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We hope the following information will help further educate you about Yorkies.
An educated owner is the best owner!


Yorkie Breed
Yorkie Rescue
Yorkie Health


Yorkie Breed


Where do Yorkies originate from?

"The Yorkshire Terrier traces to the Waterside Terrier, a small longish-coated dog, bluish-gray in color, weighing between 6 and 20 pounds (most commonly 10 pounds). The Waterside Terrier was a breed formed by the crossing of the old rough-coated Black-and-Tan English Terrier (common in the Manchester area) and the Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers. It was brought to Yorkshire by weavers who migrated from Scotland to England in the mid-19th century.

The Yorkshire Terrier made its first appearance at a bench show in England in 1861 as a "broken-haired Scotch Terrier". It became known as a Yorkshire Terrier in 1870 when, after the Westmoreland show, Angus Sutherland reported in The Field magazine that "they ought no longer be called Scotch Terriers, but Yorkshire Terriers for having been so improved there."[1]


Do Yorkies shed?

Yorkies are the only breed of dog that has hair and not fur.Their hair is very much like human hair. While they do not shed, they do lose some hair just as you do. This is evident most when brushing their coat, just like you will lose some hair in your brush when brushing your hair. Yorkies should be groomed every 6-8 weeks to ensure a healthy coat and skin.


What is a Teacup Yorkie?

There is no such breed as a Teacup Yorkie. Many breeders will advertise their Yorkies as Teacups because they are so small that they are the size of a teacup. Yorkies that are that small are usually not very healthy. The breed standard for a full-blooded Yorkie is to weigh between 4 lbs. and 7 lbs., however, many Yorkies weigh more than that. The very small Yorkies are often diagnosed with Liver Shunt. A liver shunt is a blood vessel that carries blood around the liver instead of through it. Liver Shunts are often hereditary, require costly surgery (running thousands of dollars), and is often fatal.



Yorkie Rescue


Where can I buy a Yorkie?

Yorkie rescue organizations are a great place to adopt a Yorkie in need. Another place would be a reputable breeder. Consult with your vet if you wish to purchase from a breeder. He or she would know which of his or her clients breed healthy pups. Please do not purchase a Yorkie from a pet store. Pet stores often get their pups from puppymills. Puppymill breeders breed hundreds of dogs, often making the dogs live outside in crates, in filth, and with little or no medical care. The dogs are bred until they can breed no longer, at which point, they are discarded.


Why do Yorkies need rescuing? I can't believe anyone would want to give them up.

We hear this a lot! There are many reasons why Yorkies end up in a rescue program, such as Yorkie Haven Rescue. Sometimes an owner passes away, and no one else in the family can care for the pup. Sometimes a family moves and cannot take their Yorkie with them, so they contact us. Other times people don't have the time to provide to their Yorkies, and feel they would be better off with a family that can provide more time and care. And many times people purchase Yorkies without fully researching the breed. Yorkies, like many small pups, are notorious for being difficult to housetrain. If you want to buy or adopt a Yorkie, you will most likely have to deal with potty accidents in your home due to their small bladders. We feel it is a small price to pay for the years of unconditional love you will receive from your loving Yorkie!


How can I help to rescue Yorkies?

Email Yorkie Haven Rescue at YorkieHavenRescue06@yahoo.com. We need volunteers to foster, sew, make crafts, process adoption applications, perform reference checks on potential adopters, help transport, and to assist with computer work. We also need donations to help pay for the medical care of our pups - all donations are tax-deducible. Every little bit of volunteering helps to save a life!



Yorkie Health


What is heartworm and how can I prevent it?

Heartworm is very painful and deadly to dogs. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes when a mosquito carrying the parasite bites a dog. The heartworms grow in the dog's heart, and can grow up to 14 inches long. They block up the heart, and cause a slow and painful death. Heartworm is easily prevented by a monthly heartworm preventative, such as Interceptor or Heartguard. These pills are very inexpensive, about $4 a month, and save your pup's life. If a dog contracts heartworm, treatment is available, however, it is very expensive and can be fatal - depending on the severity of the heartworms. So don't take a chance, set up a reminder on your calendar to give your pup his heartworm preventative pill each month.


What is collapsed trachea? I hear that a lot of Yorkies have it and is it preventable?

Collapsed trachea is very common in small breeds, and most common in Yorkies. The trachea, or windpipe, is very weak in smaller dogs, and it is suspected that collapsing trachea is a hereditary trait. When the trachea starts to collapse, it causes the pup to have difficulty breathing. Signs of a collapsing trachea are dry coughing when a pup gets excited, reverse sneezing and honking. X-rays can often show the collapse. According to the severity of the collapse, a pup can live a long life with proper care. To help lessen affects from a collapsed trachea, keep your pup at a healthy weight, ALWAYS use a harness and not a collar to walk your pup (a collar should be used solely for affixing the dog's ID tags), and lessen exposure to respiratory irritants.


Particularly dangerous to the toy and smaller breed dogs. Any kind of bacterial diarrhea can quickly dehydrate a dog, and the tinies are at greater risk, as they have little weight to lose before they are dehydrated and need IV rehydration. Your dog can get infected anywhere. Then it can be from 2-10 days after exposure, that your dog can come down with this problem. The symptoms start with vomiting, lethargy, refusing to eat, and progressing to mucous covered stool, loose stools, severe diarrhea and bloody diarrhea. It is important to have a culture done first so that you know exactly what bacteria you are treating, and get them started on antibiotics. DO NOT waste time, especially with the tiny toy dogs , as they do not have the spare fluids to lose thru diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea.


This is a disorder in which the patella (knee) slips out of the trochlear groove, usually to the medial (inside) side of the leg. It can be unilateral or bilateral, and mainly affects small and miniature breeds. It may cause severe pain, particularly at the onset of the disease when an affected puppy may be seen to run, then yelp and start to favor the affected limb. The disorder may seem minor, and the patella can be pushed back into place, but in most cases luxation recurs repeatedly. The disorder can also be very severe, with permanently fully flexed hocks and stifles with the animal moving the best it can, apparently indifferent to the deformity, and the looks of pity or slight amusement of human observers. The disease is difficult to study, since a genetic susceptibility must be present in combination with an inciting factor such as running, jumping or sudden turns that causes the knee-cap to slip out of place. In some cases, the trochlear ridges are so low or eroded or the patella is so loose, it slips free with little or no effort. The diagnosis can usually be made by palpation by a trained observer. Radiographs are definitely helpful, especially in examining the trochlear ridges for prognostic purposes. Treatment consists of slipping the patella back into place. This correction is seldom permanent, and frequent relapses occur. Surgical correction using one of 2 or 3 different techniques is a more permanent solution. The choice of technique depends on the individual case.


This is a noninflammatory avascular necrosis of the femoral neck and head that usually occurs in small breeds of dogs. The first sign of the disease may be irritability, which progresses to a chronic hind limb lameness of apparent sudden onset. The lameness may decrease as the dog ages. Pain can be elicited when the hip joint is manipulated. Leg motion is reduced, and some muscle atrophy may occur. Either one rear leg or both rear legs may be affected. Typical clinical signs and radiographs of the hip are diagnostic. There is no specific treatment. Some dogs recover reasonable function without treatment. In severe cases, removal of the head of the femur eases pain and helps restore function. Cage rest has been effective in fewer than 25% of the cases.


This condition is often referred to as a "liver shunt" but the current favored term appears to be portosystemic shunt. These have also been referred to by more exact terms since there are specific types of shunts that vary slightly. The broad categories are extrahepatic and intrahepatic shunts, depending on whether or not the shunt occurs in the liver or outside of it. Specific types of shunts are patent ductus venosus, portal-azygous, portocaval (portal-abdominal vena cava), atresia (lack of development) of the portal vein and acquired shunts that occur due to changes in blood pressure or circulation. Yorkshire terriers are reported to have a higher than normal incidence of liver shunts. They are reported to be more likely to have extra-hepatic shunts which is good since they are easier to repair. What are the signs? Most shunts cause recognizable clinical signs by the time a dog is a young adult but once in a while one is diagnosed at a later time in life. Since the severity of the condition can vary widely depending on how much blood flow is diverted past the liver it is possible for a lot of variation in clinical signs and time of onset of signs to occur. Often, this condition is recognized after a puppy fails to grow, making an early diagnosis pretty common, too. Signs of portosystemic shunts include poor weight gain, sensitivity to sedatives (especially diazepam), depression, head pressing (pushing the head against a solid object), seizures, weakness, salivation, vomiting, poor appetite, increased drinking and urinating, balance problems and frequent urinary tract disease or early onset of bladder stones. If the signs of problems increase dramatically after eating this is a strong supportive sign of a portosystemic shunt. How is Liver Shunt diagnosed? This is frustrating since there is not a test for this condition. there was a "definitive" test and there is almost one - special dyes injected into the liver circulation that show up on X-rays can outline the problem pretty clearly. Most of the time. But this is a pretty invasive test making it a poor choice for "screening" purposes. There are a number of possible abnormalities that might point towards a portosystemic shunt on routine labwork, including low BUN (blood urea nitrogen), low albumin, mild anemia, increases in ALT (serum alanine aminotransferase) or ALKP (serum alkaline phosphatase). If these hints are present, it would be a good idea to test the serum bile acid levels prior to eating and after eating. If this test is supportive of poor liver function then it may be a good idea to consider ultrasonagraphy and dye contrast X-rays. es surgery for portosystemic shunts. As far as I know, dogs with extrahepatic shunts (occuring outside the liver itself) is easier to do than surgery in dogs with intrahepatic (inside the liver) shunts. Laboratory Findings: Routine performed serum chemistries are fairly nonspecific toward confirming the diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts, but there may be a decreased total protein (primarily albumin), decreased blood glucose, decreased cholesterol, & decreased blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The uric acid levels may be elevated in a significant number of affected individuals. Acid levels are extremely important in the diagnostic screening of symptomatic potential shunts. Fasting and 2-hr. post meal blood samples are evaluated for bile acid levels. In virtually all porto-systemic shunts there will be a significant rise in the bile acid levels over normal. The use of bile acids in screening clinically normal dogs for liver shunts is not currently being advised due to the variation of normal bile acid levels in Yorkshire Terriers, & other breeds as well. Reports of recent vaccination with modified-live vaccines causing high serum bile acid levels in normal animals have not been confirmed as of this time. Liver function testing with Bromosulfaphthalein (BSP) or ammonia tolerance testing are sensitive & reliable if performed correctly. These tests measure the liver's ability to excrete/detoxify known agents, and thus measure liver function accurately.


This is a dramatic, rapid inhalation and exhalation of air through the nasopharynx. Dogs may do this when they have a mild irritation at the back of their throat. Often confused with seizuring or gasping for air, it is usually a harmless event. Reverse sneezing isn't really a health problem, but something that dog owners should be aware of as it is very common in toy breeds. It is characterized by honking, hacking or a snorting sounds. It usually happens when a dog is excited or can sometimes happen after drinking, eating, running around, or while pulling on the leash. The dog will usually extend his/her neck while gasping inwards with a distinctive snorting sound, it is reverse sneezing. Usually by gently rubbing the throat of your dog, the spasms will stop after they swallow a couple of times and that's the end of it. Other dogs respond well by taking them outside for some fresh air. Or you can plug the nose holes forcing the dog to breathe through her mouth and that will usually stop an episode as well. Reverse sneezing is a harmless condition and medical attention is not necessary. It is important to not confuse reverse sneezing with a collapsing trachea.








[1] AKC Kennel Club,  http://www.akc.org/breeds/yorkshire_terrier/history.cfm