All small breed dogs are fragile when they are born. Your puppy is no exception. It is perhaps due to their size, that sometimes you are particularly concerned about their health and you try to prevent them having all kinds of daily accidents and traumas (falling off the sofa, being stamped on, getting hit by a closing door, etc.). However, no one can escape their genes, and diseases that are common to their breed can develop.

Some conditions are more common to or characteristic of a particular breed. This does not mean, necessarily, that your <38>Yorkie is going to suffer from them, but there is always a possibility:

Hereditary retinal dysplasia

The retina is the layer of cells located inside the eye that enable vision, and usually it is completely smooth. This pathology appears when the retina presents creases. In serious cases a detachment of the retina can even occur, resulting in sight loss. Diagnosis is carried out between 6 and 8 weeks of age.


Neurological diseases

These affect the development of the nervous system; including the brain and the spinal cord. Some of the neurological diseases that are typical in Yorkshires are:

  • Atlantoaxial subluxation

    This is a change in the first two cervical vertebrae that compresses the spinal cord, and that during their first year of life can lead to problems walking.

  • Hepatic encephalopathy

    Liver problems can affect the brain and other nervous tissues. It occurs most frequently during the first 12 months.

  • Hydrocephalus

    This is an excessive accumulation of fluid inside the skull and the spinal cord. This accumulation applies excessive pressure on the neurones, inhibiting learning and making their character change.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease

This causes the death of cells and tissues in the hip, generating osteoarthritis. It affects males more often than females and it appears between 3 and 4 months of age, although it can go unnoticed up to 6 months. If your Yorkshire suffers from this disease, they probably do not support the affected limb on the ground. It can be corrected with a simple surgical intervention.


Elbow dysplasia

This is a dislocation of the joint. It can manifest itself from the age of 4 to 6 weeks. Treatment is usually surgical and varies according to the impairment that the dog is showing.

Knowing about these conditions, giving your dog the necessary care and consulting your vet is essential to give your Yorkshire puppy the best possible quality of life.

Articles that might
interest you