Skip to Content

What are Common Problems with Aging Yorkies?

Portrait of a Yorkie outdoors with blue skies in the background

The average lifetime of Yorkie terriers is 12 to 15 years, which is less than that of other breeds. But like other breeds, Yorkies are vulnerable to several illnesses as they age, including hypoglycemia, periodontal disorders, and renal conditions. Keep reading to learn about the most common problems with aging Yorkies and learn how you can deal with them.

What is the life expectancy for a Yorkie? Click here to find out.

Common Problems with Aging Yorkies

Notably, determining whether or not your Yorkie is maturing poses the largest obstacle. For the remainder of their lives, they will maintain their current size, which is rather little. You can consider someone eight years or older to be a senior since people typically live for roughly 15 years.

They tend to lose their attention-seeking characteristics at this point. Even worse, health issues start to manifest. No matter how well-maintained your Yorkie is daily, the following health issues become difficult to overlook as they age.

Legg-Perthes Disease

Older Yorkie laying on hardwood floors

Hip joint issues are a characteristic of the condition, which is regarded as one of the inherited health issues in Yorkies. The absence of blood flow causes the head of the femur bone to become weak. As a result, the hip joint gets distorted and loses its vigor. It takes the deterioration around 4 to 6 months to start showing.

A Yorkshire Terrier with it becomes lame, walks with a limp, and is in agony. The disease is most effectively treated by surgery. Supplements have the potential to significantly enhance health.

What is the most common cause of death in Yorkies? Click here to learn more.

Tracheal Collapse

Rings of cartilage shape and support the trachea (windpipe). The weakening of the cartilage rings leads to tracheal collapse. As a result, the tracheal lining becomes irritated, and the windpipe narrows. The symptoms of this condition in dogs include gagging, a dry, hacking cough, and hard breathing.

Controlling the cough and bolstering cartilage with supplements like glucosamine is part of the treatment. Use a harness rather than a collar to protect your dog’s throat and keep pressure off the airway.

Dental Issues

Person holding a Yorkies snout wile scraping their teeth with a metal instrument

Unfortunately, Yorkies frequently have dental problems. That includes tooth decay, gum disease, periodontal disease, loss of teeth, and jaw bone deterioration. Regular and consistent at-home dental cleanings and care should be provided by owners. When necessary, veterinary professionals should provide preventive care, cleaning, and treatment.

What is the oldest Yorkie on record? Click here to find out.

Liver Shunt

Compared to all other breeds combined, Yorkshire Terriers have a nearly 36 times higher chance of having shunts. A liver shunt, also known as a portosystemic shunt or PSS, interferes with the liver’s regular blood flow. There will either be little blood flow or none at all.

When veins are working properly, blood may enter the liver, travel through it, and then leave the liver to go to other regions of the body, including the heart. The presence of a shunt makes the blood avoid the liver, which it would otherwise do. Without this regular blood flow, waste products such as ammonia, poisonous to the body, begin to accumulate.

The time it takes for a dog to become unwell depends on how much the vein is “shunted” (slow or fast). Constipation, diarrhea, drooling, excessive thirst and urination, lethargy, slow development, vomiting, and disorientation are among the symptoms. If left untreated, this may result in seizures and eventually cause death. A low-protein diet and medications may be used to treat minor conditions. Surgery is necessary in moderate to severe cases.

Cognitive Dysfunction

Yorkie laying on a fuzzy blue dog bed

Age-related brain degeneration can cause canine cognitive impairment, which can manifest itself in various ways. Your pet may start becoming disoriented, forgetting past tricks or behaviors, disrupting their sleep, or compulsively pacing and vocalizing for no apparent reason. It has been observed that senior Yorkies are more likely to withdraw from humans when they have cognitive problems.

Although there are few treatment options available, there are numerous things your veterinarian may do to assist raise the quality of life for your pet. These include prescription drugs and a diet rich in antioxidants and fatty acids.

Why Does My Senior Yorkie Shake?

Senior Yorkie laying on a concrete outdoors

It is only natural to worry the worst if you are a new dog owner and notice your Yorkie shaking out of the blue. especially if there is uncontrolled shaking. Although you are unsure of the cause, you are aware that your dog’s shaking is abnormal.

There are several causes for your Yorkie’s shaking. Some of these, such as nausea, tension and anxiety, poisoning, and hypoglycemia, are more significant than others. It might be a result of environmental factors, such as the temperature, or perhaps your dog is just overexcited. You should be able to read your Yorkshire Terrier’s body language and behavior if you’ve had it for a while.

What Are the Signs of Heart Failure in Yorkies?

Senior Yorkie laying outdoors in clover and weeds

The most typical clinical symptom of congestive heart failure (CHF) is a chronic cough that is accompanied by breathing problems. The primary cause of this is pulmonary edema or the buildup of fluid in the lungs. Additionally, the enlarged heart will press up against the trachea, irritating it and possibly triggering a cough.

Many dogs with CHF get tired more quickly, have less energy, and don’t play or walk as much as they used to. Other symptoms of heart failure include heavy panting, wheezing, prolonged appetite loss, a bloated tummy, and pale or blue gums. Due to the impact of CHF on various physiological systems, the dog will have widespread weight loss and muscular wastage. Notify your veterinarian right once if a Yorkie with a heart murmur exhibits any of these symptoms.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.