Frequent Health Problems in Yorkshire Terriers

The Yorkshire Terrier has undergone very careful selection as a companion dog. As a result, this breed is frequently exceedingly resilient. It may, however, be prone to genetic illnesses like any other dog. In order to be able to identify the symptoms as quickly as possible, you will learn about some of the most prevalent hereditary disorders that affect Yorkshire Terriers in this article. All of these disorders can be passed on to puppies, so breeding should not be permitted for dogs that have any of them.

What genetic disorders affect the Yorkshire Terrier breed?

One of the smallest dog breeds—indeed, of any dog breed—is the Yorkshire Terrier, sometimes known as the Yorkie. The breed originated in Yorkshire, England in the nineteenth century, and in recent years, it has gained popularity as a companion dog.

Yorkshire Terriers

Image Credit : Alexander Novikov

Modern dog breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier, have a relatively small number of founder animals and continue to do so. These founder animals are sometimes chosen from diverse breeds to give the new breed intriguing traits that are present in the originals. 

The illnesses covered in the sections below are thought to run in the breed either in a hereditary or somewhat common fashion. In other words, compared to other breeds or the overall canine population, this breed has a higher prevalence of these disorders.

It should be emphasised that because these famous breeds are frequently bred without consideration, the prevalence of hereditary disorders is higher.

Continue reading our Yorkshire Terrier breed file to learn more about this breed’s physical traits, personality, history, and upbringing.

Yorkshire Terriers 2

Image Credit : handicappedpets

Yorkshire Terrier health issues that are most prevalent

The Yorkshire Terrier’s most prevalent ailments are on this list, and every effort is being made to completely eradicate them. These illnesses can have a major impact on an animal’s health and call for medical or surgical treatment. As a dog ages, the majority of these diseases’ symptoms deteriorate. It is crucial to find them as soon as possible because of this.

The following are the inherited conditions that affect the Yorkshire breed most frequently:

Retinal dysplasia: 

Canines born with retinal dysplasia have an abnormally developing retina. Retinal dysplasia comes in three different forms, and it can sometimes result in blindness. 


When the eyelid borders invert to the inner side of the eye, the eyelashes rub against the cornea. In the long run, this may result in corneal ulcers and perhaps eyesight loss.

Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is a birth abnormality that impairs blood flow to the liver. The liver experiences irregular blood flow in animals with PSS. The removal of poisons from the bloodstream is one of the liver’s primary jobs, therefore this has extremely significant ramifications. As a result of the poisons’ effects on the brain’s capacity to stay awake, PSS is characterised by neurological symptoms. Surgery is the most effective means of treating PSS.

Yorkshire Terriers are susceptible to several health problems, including hydrocephalus, cataracts, alopecia due to thinning of colour, congenital hypotrichosis, cryptorchidism, legg-calvé-perthes disease, idiopathic generalised tremor, and urinary urolithiasis. Hydrocephalus causes abnormal cerebrospinal fluid accumulation in the brain cavities, leading to increased pressure and symptoms like dwarfism, bulging skull, abnormal movement, visual disturbances, and seizures. Cataracts cause clouding or loss of transparency in the eye’s lens, and surgical removal depends on the severity of the condition, visual impairment, and the dog’s temperament. Alopecia results in hairlessness and permanent hair loss, with no known treatments. Cryptorchidism occurs when one or both testicles do not migrate into the scrotum, and treatment involves castration. 

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a hip joint avascular necrosis, and idiopathic generalized tremor is a sudden-onset intention tremor that worsens with exercise, stress, and excitement. Urolithiasis is a kidney disease where crystals in urine form stones, causing irritation and secondary infections.

Yorkshire Terrier dogs may experience corneal dystrophy, a hereditary anomaly affecting one or more layers of the cornea, causing painful superficial ulcers. Treatment aims to remove the lesions, and surgical removal is available if erosions persist or recur frequently. Dermoid sinus, a tubular indentation in the back, may extend into the spinal canal due to an embryonic development abnormality. Infection can cause meningitis or myelitis, and successful treatment is surgical removal. Changes in eye coloration may be a result of corneal dystrophy or other eye diseases.