The Yorkie is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and for good reason!
They are adorable, smart, loyal and fun to be around.
The breed originated in England as a small terrier that was bred to hunt rats and other vermin.
However, they have become more than just a rat-hunting machine; today’s Yorkies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and playful nature.
Their short legs make them agile and nimble, and their compact bodies allow them to fit into tight spaces.
This makes them great companions for apartment dwellers who want an active pet but don’t want to sacrifice space or comfort.
Even so, as with most dog breeds, they come with their own set of illnesses. Let’s take a look at what can affect your Yorkshire Terrier.
What Are The Health Issues With The Yorkie?
Although the Yorkie has been bred to be a very friendly and energetic companion, it can also cause some health problems if you aren’t careful.
Some common issues include hip dysplasia, heart disease, allergies, skin conditions and respiratory diseases.
If your Yorkie has any of these issues, it is important to get him checked by a veterinarian so he can receive proper treatment.
How Can I Help My Yorkie Avoid Common Health Problems?
It is important to keep up on routine veterinary care for your Yorkie. Regular checkups will help prevent many health problems from developing.
Make sure to give your Yorkie plenty of exercise and play time each day. You should also ensure that he gets enough sleep at night.
If you notice any changes in his behavior or appearance, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss, contact your vet immediately.
It may be necessary to take your Yorkie to the emergency room if his condition worsens.
What Causes Yorkie Back Leg Problems?
A Yorkie has a very short body and legs. This makes them prone to hip dysplasia.
The problem occurs because their hips aren’t strong enough to support their spine.
When they walk or run, their hips collapse under their body weight. This puts pressure on their spinal cord and nerves.
Hip dysplasia is caused by a lack of calcium in the bones. Calcium is needed to build strong bones.
If your dog isn’t getting enough calcium, his bones won’t get strong. Your vet can test your dog’s blood levels of calcium.
If he has low levels, he may need extra calcium supplements.
What Are Some Signs That My Dog Might Have Hip Dysplasia?
If you notice any of these signs, it could be time for an x-ray:
- Your dog limps when walking
- He walks with his tail between his legs
- His hind legs don’t work well together
- He doesn’t want to jump up onto furniture
- He gets stuck while trying to climb stairs
- He falls down easily
- He seems stiff when he stands
- He has trouble going up steps
How Do I Know If My Dog Needs Surgery?
Your veterinarian will perform an examination and x-rays to determine whether your dog needs surgery.
Surgery can help strengthen weak joints and repair damaged cartilage. It also helps prevent future joint damage.
Surgery usually involves putting metal pins through both sides of the joint. These pins hold the joint together until it heals.
To keep your dog from pulling out the pins, a bandage must be wrapped around the area.
What Happens After Surgery?
After surgery, your dog should start eating normally again. He should gain weight as usual.
You shouldn’t see any difference in him right away. But over time, your dog should become more active and energetic.
Do I Need To Take Special Precautions Before Surgery?
Yes! Before your dog undergoes surgery, make sure he has plenty of water. Also, make sure he eats a good diet to give him energy.
Don’t feed him food just before surgery.
What About After Surgery?
You should continue to monitor your dog’s progress at home. Make sure he drinks lots of water.
Check his gait regularly to see how he is doing. Ask your vet if there is anything else you should be doing.
Can I Treat Hip Dysplasia Myself?
No. Hip dysplasia requires veterinary care. However, you can help your dog stay healthy by making sure he exercises every day.
Exercise strengthens muscles and builds bone density. It also improves balance and coordination.
The best way to avoid this condition is to make sure your dog gets regular exercise alongside a healthy and well balanced diet.
Is Hip Dysplasia More Common In Older Yorkshire Terriers?
Yes. Hip dysplasia is most common in dogs that are two years old or older.
This is because the growth plates in their hips have closed. Once the growth plate closes, it stays closed.
What Is The Treatment For Hip Dysplasia?
There is no cure for hip dysplasia. There are treatments available, however, such as physical therapy and medication.
Physical therapy focuses on strengthening the muscles and improving range of motion.
Medications can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
How Long Does Recovery Last?
Recovery depends on the severity of the problem. Dogs who receive treatment early in life often do not require surgery.
Those who have severe problems may need surgery. The recovery period varies depending on the type of surgery performed.
Dogs with hip dysplasia usually begin showing signs within the first year of age. They may limp, walk awkwardly, or even fall down.
If they are treated soon enough, they may recover without needing surgery.
If untreated, dogs with hip dysplasia develop arthritis. Arthritis causes bones to wear down faster than normal.
Eventually, the bones break down completely.
How Can I Prevent Hip Dysplasia From Occurring Again?
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of exercise. Regular exercise keeps muscles strong and prevents them from becoming stiff.
Also, make sure your dog eats a high quality diet. A poor diet leads to weak joints and bones.
Finally, don’t let your dog get too fat. Obesity puts extra stress on joints. Your dog will suffer from arthritis sooner if he becomes overweight.
Hip Dysplasia is one of those conditions that many people overlook. Even though it is not life threatening, it does cause pain and discomfort.
By being aware of what causes it and knowing how to prevent it, you can enjoy your furry friend for years to come.