’t absorb proteins and other vital nutrients. It is hereditary so the dog having this illness shouldn’t be bred. 

Possible symptoms: chronic diarrhea, weight loss, breathing difficulties, vomiting, general malaise. Lymphangiectasia might be fatal if you don’t take care of your dog on time. 

The disease might be put into remission for a long time and your dog will have all the chances to live a happy and long life. The treatment can be steroids, a diet, antibiotics and a surgery if needed. Surely, first thing to do it to take your dog to the vet. 

Dry Eye Syndrome

The last disease on my list is related to eyes. This name is given because the dogs having it suffer from severe drying and inflammation of the transparent front part of the eye and the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye. 

The symptoms which you can see are excessive blinking, swelling of the tissue that lines the eyelids and surface of the eye, third eyelid, discharge mucus or pus from the eye, severe cases can lead to blindness.  

There are several reasons why this syndrome appears. Often is is congenital, might be neurogenic, drug or X-ray induced, bacterial, because of immune mediated inflammation of gland etc. 

Your vet most likely will suggest a medical treatment or a surgery.  


Now I feel that I have described TOP 15 diseases Yorkie might have as if it was TOP 15 of those cool things people want to know about. It is definitely not cool if your dog gets sick. But it is good to know some basics about your dog’s health. Now I know that Boss is one lucky lad, having no stomach, eye, bone, trachea, blood, skin, pancreas, teeth, lung diseases which I found out about in my research. I hope that you find this post useful in determining the most common yorkie health problems. 


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