Nutrition and Care for Yorkies
Nutrition is VERY IMPORTANT for Yorkies
Our Yorkies and their adorable puppies are fed Purina Pro Plan Focus. We strongly recommend this food for your new puppy or adult. Purina Pro Plan Focus Puppy Toy Breed Formula Dry Dog Food is made with the smallest puppies in mind. The small kibble size is simple for little jaws to handle, and the protein-packed formula is filled with DHA, calcium, and phosphorous to help your growing pal develop healthy eyes, bones, and teeth.
- Added calcium strengthens teeth and bones
- Smaller kibble size made for toy breeds
- Prebiotic fiber improves digestion
Yorkies are generally a very healthy breed of dog and don't require much maintenance. There are however some things to be aware of and look out for when purchasing/raising a yorkie. Below you will find some of the things to be aware of and information on signs and symptoms/treatment:
Hypoglycemia- Low blood sugar in puppies, is caused by fasting (too much time between meals). In rare cases hypoglycemia may continue to be a problem in mature, usually very small, Yorkies. But is most often seen in Yorkie puppies at 5 to 16 weeks of age. Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, and a change in diet or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can also be the result of a bacterial infection, parasite, or portosystemic liver shunt. Hypoglycemia causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless (glassy-eyed), shaky, uncoordinated, since the brain relies on sugar to function. During a hypoglycemic attack, the puppy usually has very pale or grey gums. The puppy also may not eat unless force-fed. Hypoglycemia and dehydration seem to go hand-in-hand, and force-feeding or injecting fluids may also be necessary. Additionally, a hypoglycemic Yorkie may have a lower than normal body temperature and, in extreme cases, may have a seizure or go into a coma. A dog showing symptoms should be given sugar in the form of corn syrup or can be treated by a veterinarian immediately. In severe cases it can be fatal.
Liver Shunt - is a blood vessel that shunts or deverts around the liver. In an unborn fetus the liver shunt is is the means by which food, blood and oxygen are passed from the mother to the unborn puppy. In a normal healthy puppy the liver shunt disappears as the puppy develops and the puppy's liver takes over. Note a shunt of this type is probably genetic in origin and is usually diagnosed within the first year of life. When a shunt does not disappear, the puppy's system in not able to properly process the toxins that naturally accumulate in blood. The liver's purpose is to filter these toxins out of the system, but in the case of a puppy with a shunt, part or all of the blood bypasses the liver. Over time, toxins may accumulate to a degree which can be fatal. The level of seriousness presented by a shunt depends on the percentage of blood that bypasses the liver. The smaller the percentage, the less serious the problem.
Symptoms and Signs: Symptoms of liver shunt may include excessive drinking, depression, weakness, poor appetite, frequent urination, vomiting, drooling, and a general lack of interest in activities. Puppies with liver shunt are also prone to frequent urinary tract infections. If you suspect that your puppy may have a liver shunt, observe him or her closely after they have eaten. A dramatic increase in the severity of symptoms is a sign of liver shunt. Your puppy may also exhibit unusual behaviors, such as running in circles. Although less common, you should be aware that liver shunts can develop in older Yorkies. The symptoms are the same as discussed of the case of a puppy.
Treatment: If your Yorkie displays the symptoms discussed above, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. A veterinarian can perform conclusive tests to determine whether your puppy has a liver shunt and recommend an course of treatment. The treatment required depends on the severity of the liver shunt. All treatments are intended to eliminate the symptoms, as the root cause is untreatable. Treatment may range from restricted diets for mild cases to surgery for more severe cases. Sadly, not all cases of liver shunt are treatable. In these cases, the puppy may be euthanized to avoid extended pain and suffering. Any reputable breeder will be aware of any cases of liver shunt in their bloodlines and strive to avoid a recurrence. Virtually all reputable breeders guarantee their puppies to be free of genetic defects. If your puppy is diagnosed with liver shunt, contact the breeder immediately. Lastly, be aware that while liver shunt is genetic, it is not fully understood and thus not always preventable. Even the best of breeders may occasionally have puppies that are afflicted by liver shunt.
List of Things NOT to give to a Yorkie
Chocolate, sugar, onion based products, greenies, and rawhides. Also, make sure your medication bottles are never within reach of your yorkie; tylenol and ibuphrophen are VERY dangerous! Any of the above can cause extreme illness to your yorkie including: convulsions, diarhea, vomiting and even death!
* VERY IMPORTANT....NEVER place a collar on your yorkie! Use ONLY correct fitting harness for your puppy/dog.
The average life span of a healthy Yorkie is 14-15 years. (Can have a life span of up to 17 years)