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One of the most popular breeds in America, Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate dogs who love playing and exploring. One of the smallest breeds, the average Yorkie weighs somewhere between four and seven pounds. When they’re not busy being energetic backyard adventurers, they have no issues curling up in an owner’s lap and being snuggled on for hours.

Like any other breed, Yorkshire Terriers have a unique set of health issues they’re most prone to. 

Otitis

One of the most common infections in dogs, especially those with floppy ears like the Yorkshire Terrier. Otitis is the chronic inflammation of the middle ear or external ear canal, with the most common symptoms being persistent head shaking and foul odor. Fortunately, this ailment is almost always treatable when diagnosed.

Periodontal Disease

A serious gum disease which can, in extreme cases, destroy the jawbone. Yorkies and other small dogs are more prone to dental diseases like this because of their compressed teeth crammed inside their narrow jaws. This dental overcrowding often results in increased plaque buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Gastritis

Gastritis refers to the uncomfortable irritation or inflammation of the stomach lining. Symptoms include bile-tinged vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Small breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and terriers are more prone to developing this, though the exact cause is unknown.

Dermatitis

This skin disorder, characterized by seemingly relentless itching on the face and feet, is especially prevalent in Yorkies due to their small size and delicate skin. Since Yorkies’ bodies are usually only a few inches from the ground, they are more prone to coming in contact with the common causes of skin irritants like pollen, mold spores and dust mites.

Gastroenteritis

The acute inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, this disorder is common in small dogs and can result in bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Unfortunately, the exact cause of this is also unknown, while the diagnosis is often based on the exclusion of all other possibilities.

Allergies

While Yorkies are one of the best breeds for owners with allergies due to their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coats, that doesn’t mean they themselves are immune to allergies of their own. The most common allergens for Yorkies are pollen, foods and flea bites, which can all lead to various health conditions if chronic allergies are left untreated.

Conjunctivitis

All dog breeds are susceptible to conjunctivitis (pink eye), so it’s no surprise we see so much of it in a breed as popular as the Yorkshire Terrier. Just like with humans, the most common symptoms are discharge, pink coloration, excessive blinking and inflammation. Luckily, pink eye is usually a minor health issue with a low cost of treatment.

Urinary Tract Infection

Yorkies are more prone to the various health issues like bladder stones that cause UTIs than many other breeds. Symptoms can include anything from cloudy urine to depression and lethargy.

Colitis

This is a broad term that can refer to any affliction of the colon that results in diarrhea which is, in extreme cases, bloody or full of mucus. Colitis is especially prominent in Yorkies, but the causes are variable; anything from dietary indiscretion to stress to worms can be the culprit.

Mass

This term refers to any seemingly unnatural skin growth which most pets inevitably develop at some point in their lives. For the majority of small toy breeds, these growths are harmless. Yorkies, however, are an exception, as cancer is their second leading cause of death. Still, half of all cancers are curable if caught early, making regular checkups and surgical removals even more imperative.

 

Protect your Yorkshire Terrier with Dog Insurance 

Thinking of bringing home a new puppy? Consider protecting them with a dog insurance policy from MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Our dog insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family member deserves.  Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.