Common Health Problems in Yorkies: Understanding and Caring for Your Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkies are small and delightful companion dogs known for their energetic and playful nature. While they generally enjoy good health, like all dog breeds, Yorkies are prone to certain health problems. Understanding these common health issues and being proactive in their care is essential to ensure your Yorkie lives a happy and healthy life. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common health problems in Yorkies and provide guidance on how to prevent and manage them.

Table of Contents

  1. Dental Problems
  2. Patellar Luxation
  3. Tracheal Collapse
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt)
  6. Eye Conditions
  7. Preventive Measures for Yorkie Health
  8. Conclusion
  9. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Dental Problems

Yorkies are prone to dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Regular dental care is crucial, including daily tooth brushing, dental examinations, and professional cleanings under anesthesia by a veterinarian.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation refers to the dislocation of the kneecap, which can cause discomfort and lameness in Yorkies. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding activities that strain the knees can help prevent this condition. If your Yorkie shows signs of limping or pain, consult with a veterinarian.

Tracheal Collapse

The trachea, or windpipe, in Yorkies can be weak and prone to collapsing, leading to breathing difficulties. Avoid using collars and opt for a harness instead to reduce pressure on the neck. Keep your Yorkie in a smoke-free environment and avoid exposure to irritants that can worsen respiratory symptoms.


Yorkies are susceptible to hypoglycemia, a condition characterized by low blood sugar levels. To prevent hypoglycemia, feed your Yorkie small, frequent meals throughout the day, provide balanced nutrition, and avoid long periods without food. If you notice signs of weakness, lethargy, or disorientation, seek immediate veterinary care.

Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt)

Liver shunt is a congenital condition where blood bypasses the liver, leading to poor detoxification. Yorkies with liver shunts may exhibit symptoms such as stunted growth, poor appetite, and neurological issues. Diagnosis is essential, and treatment options include medication, dietary management, or surgery.

Eye Conditions

Yorkies are prone to various eye conditions, including cataracts, corneal ulcers, and dry eye. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian are important for early detection and treatment. Protect your Yorkie’s eyes from injury and maintain good eye hygiene to reduce the risk of eye problems.

Preventive Measures for Yorkie Health

To promote overall health and well-being in your Yorkie, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Provide a balanced and nutritious diet suitable for small breeds.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid strain on joints and organs.
  • Keep up with vaccinations, parasite control, and regular veterinary check-ups.
  • Practice good dental hygiene and schedule professional cleanings.
  • Create a safe and stimulating environment, free from hazards and potential toxins.
  • Groom your Yorkie regularly to prevent skin issues and maintain a healthy coat.
  • Implement a regular exercise routine to keep your Yorkie physically fit.


While Yorkies are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain health problems. By understanding these common issues and taking preventive measures, you can help ensure your Yorkie leads a happy and healthy life. Regular veterinary care, a nutritious diet, dental hygiene, exercise, and a safe environment are key components of maintaining your Yorkie’s well-being.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Are Yorkies prone to allergies? Yes, Yorkies can develop allergies, particularly to environmental factors such as pollen or certain foods. If you notice signs of allergies, consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  2. Can Yorkies develop heart problems? While heart problems can occur in any dog breed, some Yorkies may be predisposed to conditions such as mitral valve disease. Regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring can help detect and manage potential heart issues.
  3. Are Yorkies prone to dental issues? Yes, Yorkies are susceptible to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care, including tooth brushing and professional cleanings, is essential to maintain good oral health.
  4. Do Yorkies require special care due to their small size? Yorkies require extra care due to their small size, including regular monitoring for health problems, providing a balanced diet suitable for small breeds, and taking precautions to prevent injuries or accidents.
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