Yorkies, or Yorkshire terriers, are a bright, popular dog. That popularity has led to a lack of careful breeding, and Yorkies of specific bloodlines are prone to some serious health complications. One such complication is allergies.
Yorkshire terriers come in two color combinations: tan with black points and blue with black points. They are small dogs, topping out at 6 to 7 inches and around 7 pounds. If they're well cared for, they can live for 12 to 15 years.
Toy Yorkies and teacup Yorkies--two of the smaller, specialty varieties--are prone to health complications that don't affect larger Yorkies as often. Most health considerations result from breeding and disorders or allergies that are carried in specific bloodlines.
According to My Yorkie Secrets, "problems...include skin, respiratory, and food allergies." Yorkies may be allergic to standard allergens like fresh-cut grass and flower pollen and will certainly be sensitive to cleaners with harsh chemicals. Many allergies stem from a genetic intolerance to grain, which is included in many low-grade dog foods.
Dog allergies take the form of irritation on the skin, which leads to spots of dry itchiness and can result in hair loss. Coughing, sneezing and runny eyes may accompany skin irritation. In dogs that are intense, like Yorkies, this can lead to obsessive licking or itching of the irritated skin.
Yorkie allergies are treated with medications specific to the allergy and consist most often of antihistamines and cortisol. Owners are taught to monitor a Yorkie's environment and behavior and to feed them only high-grade dog food so that they aren't exposed to grain.