How do you pronounce Ojibwa?
[ Before You Purchase a Yorkie]
[ What is a Pedigree?]
[ Papers & Quality ]
[ What does having a Ch mean? ]
[ I want a Teacup Yorkie ][ Tri-Colored
Shunt ] [ Luxating
Patellas ] [ L'egg
decided to own a purebred dog, you should try to find
the best available specimen of the breed. Many sources
offer purebred puppies and dogs for sale, but locating
the best source requires time and research. Local
pet stores will often carry several popular breeds.
These dogs often come from backyard breeders or puppy
mills, and are not in the best state of health, nor
are they from the best possible breeding lines. Your
local newspaper will also run advertisements for purebred
puppies. Careful research may prove a few of these
to be well bred, healthy animals which will make good
pets. The majority, however, are likely the result
of backyard breeding by neighbors looking to make
a small profit.
do you pronounce Ojibwa?
is pronounced .
The Anishinabe, commonly referred to as the Ojibwa
or the Chippewa, ascribed their appearance on this
continent to an act of creation.
end any confusion, the Ojibwa and Chippewa are not
only the same Indian tribe, but the same word pronounced
a little differently due to accent. If an "O"
is placed in front of Chippewa (O'chippewa), the relationship
becomes apparent. Ojibwe is used in Canada, although
Ojibwe west of Lake Winnipeg are sometime referred
to as the Saulteaux. In United States, Chippewa was
used in all treaties and is the official name. The
Ojibwa call themselves Anishinabe (Anishinaubag, Neshnabek)
meaning "original men" .
you purchase your yorkie.
following are a list of important things to know before
you purchase a new puppy:
believe a yorkie should be at least 12 weeks old before
going to a new home. Some would say they can go younger,
and some puppies probably can; but 12 weeks puts you
past the fragile first few weeks, and past the fear/imprint
period, and seems to me to be about as young as they
should go. Be wary of anyone who will sell you a yorkie
puppy under 12 weeks of age.
sure that you purchase your puppy from the actual
breeder - not someone selling puppies for someone
else. This is called a broker, and many times puppies
from a broker come from puppy mills. Pet stores that
sell yorkies fall under the category of brokers. Pet
stores are one of the main reasons puppy mills are
able to remain in business.
Don't buy the first puppy you see. Try to visit several
breeders and see their puppies. Ask lots of questions.
Then you will be prepared to make an informed decision.
This is the hardest to do, when you see there little
faces you just want to take them home. But you will
be better off in the long run if you don't buy the
first one you see. Who knows but after talking with
with several different breeders you may decide to
buy that first puppy, great but you know that is the
good breeder will be willing to stand behind their
dogs 100%. They will guarantee their health and be
willing to replace the puppy if something goes wrong.
They want to be called when there are problems, they
want to know if something is showing up in their lines
and that needs to addressed. If you find a breeder
like this, you have most likely found a good one that
truly cares about the dogs they are breeding.
you decide on a new puppy, plan to pick the puppy
up on a day when you can take the new puppy straight
to your vet for an exam before taking the puppy home.
That way, if something is wrong you can return the
puppy right away before you get attached. If you can't
take them to the vet the same day, wait a few days
for the puppy to settle in and then take them, any
good breeder usually gives you at least a week to
arrangements with your vet to have your pet spayed
or neutered as soon as possible. I prefer to have
them spayed or neuter between 6 to 9 months of age.
By spaying or neutering you are increasing the length
of your pet's life by eliminating the risk of many
types of cancer. A long time ago people thought that
they should let female dogs come in season once before
they are spayed; this is no longer the case. Most
vets agree that this is unnecessary. The younger a
male dog is neutered the more likely that he will
not lift his leg and mark territory in your house.
This can be very messy, but can also be prevented
by neutering at a young age.
is a Pedigree?
simply, a pedigree is a record of the ancestors of
your Yorkshire Terrier. This would start with the
father (sire), the mother (dam), grandsire, granddam,
great-grandsire and so on. Every dog, purebred or
not, has a pedigree. To most pet owners a pedigree
is meaningless. To those that show in confirmation
and have a rigid breeding program, an accurate pedigree
becomes quite valuable to the information it can provide.
main function of the American Kennel Club and other
similar registries is to do just that- keep track
of a dogs ancestry in a reliable and accurate manner.
For a registration fee, the AKC will record the name
of your Yorkshire Terrier and pedigree information.
The AKC registration certificate (papers) you received
means that your Yorkie's information is kept on file
in the AKC's records. For $30.00 will provide you
with a certified pedigree. There are other pedigree
services that do the same thing for far less of a
fee and they gather their information to prepare the
pedigree from stud books sold by the AKC for that
AKC records the name you choose for your Yorkie to
be registered (30 characters or less and no duplicate
names). This certificate will show the color, sex,
parentage, date of birth, breeder and owner and any
titles the dog has won in AKC-sanctioned shows. When
applying for registration, AKC relies on breeders
and owners to be honest. This is very important. If
the breeder of your Yorkie has given the AKC false
information, the pedigree on your Yorkie may not be
correct. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible for
the AKC to verify all this information individually,
although the AKC is striving for better accuracy with
the recent use of DNA testing. Unless you personally
know and trust the breeder, you really have no way
of knowing if your Yorkie is really the one recorded
on his registration papers. (This information
was paraphrased from the Maltese Only home page)
dog that meets AKC's requirements for registration
may be registered and receive "papers".
The papers do not tell you if the Yorkie is of good
quality or if it really is or even looks like what
a Yorkie is supposed to be. All it can tell you is
that your dog is registered with them as a Yorkshire
Terrier and that its records are on file. Many people
misunderstand this very important point. Many poor
quality Yorkies not bred to the standard are AKC registered.
You can't judge the quality of your Yorkie from looking
only at his or her registration papers or pedigree.
When puppies are whelped and the breeder registers
the litter with the AKC, they in turn will send a
puppy application paper for each puppy in the litter.
When the time comes, the breeder will sign the puppy
over to the buyer, who then can optionally register
that individual puppy in his name for a fee of $12.00
and is sent a registration certificate back usually
within 3 weeks with their name and their chosen name
of the Yorkie. Cost of litter registration to the
breeder is now $25.00 plus $2.00 for each puppy in
registration means that the parents of the Yorkshire
Terrier were registered as Yorkshire Terrier or it
could also mean that an unethical breeder lied or
was mistaken about the breeding that produced the
litter. Registration itself is neither a guarantee
nor even an indication of quality. This is why reputable
breeders are have all their dogs, both female &
male DNA certified. Every sire (male) producing seven
or more litters in a lifetime or producing more than
three litters in a calendar year must be
'AKC DNA Certified.'
one examines the parents or the puppies to see if
they really qualify to be registered as Yorkshire
Terrier, and the AKC has to depend on breeders to
be honest when applying for a litter registration.
Some unethical breeders apply for registration forms
for puppies that have died or were never born, and
they then use these certificates on puppies of doubtful
parentage. Others will buy unused registration papers
at local flea markets for about double what they cost
the breeder originally.
complicate matters further, a female Yorkshire Terrier
can be impregnated by different male dogs during her
fertile cycle and if the dogs are not watched closely
some puppies in the litter may have different fathers
than other puppies of the same litter. In kennels
where males and females of different breeds typically
run together, mixed breed puppies can and will be
registered as purebred if they look close to what
the breed should look like. This is not uncommon with
puppy mills or breeders who have several breeds, and
has led these breeders to be investigated by the AKC
and later to be DNA tested to prove parentage when
the puppy has grown from looking like a Yorkshire
Terrier into an adult looking like a Poodle. At that
point, the AKC, at their discretion, might investigate
and might revoke the litter registration if the puppies
or adult dogs do not have the appearance of a Maltese
or do not pass the DNA testing done by their inspectors.
With this in mind, you now know that a pedigree can
only tell you what the breeder told the AKC as to
who the ancestors were - it can't tell you if they
were of good quality, bad quality, what they looked
like or whether they had inherited health or temperament
problems, had a history of heart disease or liver
shunts. It won't tell you any of this.
you purchased your Yorkshire Terrier for a companion
pet, you probably aren't concerned about finding out
more about his or her family. If you intend to breed
or show your Yorkshire Terrier, however, getting accurate
information about his or her background can be very
important. You'll need to do much more than just look
at the names on its pedigree. To find out more about
the Yorkshire Terrier in a particular pedigree, you
should visit the breeder to see the sire and dam.
The breeder should be able to tell you where to find
the grandparents as well.
get more information on the Yorkshire Terrier further
back in the pedigree, you might try to find reliable
books and magazines about the Yorkshire Terrier breed.
(Sources I recommend are available
by clicking here) Pictures can only tell you part
of the story. You need to talk to those people who
have firsthand knowledge of what the ancestors of
the Yorkshire Terrier in question were really like.
a Registered Champion Yorkshire Terrier of exceptional
is the abbreviation for champion. If you look at a
pedigree these are the ones usually written in red.
The more red, the better the Yorkie-right? Not necessarily.
An AKC Champion Yorkshire Terrier is one that has
defeated enough other Yorkshire Terrier at their sanctioned
shows to win the required number of points to achieve
the title. The required number of dogs and bitches
to be defeated varies with each breed and district
which State the show is held in (for more information
on showing your dog visit Lacy's
Place in Cyberspace).
can be easier to become a champion in some breeds
more than others. Is a Champion Yorkshire Terrier
of exceptional quality? Sometimes but not necessarily.
A Champion Yorkshire Terrier is only as good as the
Yorkshire Terrier competition at the particular show
that day when they won the points.
closing, a pedigree is a tool to help breeders produce
better Yorkshire Terrier. It's just piece of information
to be used as a starting point for research. A pedigree
by itself really doesn't mean much unless one knows
what the other Yorkshire Terrier in the pedigree were
really like. To a pet owner, look at the Yorkshire
Terrier. If its the look and temperament you're after
and the Yorkshire Terrier is healthy and the breeder
is reputable, go for it. If its a show potential Yorkshire
Terrier you're after, the pedigree and papers should
and will be much more meaningful to you. (This
information was paraphrased form the Maltese home
want a Tea Cup Yorkie
is no such thing as a tea cup yorkie (Micro Mini,
Teenie, or any other name that means “extra
small), this is used by some people to differentiate
between the size of the dog. This came about because
people used this in describing poodles. But in Yorkshire
terriers there is only the AKC standard requiring
that they be under seven (7) pounds. No one can sell
you a yorkie that is a tea cup. All breeders may occasionally
have an unusually small Yorkies, though no responsible
breeder breeds for this trait. Many breeders prefer
a general weight range of 4-7 four pounds believing
that size retains desired Toy
qualities while maintaining optimum health.
then, do so many breeders advertise teacup Yorkies?
Here are two possible reasons:
Some unscrupulous breeders advertise teacup Yorkies
to take advantage of those people who are not very
familiar with Yorkies. By telling someone that they
are getting a "teacup", they make the buyer
feel that they are getting something special and charge
you more. As stated above, a standard Yorkshire terrier
must weigh no more than 7 pounds.
Sadly, there are people out there breeding Yorkshire
terriers who simply aren't knowledgeable enough about
Yorkies to know that there is no such thing as a "teacup".
average, Yorkshire terriers weigh between 5 and 7
pounds as adults. There are, of course, smaller Yorkies
born that will weigh less. Most Yorkshire terriers
that you see participating in the show ring tend to
be 6 to 7 pounds. A dog weighing 3 to 4 pounds is
considered small and often requires special care.
Dogs this small should not be handled by children
expect under strictly controlled conditions.
Ther Tri-Colored Yorkieis now a reconized breed called
They are a mixed breed of dog that started in Germany.
I think originated around the early 2000's. They are
NOW recognized by the American Kennel Club.
mutts cost big bucks.
dogs, once flooded the U.S. animal shelters, are now
being sought by an increasing number of Americans
looking for special pooches. Deliberately bred and
given cute fancy names, today's special-order mixes
have newfound status -- and a purebred price tag.
"When there were a bunch of them around and
a lot of them were in the shelter, you'd call them
mutts," said Stephen Zawistowski, science
advisor at the American Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals, about the popular mixes that
used to accidentally appear. (Excerpted
they make great pets, as all mutts do, but purposely
breeding more mixed breeds is just irresponsible.
So why are breeders breeding mutts? Most of the breeders
are doing it for the money involved. The latest money-making
trend is the promotion of mixed breeds with official-looking
"registration papers" and catchy-sounding
names. The "registrations" come from a growing
industry of registry services, each willing to issue
documents for a few dollars a pop. (Excerpted
The trachea, also known as the windpipe, is an important structure which connects the throat to the lungs. It is composed of 35- 45 C-shaped rings of cartilage that are joined by muscle and ligaments to create a tube-like structure. It serves the purpose of directing air into the respiratory tract
When the cartilage rings are flattened from the top to the bottom, the trachea is said to be collapsed. Rapid inhalation of air can cause the trachea to flatten and make it difficult for air to enter the lungs, much like a soda straw being drawn on too vigorously.
Why does it happen?
We do not completely understand how this condition develops. However, we know that these dogs have an abnormality in the chemical makeup of their tracheal rings. The rings loose their stiffness so they are not able to retain their circular shape. We also know that it occurs in certain breeds of dogs, notably Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Toy Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers. Because of that, it is suspected that there is a genetic factor involved.
What are the signs?
Collapsing trachea or Reverse sneezing
With reverse sneezing the pharynx (back of the throat) goes into spasms. The dog finds it difficult to draw in air through the spasms, so it stands still, stretches out her neck, and thrusts its elbows out (like a bowlegged bulldog) as it honks, wheezes, or snorts. Often eyes open wide. The spasms will stop if she swallows a couple of times.
•Close off their nostrils with your fingers so they have to breathe through their mouth for a few seconds.
•Gently rub their throat. This works for some.
•Distract them by carrying the dog outside into the fresh air.
Young puppies can reverse sneeze, but the first episode typically occurs in late adolescence. Stay calm and get it to swallow with one of the methods described above. In a few seconds to a minute, it will run off to play. Reverse sneezing is a harmless phenomenon which needs no vet consultation and no medical treatment whatsoever. It is very common in toy breeds.
Other signs, however, will help you distinguish the two conditions:
If it makes these sounds when excited or after eating or drinking, or turns her elbows outward and extends its neck and gasps inward with a rhythmic snork! snork! snork!, this is reverse sneezing.
If it breathes through the mouth sometimes, or breathes with a raspy sound, or coughs reflexively when you simply rub its throat, it could have a collapsing trachea. If the cough is one or two expulsive outward bursts (forcing air through the trachea to open it), typically with a gag or empty retch at the end, she could have a collapsing trachea.
The most common clinical sign of collapsing trachea is a chronic cough. It is often described as dry and harsh and can become quite pronounced. The term "goose honk" is often used to describe it. Coughing is often worse in the daytime and much less at night. The cough may also begin due to excitement, pressure on the trachea (from a leash), or from drinking water or eating.
How is collapsed trachea diagnosed?
Many times, very light pressure placed on the trachea during the physical examination can raise a suspicion of collapsed trachea in a small dog with a persistent dry cough. While the information gained from the physical examination is helpful, other tests are needed to confirm this condition.
X-rays of the chest can identify the trachea and its shape. However, a collapsed trachea changes its diameter during the respiratory cycle. It is usually collapsed during inhalation and normal during exhalation. Therefore, attempts to make radiographs during both phases of respiration should be made.
Endoscopy is another way to see the trachea. An endoscope is a tube that is small enough to be inserted into the trachea. By watching the trachea during inspiration and expiration, abnormal collapsing can be seen. Unfortunately, tracheal endoscopes are expensive and not available at every veterinary hospital.
How is it treated?
Collapsed trachea can be treated medically or surgically. Some dogs respond well to:
• bronchodilators and various types of anti-inflammatory drugs.
•chemical cough suppressants
•a bronchodilator (typically the drug aminophylline) to keep the bronchial tubes open in extreme cases that are affecting the lungs
•The trachea of these dogs is easily infected, so antibiotics are usually part of the treatment.
•If obesity is present, weight loss is often beneficial.
•Excitement and vigorous exercise are likely to cause a relapse, so they should be avoided as much as possible.
Because medical therapy only treats the symptoms and not the problem, these dogs are always subject to recurrences of coughing and breathing difficulty.
•Surgery. The above tests are used to determine how much of the trachea is collapsed. If the only abnormal part is that segment between the throat and the point where the trachea enters the chest (the thoracic inlet), surgery may be curative. However, if the segment of the trachea that is within the chest cavity is abnormal, surgery is not likely to be helpful because that part is not accessible to the surgeon. There are several surgical approaches that have been used. Each approach implants an artificial support device that is secured around or within the trachea. The purpose of the support device is to hold the tracheal rings in their normal, open position. Although some dogs have excellent results and are truly cured of the disease, the outcome is not uniformly successful.
Natural ways to treat your Yorkie:
•Fresh foods, keeping the amounts low for weight reduction. Fat dogs have a much harder time breathing.
•Exercise reduction. Don't stop exercise completely -- just don't let get to the point where the dog is panting heavily, especially when older. Remove all pressure from the throat. No collars, and use a harness that wraps around the chest and stomach, never around the throat. Tell visitors not to rub the throat.
•A cool-mist humidifier to keep the air moist and easy to breathe.
•Glyco-flex and Glucosamine are nutritional products packed with minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and lubricating agents. They build cartilage and help heal damaged connective tissue. These are natural products with no side effects. They are inexpensive and last a very long time, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying them.
•Herbal cough remedies, if coughing is really bad.
•Animal Clinic Collapsing trachea in the dog Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://www.animalclinic.com/colltrac.htm
•Potter, Clayton Dr. Heartland Veterinary Hospital Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://www.hcis.net/heartlandvet/trachcol.htm
•Chihuahua Kingdom Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://3lbdogs.com/wellness/
•Richard, Michael, DVM Q&A-Dr Mike Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://www.vetinfo.com/Q&A.html
•Seranne, Ann (1980) The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog New York Macmillian Publishing Company.
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.
How is it treated?
So far in my research I haven't
found a cure for Liver shunt besides surgery for portosystemic shunts.
As far as I know, dogs with extrahepatic shunts (occurring outside the
liver itself) is easier to do than surgery in dogs with intrahepatic
(inside the liver) shunts. If you know of a different cure please let
DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATIC PORTOSYSTEMIC SHUNTS
by Larry Snyder, DVM
Clinical Signs: Most dogs will
be diagnosed with port-systemic shunts under one year of age, but dogs
as old as eight have been diagnosed with the condition. Animals are
usually stunted, thin, depressed, have trouble gaining weight, and are
usually characterized by the owners as chronic "poor doers".
In most affected dogs there will be some degree of behavioral signs
ranging from listlessness, apathy, or depression to more severe signs
of circling, head pressing, stupor, drooling, blindness, or convulsions,
some leading to coma. These behavioral changes are due to an accumulation
of toxins (especially ammonia) that affect the brain causing a
condition called Hepatic Encephalopathy. These toxins are most abundant
in the blood stream following the dog eating, especially a high protein
meal, & may remain high for hours afterward. Not all dogs with the
shunt will show this meal associated behavioral change, but in 25% of
the affected dogs that do, the diagnosis becomes clearer. A high percent
of affected animals show an intolerance to anesthetics or tranquilizers,
& will show increased recovery times following use of these products.
Even anti-convulsants used to control seizures may be potentially dangerous
if allowed to concentrate in a dog with functional shunt. Approximately
75% of affected individuals will show digestive system symptoms including
poor appetite, ascites, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, or occasionally
deranged appetite (eating paper, etc.). Urinary system symptoms may
include increased thirst and urination, & in a majority of porto-systemic
shunt cases, there will be crystals or stones formed in the urinary
tract. These crystals will be either uric acid or ammonium urate (ammonium
biurate or thorn-apple crystals.). There can be bladder stones formed
or crystals may be noted on the hair around the prepuce or vulva.
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.
Radiography. Radiography is one
of the most important methods of establishing a diagnosis of porto-systemic
shunt, & is currently the only universally accepted method of confirming
a shunt, short of major surgery. Injection of a radiopaque dye into
the spleen (Splenoportograpy) will show the shunt on radiographs &
allow accurate assessment for surgical correction.
Nuclear Medicine. The placement
of a radiopharmaceutical agent (radioisotope) specific for the liver
into the colon for absorption through the mucosa has been gaining favor
because of its noninvasive diagnostic value. This procedure requires
expensive equipment & the diagnosis is based on the distribution
of the radionuclide in the lung or heart compared to that in the liver.
This procedure also does not identify the exact location of the shunt
for surgical correction if required.
Ultrasound. Until recently, ultrasound
was fairly unreliable for nonsurgical diagnosis of porto-systemic shunts.
With the advent of Color Flow Ultrasound, there is the potential for
diagnosis of this condition on non-anesthetized animals. At the present
time, this technology appears to be the diagnostic procedure of choice.
If currently undertaken research confirms its value, Color Doppler Ultrasound
will soon be the preferred screening and diagnostic tool.
At the present time, Hepatic Porto-Systemic
shunts are considered to be UNQUESTIONABLY genetic by some of the leading
canine experts, but the mode has not been identified at the present
time; research is being conducted at Michigan State University to identify
this pattern. Genetic disorders in dogs can spread relatively rapidly
if a dog, whether affected or a carrier, is a well-respected animal
in either conformation or ability, and is used extensively for breeding.
This is especially true in the case of the male that can produce hundreds
of offspring during his breeding life. If the cause of such a condition
can be discovered, then a working strategy can be implemented to control
and eliminate the disorder.
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of
America Foundation, Inc. is currently funding research into both the
genetic nature of the problem & into the use of Color Flow Doppler
Ultrasound as a diagnostic & screening tool. These steps will hopefully
become the basis for setting up an open registry for Yorkshire Terriers
& other affected breeds to hopefully eliminate, or at least minimize
the problem within each breed.
For More information contact the YTCA
Richard, Michael, DVM Q&A-DR Mike Retrieved February 1998
from the WWW http://www.vetinfo.com/Q&A.html
Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively
California Creations by Terri.
Snyder, Larry D.V.M. YTCA Foundation
a letter I received 2-10-00) My name is Karen Tobias and I am
a surgeon at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
I have been studying and surgically correcting portosystemic shunts
for 15 years. I have recently received funding from the AKC Canine Health
Foundation and the YTCA to study genetics of normal Yorkies and Yorkies
with liver shunts.
The Canine Health Foundation of
the American Kennel Club and the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America have
joined forces to investigate the cause of one of the breed's most heartbreaking
diseases: Congenital Portosystemic Shunts. Portosystemic shunts, or
"PSS", are abnormal blood vessels that form a bypass around the liver.
Toxic blood that is normally filtered and cleansed by the liver is shunted
to the heart and brain, resulting in depression, behavior changes, poor
growth rate, and other signs of illness in affected dogs.
One out of every seven
Yorkshire Terriers presented to Washington State University College
of Veterinary Medicine for any reason was found to have a portosystemic
liver shunt! The hereditary nature of this birth defect has
already been established in Irish Wolfhounds, Maltese, and other breeds.
Many breeders assume the disease is genetic in Yorkshire Terriers as
well; however, this has yet to be proven.
Goals of our study: Our study
will serve as the first step in identifying a genetic cause for Congenital
Portosystemic Shunts. By evaluating pedigrees of affected and unaffected
Yorkshire Terriers we will try to answer the following questions: Are
liver shunts genetic? Do liver shunts occur equally throughout the breed
or is there an increased risk of portosystemic shunts with certain ancestors?
What is the risk of inheriting a portosystemic shunt? And, is it likely
that we will be able to isolate a carrier gene? If a genetic basis for
PSS is found, the information gained can then be used to pursue genetic
testing for the condition.
Dr. Karen Tobias can be reached
Dr. Karen Tobias, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences,
PO Box 1071, Knoxville TN, 37901-1071.
Luxating is a fancy word for dislocating.
Patella is your dog's "knee", the joint on the front of their
hind leg. So a luxating patella is a dislocating knee or trick knee,
a knee that keeps slipping out of its socket. This can happen in yorkies
with weak ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles. It can also happen in
Yorkies whose kneecap groove is too narrow or shallow. The knee usually
slips inwardly, toward her body, and locks so that your Yorkie can't
bend her leg.
Suspect luxating patella if your Yorkie sometimes lifts one hind leg
while they are running, or if they often move both rear legs at the same
time, like a hopping bunny.
Sometimes the knee slips only for a few moments, then slides back into
place. Sometimes the knee slips out and stays out, and your Yorkie will
hold thier leg off the ground and limp, perhaps tucking their thigh into their body. Luxation may occur in one knee, or in both. It is seen in
many other toy breeds, and in both sexes, though it seems to be more
common in females. No matter how firm the knees seem as puppies, toy
dogs are liable to injure their knees.
Is luxation serious?
There are four degrees (grades) of luxation:
The knee only slips out when the vet manipulates it.
II. The knee luxates occasionally when your Yorkie is walking
or running. She may not seem to mind much, or she may shriek, but
it usually slides back by itself as she continues moving. Or you can
slip it back manually (ask the vet to show you how).
III. The knee luxates frequently and causes chronic lameness.
Even when you put it back manually, it doesn't seem to last long.
IV. The knee luxates, stays that way, and you can't put it
back into its socket. This grade is very rare.
How is luxation treated?
The first treatment should
be to crated for a week or two and supervise the activity - no jumping.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (like Rimadyl). These will
hide the symptoms, but do absolutely nothing to strengthen or correct
Steroidal anti-inflammatories. These are extremely damaging
to the immune system, have awful side effects (short and long term),
and should never be used.
Surgery. Surgery is seldom the answer and should only be done
by an orthopedic surgeon. Call the American College of Veterinary
Surgeons at (301) 718-6504 and ask for a referral to an orthopedic
specialist or college of veterinary medicine in your state. If surgery
is your choice, that dog will have problems down the road with arthritis
from the surgery. In the opinion of most vets, surgery is overkill
for Grade I or II luxating patella. I would only go with surgery on
a Grade IV luxation, or on a Grade III that did not respond to natural
treatment. Surgery costs about five hundred dollars per leg, it is
uncomfortable for your Yorkie, and there is a 50% chance that some
degree of luxation will return.
Natural ways to treat your Yorkie:
Feed fresh foods.
Keep your Yorkie lean. Fat dogs have to carry more weight on
their weak leg joint.
Moderate exercise, walking up slight inclines (gentle hills),
will strengthen the muscle groups around the patella.
Vitamin C is one of the building blocks of strong ligaments
and connective tissue.
Glyco-flex and Glucosamine are nutritional products packed with minerals,
amino acids, enzymes, and lubricating agents. They build cartilage
and cushioning fluid in injured joints, and help heal damaged connective
What causes luxating
Occasionally it's caused by an injury, but in the absence of such proof,
the weak tendons and/or shallow kneecap groove of luxating patella is
considered hereditary. Never breed a Yorkie with any degree of luxation
(even a "wiggly" knee), whether it has been repaired or not.
Fixing the knee doesn't fix the genes that caused the problem.
The Orthopedic Foundation of America will issue registration numbers
to dogs whose patellas have been x-rayed by a vet, forwarded to the
OFA, and found to be normal. This condition is so common in Yorkies
that we believe it is essential that all breeders start doing these
x-rays before breeding. Then you will be able to INSIST on seeing the
OFA certificate for each parent before buying a Yorkie puppy. It will
be one more way to pick out the responsible breeders from the rest of
For More Information visit the
Orthopedic Foundation of America
Chihuahua Kingdom Retrieved February 1998 from the WWW http://3lbdogs.com/wellness/
Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively
California Creations by Terri.
Legg-Perthes, also called Legg-Calve-Perthes
(LCP) disease, is a disease of the hip joints of small breeds of dogs.
The head of the femur (the ball part of the ball and socket) begins
to die and disintegrate. This causes limping, pain, and eventually arthritis.
It usually appears between 6-12 months of age. It is treated surgically
by removing the head of the femur and letting the muscles form a "false
joint." It really does work. The dogs recuperate very well from
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (aseptic
or a vascular necrosis of the femoral head)
Avascular necrosis occurs when the bone that makes up the ball portion
of the hip is damaged from lack of blood supply.
The reasons this occurs
are not clear. Since a higher incidence of this disorder is noted in
several dog breeds, including terrier breeds, miniature pinscher, poodles
and possibly schipperkes, it is assumed that there may be a genetic
component to the problem.
In Manchester terriers, the genetic component
appears to be a strong influence and heritability is pretty high for
Most of the time the clinical signs of this disease occur in 4 to 11
month old dogs and usually consist of lameness of one leg only.
may be mild to very severe. Some dogs have mild forms of this condition
and do not require medical care.
In other dogs, the condition cause
sufficient pain and deformity of the hip joint to require surgical intervention.
The disorder can usually be confirmed with X-rays. Atrophy of the muscles
of the affected leg is not uncommon.
If this is severe it can slow the
recovery period considerably and may make medical therapy less likely
Treatment of this condition varies according to the severity of the
signs seen. In mild cases, enforced rest may be sufficient to allow
healing of the damaged areas to occur. In some cases, immobilization
of the affected limb using an Ehmer sling may be beneficial to recovery.
Many dogs have advanced cases of this disease by the time they are examined
by a veterinarian and medical treatment is not likely to work.
In these dogs, excision of the femoral head (ball portion of the hip joint) is
often beneficial. Removal of this section of the bone diminishes painful
bony contact in the hip joint. Recovery from this surgery can be slow
with recovery periods of up to one year sometimes occurring before good
use of the affected leg returns. If muscle atrophy is not present at
the time of surgery the recovery time is usually much less. Pain relief
and anti-inflammatory medications may be beneficial.
There is a stronger tendency to treat this as a medical condition prior
to surgery right now. A general rule of thumb is to allow non-surgical
therapy a month to show a beneficial response. If one is not seen, surgical
repair should be considered more carefully.
Jack Russel Terrier L'egg Perthes Retrieved February 1998 from
the WWW http://www.terrier.com/medical/legg.htm
Shumsky, Terri (1993) How to buy your Toy Dog, and Raise it Expensively
California Creations by Terri.
Richard, Michael, DVM Q&A-DR Mike Retrieved February 1998
from the WWW http
your homework before you buy your puppy and don’t