Heath Problems Associated with Yorkshire Terriers People confuse Silky Terriers with YorkshireTerriers . The heath problems listed are NOT a problem with responsibly bred Silky Terriers www.delayrekennel.com
Reason for this PresentationFrustration. I have bred the Silky Terrier since 1969. In the last 4 or 5 years I am finding many Yorkshire Terrier “sellers” are calling their oversized Yorkshires the Silky Terrier variety and even calling them Silky/Yorkies. They are not the same breed. They are very similar in looks but are separate breeds.There are approximately 35,000 litters of Yorkshire Terriers born in the USA annually . Silky Terriers about 400.Because of over breeding and indiscriminate breeding the Yorkshire has serious health problems that we do not see in the Silky. The Yorkshire is the number one choice of the illegal puppy importers, followed by the Maltese, Shih Tzu and their mixes.
Hypoglycemia : Low Blood Sugar Seen in puppies 6 to 9 weeks Can be fatal . Often occurs without warning. Causes : Stress, missing a meal, chilling, too much play and upset stomach. Typical signs: listlessness depression, staggering gate, muscle weakness, and tremors especially in the face Severe sugar drop seizures develop, or puppy become stuperous and goes into a coma and without help dies. Sometimes a puppy appears fine and goes into a coma Prolonged or repeated attacks can cause brain damage A Veterinarian can rule out other cause such as liver shunt, infections, or an enzyme or hormone deficiency
Prevention : Treatment Feed 5 meals a day , It must be top quality high in protein, fat and carbohydrates. Your Veterinarian will recommend the food. Make sure they do not become chilled or over tired. Many outgrow hypoglycemia but for some it is a lifelong problem. If puppy is having an attack, is awake and can swallow, give him corn syrup or sugar water in a syringe. Tilt the chin upward and slowly administer into the cheek pouch which is in the back between the molars and cheek. He will swallow the liquid . Your Veterinarian can show you how to do this. If this is the first attack, put the syrup on the gums and take him to the Vet If the puppy is unconscious do not give liquid. Rub some corn syrup on the gums and take him immediately to a Veterinarian . He will need IV treatment and possibility treatment for brain swelling Other breeds affected: Chihuahuas, Maltese, Shih Tzu and Pomeranian and their mixes.
Hydrocephalus Excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain Causes seizures, partial or complete blindness, and dementiaTreatment includes corticosteroids and diuretics ,sometimes surgery. Must be done prior to brain damage Hydrocephalic dogs often appear dull and have limited ability to learn. Other breeds at risk : Maltese, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Chihuahua, Lhasa Apso, Pug Pictures of puppies with Hydrocephalus Yorkshire, Chihuahua and Pug
Portosystemic Shunts Abnormal veins that lets the blood from the intestine bypass the liver causing ammonia and other toxins not to be metabolized or removed from circulation causing hepatic encephalopathy . Usually symptoms develop around 6 months of age. Sometimes not until middle or old age. Yorkshires are at increased risk for congenital shunts outside the liver Cornell University is doing research on liver shunts hoping to isolate the DNA and eventually have a blood test to eliminate carriers in breeding programs. They included , Maltese, Cairn Terriers, Papillion, Havanese, Miniature Schnauzer. Tibetan Spaniel, Yorkshire and Norfolk Terrier Below is a link to a letter sent to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. The prevalence of PSVA or MVD varied 18 to 100% with a medium of 60% ( 24 separate families.) http://www.ytca.org/health_centermessage.pdf
Symptoms Signs may be quite vague, can include: Loss of appetite Lethargy Weakness Poor balance Disorientation Blindness Seizures Coma Slow growth in a puppySurgery is usually required.
In Conclusion The three health concerns mentioned are all seen in young puppies. They are all life threatening. A good breeder would not sell a puppy with hypoglycemia or hydrocephalus. They would know they had it prior to selling Unfortunately liver shunt will not show up for several months. I don’t know of any Silky Terrier being bred by responsible breeders having any of these concerns. Having bred Silkies for 43 years have never had Hydrocephalus or Hypoglycemia. I guarantee my puppies for 1 year against major genetic health concerns and have never seen nor had any claim for liver shunts. That being said, any dog purebred or mix can have genetic problems. You need to be educated on the problems and choose a good breeder. Many states including California have puppy lemon laws. In most cases only Pet Shops and dog breeder who sell 3 or more litter are required to stand behind the health. Occasional breeders (1or 2 litters per yr) , puppy brokers and illegally imported puppies offered for sale in private residences are exempt. I have enclosed a link to a very good site. You can see what problem may occur in any breed of dog. The more popular the breed the more likely a problem might occur. For instance the Silky Terrier list 7 health concerns the Yorkshire 21 . Only buy a puppy from a breeder that will guarantee their puppies in writing. If looking at mixes combine both breed concerns.http://www.upei.ca/~cidd/intro.htm