In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What do most Yorkies die from? Whether you have an elderly Yorkshire terrier or a puppy, this article will help you learn about the Yorkshire terrier’s congenital diseases that occur most frequently. It is essential to detect them in time.
What do most Yorkies die from?
Most Yorkies die from respiratory diseases, this being the leading cause of death amongst adult Yorkies. Different health problems can affect a Yorkshire terrier, and, as with most purebred dogs, the “Yorkie” has an individual predisposition to suffer from various genetic diseases.
Below we will show you the diseases that occur regularly in the breed and that, on occasions, are also related to irresponsible breeding:
- Retinal dysplasia: It is an abnormal development of the retina and usually causes visual impairment or blindness. There are three ways, and, unfortunately, it is not known how form 1 affects a dog’s vision. There is no treatment.
- Entropion: This eye disease causes the dog’s eyelid to bend inward, to irritate the eye, and even causing severe visual impairment. It is surgically corrected when the dog is an adult.
- Portosystemic shunt: it generally appears when the dog is still a puppy. It is a defect in the liver’s circulation, causing the blood to pass to the vena cava without having filtered and intoxication of the dog, which can also generate neurological problems. Surgery is required for treatment.
- Tracheal collapse: consists of a narrowing of the trachea that causes a dry cough in the dog. It generally appears after physical exercise or before the intake of water or food. It is widespread in “teacup” Yorkies. It can be controlled with the use of medication.
- Patellar luxation: this is a displacement of the patella and may be caused by a malformation. Sometimes it can be repositioned in the same place, but the veterinarian must transfer it to others. In the long run, patellar luxation can lead to osteoarthritis due to joint changes. Depending on the severity of the case, the dog may require surgery.
Apart from these diseases that we have mentioned, the Yorkshire terrier is also susceptible to the following pathologies, generally with a lower incidence:
- Hydrocephalus: This pathology causes cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in the cavities of the brain, causing abnormal movements, seizures, vision problems, and obvious pain, among others. Medication is generally used, although drainage may be necessary.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: it refers to a deterioration of the retina, and although it generally appears when the dog is elderly, in some cases, it can occur earlier. There is no treatment.
- Cataracts: this disease causes the opacity of the lens of the dog’s eye, causing visual impairment and even blindness. It can be removed by surgery.
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: this is a deficient production of tears that causes dryness in the eye. Later, irritation, ulcers, scars, and even blindness may appear. It can be controlled by keeping the eye moist.
- Alopecia: This is a specific type of alopecia in dogs with a particular coat pattern, such as the Yorkshire. Hair grows uneven, and hair loss appears. A periodic treatment based on moisturizing rinses, drugs, and shampoos to control hair breakage is expected.
- Congenital hypotrichosis: it is another problem with the dog’s skin. It consists of a loss of fur due to the lack of hair follicles. The teeth or sweat glands may be affected and is permanent.
- Cryptorchidism: It is also known as “retention of the testicles” and occurs when the testicles do not descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. If at six months a male dog does not show testicles, we will find ourselves facing cryptorchidism. Requires castration.
- Cushing syndrome: also known as “hyperadrenocorticism,” consists of an endocrine disorder due to an excess of cortisol. It affects the metabolism and behavior of the dog. It can be treated surgically if there is a tumor or by using medication to control cortisol.
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease: appears in young or puppy dogs of small breeds and causes degeneration or necrosis of the femur’s head. The dog that suffers from it has severe pain and lameness.
- Shaker syndrome: It can be identified by a general tremor of the body and usually manifests in young dogs. It causes difficulty walking and can be treated by specific pharmacology.
- Patent ductus arteriosus affects female dogs with a higher incidence and causes blood to circulate unnecessarily through the heart, causing terminal heart failure. It requires immediate surgery during the first 24 or 48 hours of the puppy’s life.
- Urolithiasis is also known as “stones” or “calculi” that form when urine crystallizes. It usually causes bacterial infection and may require the use of medication and surgery.
Uncommon Yorkie Diseases
Finally, we will mention two less common diseases but also present in the breed, according to the consensus between veterinarians and researchers:
Corneal dystrophy: it is an abnormality that affects the cornea, generally both, and that causes chronic or recurrent ulcers. Depending on the type, the dog may need medication or surgery to treat it.
Dermal sinus: a malformation causes it during the development of the embryo that causes an aperture in the back, where sebum, dead cells, and hair accumulate, causing infection and pain. Surgical removal is required.
Symptoms of aging in a Yorkshire terrier
As with any living being, every self-respecting life, one day comes to an end with death. Sadly, also for our dear Yorkies.
Apart from age, which is a clear indicator to know the vital stage in which our dog is, there are a series of symptoms or signs that can help us identify that the animal has reached old age.
Decreased activity (Yorkshire terriers are a breed characterized primarily by their high level of training and nervousness) and vigor are two of the main maturity symptoms.
In particular, this breed is prone to the loss of teeth during adulthood and maturity, with the inconvenience of food and bad breath. For this reason, it is essential to carry out good care and maintenance of our dog’s teeth.
Finally, the coat can decrease its density, and -as we mentioned before-, it is possible to observe the first signs of visual and auditory fatigue, among other things.
To delay the appearance of all these symptoms, it is necessary to take care of and pamper our pet as much as possible from the first moment he arrives home.
The life expectancy of a Yorkshire terrier
At home, Yorkshire terriers live an average of 12 years. There are instances when a dog has lived to be 16 years of age with proper care and proper nutrition. The accepted standard for the description of the breed involves 7 to 9 years. The genetic inheritance and the diseases transmitted at the age of the puppy have a significant influence on life expectancy.
The better the dog’s diet, the fewer problems arise with age. Another weak point in York is the internal organs. If the owner has the opportunity, it is worth planning a comprehensive annual examination of the animal.
Males have a longer lifespan than female dogs, which is due to the reproductive system’s peculiarities. Oncological diseases of the genitals significantly reduce the lifespan of the Yorkshire terrier. Also, after birth, there are other complications.
How to increase the number of years of a Yorkie?
If the puppy is bought from the kennel, it has good heredity; it receives all the necessary vaccines and can live in the family for a long time. It is the owner’s power to maximize life expectancy, but this will require a lot of attention from the dog.
Yorkshire Terriers must eat well, have a balanced diet. Food can be at home or ready, as long as it remains of high quality throughout life. The critical role is played by the freshness of the products used, the proportion.
The food should not be prepared in the tray with the expectation of the day but small portions. It is essential to follow the diet; the dog should not overeat. An uncontrolled diet leads to digestion and obesity problems.
Pest and malnourished dogs, especially at a young age, should receive all the necessary vitamins and trace elements from the food consumed. Lack of sufficient calories leads to decreased activity, hair and teeth are affected, and overall health deteriorates. If York is malnourished, he develops hypoglycemia, which in turn causes the animal to die.
When the dog owner does not have enough time to prepare natural food, he prefers to use a commercial product. Among the wide range, it is essential to choose the one that matches the animal’s breed and age. Some foods on sale are designed for a therapeutic effect; that is, they contain additional elements that make a chronically ill animal feel better.
The care and maintenance conditions are two other factors that affect the life expectancy of a pet. Yorkies don’t have an undercoat, so they can often feel cold. This breed is exclusively kept in the house, and not on the street. During their daily walk, they need clothes that will become additional protection against cold and drafts. They should not protect only the body but also the paws. Dog shoes are available as an option.
Pay special attention to their fur, which requires daily care. Ticks help frequent combing. If the coat is not combed, the animal will begin to hurt the bacteria accumulated under the felted hair. Often there are formed bald spots; the infection starts to develop.
Breeders prefer to shave the dog, removing excess hair where it only interferes. With a haircut, Yorkies look incredibly handsome.
Take great care of a Yorkie’s teeth. It is advisable to use specialized tools that are easy to find in a pet store or veterinary pharmacy. There are also brushes for sale. Dogs learn hygiene from early childhood. To get rid of tartar, help with unique toys, cartilage bones.
Older Yorkers eat foods that do not require prolonged chewing because they lose their teeth. An older dog needs more attention, and chronic diseases start to escalate. You need to see the vet more often if you want your pet to live long.
The owner must save York from overwork, hypothermia, and overeating. It is necessary to introduce additional vitamins into the diet to eliminate stressful situations for the animal. An old Yorkshire terrier with already weak bones becomes fragile; even a small jump can lead to a severe injury.
The bottom line
To resume, with a proper diet, ling and regular walk, and the support of a good veterinarian, your Yorkie could live up to 20 years old! Remember to always keep your dog’s vaccination record up to date, consulting with the professional which optional vaccines, vitamins, or food supplements are recommended for your pet.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on What do most Yorkies die from?
What do Yorkies usually die from?
Yorkies usually die from respiratory disease—the hold of death amongst adult Yorkies, accounting for 16% of all deaths. Yorkshire Terriers hold the third-highest rate of deaths by respiratory disease in dogs, behind the Bulldog at 18.2% and the Borzoi at 16.3%.
What age is considered old for a Yorkie?
The age of 10 years is already considered old for a Yorkie. However, some Yorkies can live up to 20 years, depending on their nutrition, exercise, and general well-being.
How do I know if my Yorkie is dying?
You know if a Yorkie is dying when he presents the following signs: loss of interest in his favorite activities, extreme fatigue, loss of bladder and bowel control, and appetite change. It is better to consult the veterinarians as soon as you notice something different in your dog’s wellbeing.
Are Yorkies good pets to have?
Yorkies are considered good pets to have, and they are trendy dogs. They are great family pets, are hypoallergenic, and are believed to be very friendly and affectionate.
Why are Yorkies so spoiled?
Some consider Yorkies spoiled pets because, being a small breed, it is prone to develop small-sized dogs’ behavior issues. Owners need to be aware of this and train their dogs. They can still bite and do a lot of damage.