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Yorkshire Terrier General Information

[caption id="attachment_3239" align="alignleft" width="500" caption="yorkshire terrier"]yorkshire terrier[/caption]

Yorkshire Terrier Colors: Black Tan, Blue Gold, Blue Tan, Black Gold

General Information

Life span: 10-15 years

Size: Sometimes called a Yorkie is a toy sized dog that you will find in sizes from 6 to 12 inches tall. Some will be as little as 2 1/2 Lbs up to 12-14 Lbs. The standard for a Yorkie is not more then 7 Lbs and not over 7 inches tall for shows.

Coat: Main body has darker colors such as black or blue with head and chest lighter tan or gold colors. Hair is long, straight, and glossy with silky texture. The coat when cared for can be as as long as to drag the ground. But most of the time it's kept in what is called a puppy cut about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long.

Appearance: Compact body, small erect V shaped ears. Medium dark eyes, tails are usually docked. Head is small with short muzzle. Being a true terrier that was bred to fight rats its hard to believe they could look so beautiful when groomed for shows.

Temperment: Active, tough, ready to romp whenever possible. A Yorkshire Terrier is a verry affectionate and loveing friend. They will run and play with children all day or sit on your lap for hours. They are also a good guard dog despite their size. Yorkies are easy to potty train and quick to learn.

The four most important congenital health problems are

Tracheal collapse, Patellar luxation, Retinal dysplasis, Portosystemic shunt (Liver Shunt) Yorkie breed. These four disorders are somewhat common in them and can seriously affect the health of your yorkie pet and may require medical or surgical attention.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a narrowing of the inner diameter of the trachea, that fluctuates with the stage of the respiratory cycle. When the yorkshire terrier breathes it causing a harsh cough. Made of cartilage the rings of the trachea lose their ability to maintain their shape, and collapse. Most often this disorder is seen in middle-aged toy and miniature breeds. Chronic respiratory infection, obesity, and heart disease can all contribute to the development of the condition, but it appears that there is also a congenital deficiency (yorkie is born with it) in the make-up of the trachea itself.

Patellar Luxation

The knee cap (patella) normally fits into a groove in the thigh bone (femur). The patella slides up and down in this groove as the leg bends and straightens. Patellar luxation means that the knee cap has slipped out of the groove. Your yorkie will be lame when the patella is out of place. There are several reasons why this happens, including malformation of the groove. Luxation may happen only occasionally, or may happen continuously. The knee cap may pop back into the groove on its own, or your veterinarian may need to push it back into place. Over time your yorkshire terrier may develop other degenerative joint changes, such as osteoarthritis.

Retinal Dysplasis

The normal retina lines the back of the eye. The retinal cells receive light from the external environment and transmit the information to the brain where it is interpreted to become vision. In retinal dysplasia, there is abnormal development of the retina, present at birth. The disorder can be inherited, or it can be acquired as a result of a viral infection or some other event before the yorkie pups were born.

There are 3 forms of retinal dysplasia

1. Folding of 1 or more area(s) of the retina. This is the mildest form, and the significance to the dog's vision is unknown.

2. Geographic - areas of thinning, folding and disorganization of the retina.

3. Detached - severe disorganization associated with separation (detachment) of the retina. The geographic and detached forms cause some degree of visual impairment, or blindness.

Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt)

Portosystemic shunts may be acquired secondary to another disease, or they may be congenital - that is the yorkshire terrier is born with a shunt. A congenital shunt usually occurs as a single abnormal blood vessel that is a remnant of normal embryonic development. These shunts are defined as intra-hepatic or extra-hepatic depending on the location of the blood vessel in relation to the liver. In a yorkie with a portosystemic shunt (PSS) there is abnormal blood flow in the liver. In a portosystemic shunt, as the name implies, portal blood by-passes the liver and goes directly to the systemic venous circulation (caudal vena cava). Blood should flow from the digestive tract to the liver via the portal system into the blood vessels of the liver, and then to the caudal vena cava which is the large blood vessel carrying blood back to the heart One important function of the liver is to clear toxins, many of which are by-products of protein digestion, from the blood. In PSS, these toxins are not cleared, and circulate in the body. This causes the clinical signs associated with PSS, many of which are neurological. The complex of neurological and behavioural signs caused by liver dysfunction is called hepatic encephalopathy. Most yorkshire terriers with congenital portosystemic shunts show clinical signs before 6 months of age. Where signs are subtle, the condition may not be diagnosed until much later.

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