Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are a toy breed originally bred to hunt rats in nineteenth-century clothing mills. Curious and energetic like many terriers, these dogs make excellent family pets, though they do best around adolescents rather than young children. Because they are so small, Yorkies adapt easily to small homes, travel well and require limited daily exercise. The long, silky coat of the Yorkshire Terrier is its most recognizable feature and it requires regular brushing and combing to prevent tangles and matting. Yorkies are a small breed with a big personality – they love spending time with their people and often develop a protective, loyal attachment to their care takers.
As a toy breed, Yorkshire Terriers are more susceptible than other dogs to suffer fractures and other minor injuries. Additionally, this breed is particularly susceptible to heath conditions including portosystemic shunts, bronchitis, cataracts and digestive problems. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Often genetically inherited, portosystemic shunts are a serious health problem in which blood flows around the kidney rather than through it. This results in the spread of toxins throughout the body that would normally be filtered out by the liver. This condition generally requires surgery to repair, though medications may help reduce ammonia levels in the body and alleviate some of the symptoms. Surgery for this condition typically costs between $1,200 and $4,000.
Many Yorkshire Terriers suffer from bronchitis, a condition in which the airway becomes constricted due to inflammation. This condition can be acute or chronic and treatments may involve environmental changes and medications such as corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Medications for the treatment of bronchitis usually cost between $20 and $50 per month.
Yorkies often develop eye problems like cataracts and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye. Cataracts are a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, obstructing the dog’s vision. Surgical repairs for this condition can be quite costly, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 per eye. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KVS) is diagnosed in Yorkies with inadequate tear production. This condition can be treated with cyclosporine eye drops which can cost between $30 and $100 per month depending on the dosage.
Yorkshire Terriers have a very delicate digestive system so it is often necessary to develop a regular dietary routine. Feeding a Yorkie foods outside the regular diet my result in vomiting or diarrhea. Many owners find that a combination of dry food and a small amount of wet food is enough to regulate a Yorkie’s digestion while also keeping its coat silky and smooth. If digestive problems develop, a visit to the veterinarian may be required to perform tests that can cost between $30 and $300.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.