Yorkshire Terriers have quite a few health issues that can cost a pretty penny at the vet. Before adding one to your household, be sure you are able to take care of one financially, should any of these issues arise. Pet health insurance is also a great idea for this breed. Whether you have a Yorkie already, or are thinking of adding one to your family, you should be aware of the common medical issues. The following are the top three health concerns for your Yorkshire Terrier.
#1 – Portosystemic Shunt
Yorkies are over 50 percent more likely to develop portosystemic shunts than any other breed (JAVMA published study, 2003). A shunt causes blood to bypass the liver and go directly into the circulatory system, without being detoxed first. This means toxins, proteins and nutrients end up in the systemic circulation. This is a congenital defect.
#2 – Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease
Yorkshire Terrriers are 38.5 percent more likely than other breeds to have this disease, according to a study published in the Journal of American Animal Hospital Association (2002). Yorkies afflicted have limited blood supply to the head of rear leg bones, causing the bones to shrink. The sooner it is detected and addressed, the better.
#3 – Teeth and Gum Issues
Like other small breeds, the small mouth of the Yorkshire Terrier causes health issues due to overcrowding. Overcrowded teeth develop more plaque and tartar than teeth that are normally spaced, and this causes an overrepresentation of dental disease, such as gingivitis, in the breed. Keeping your Yorkie’s teeth clean along with regular dental check-ups is very important. Dental disease can lead to fatal infections in the heart and/or brain.
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