Yorkshire terriers and other small breed dogs could experience respiratory problems. Small breeds usually suffer from tracheal collapse and reverse sneezing. It is difficult to distinguish between the two conditions because they have similar symptoms. Below are some indicators of respiratory problems in Yorkies, including Teacup Yorkies.

Common Respiratory Problems in Yorkies

You should first determine whether it is reverse sneezing or tracheal collapse. As you know, both conditions have similar symptoms. Tracheal collapse is more serious than reverse sneezing.

Yorkies respiratory
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The trachea is the windpipe of the body and tracheal collapse is when the inner diameter of the windpipe narrows. This is common in middle-aged smaller breed dogs, such as a Yorkshire terrier.

Some of the symptoms of tracheal collapse are:

  • Coughing
  • Hacking
  • Gagging
  • Wheezing
  • Loud breathing
  • Inability of the dog to exercise.

Yorkshire terriers that are obese have symptoms that are more severe.

Tracheal collapse has more dangerous symptoms. These include skin and gums that become bluish in color because of the lack of oxygen. It is a dangerous condition. The dog might also faint due to the depletion of oxygen. There are some dogs who don’t show any symptoms of the condition.

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Yorkie Collapsed Trachea – The tracheal collapse must be treated right away!

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This includes protecting the dog from triggers such as extremes of humidity, cold and heat temperatures, and cigarette smoke. You can also use a harness instead of a collar. If the dog is obese, you should reduce the food intake. These precautions can help decrease chronic airway injury as well as coughing that is linked to the respiratory problem. In severe cases, emergency surgery is needed. You should consult your vet right away if you find unusual symptoms.

Reverse Sneezing is a common condition among small breed dogs and doesn’t need to be treated. The dog might need to extend his neck and the chest will expand as the dog tries to take in air but it should not be considered an emergency condition.

Several conditions and ailments directly affect the lungs and cause Yorkie breathing problems. Some of the most common issues are:

Canine Distemper Virus – The most common respiratory problem in dogs is caused by the Canine Distemper Virus. This virus not only affects the lungs and airways but also the gastrointestinal and nervous systems, causing severe symptoms. It spreads quickly in areas where dogs are kept close to each other. Unfortunately, the treatment options for this virus are very limited once your dog starts showing the symptoms. But the good thing is, vaccinations are readily available.

COPDCOPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causes swelling and inflammation of the pulmonary artery. It is also known as chronic bronchitis. This is a long-term irreversible disease that affects your canine slowly. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for the disease. However, regular treatments such as chest physiotherapy and antibiotics consumption can help manage the condition.

Kennel Cough – Kennel Cough is another very common respiratory condition and very contagious too. Like CDV, it spreads quickly in areas where dogs are kept in proximity. Although Kennel Cough can affect your dog through the year, the most common months are middle to late summer when the mercury hits the higher end of the scale. Vets often prescribe antibiotics to treat Kennel Cough.

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Pneumonia – Pneumonia causes lung inflammation. It can be due to allergens, viruses, bacteria, worms, bad food & fluids, or a foreign body that enters the canine’s body through the mouth. Veterinarians advise Chest Percussion, antibiotics, and Fluid therapy to help dogs with this disease.

Tumors – Lung tumors can also lead to respiratory conditions in dogs. These tumors are a result of tumors from other parts of the body (abdominal organs, skin, or bones). The most common Lung tumor in dogs is pulmonary adenocarcinoma. It occurs in older dogs (11 years of age or above) and can be problematic to treat. Surgery is sometimes effective. However, if the tumor spreads to other parts of the body, then it becomes difficult to treat.

Different types of Flu and Colds – Like Humans, your canine is prone to different kinds of cold and flu viruses. The effects of these viruses are pretty much the same as they do in human beings. Nevertheless, the canine versions can lead to severe illnesses if not treated on time. If your dog shows severe flu or cold symptoms, in that case, your family vet may suggest fluids, antibiotics, or supplementary feed in order to cure the condition.

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Diagnosing and Treating Respiratory Problems in Yorkies

yorkie overweight

While a family vet can easily diagnose these respiratory problems, sometimes you may have to take advice from an internal medicine specialist. That’s because the diagnosis may need x-rays, blood, and other tests to ascertain the condition. Such a specialist runs all the requisite tests and then determines the cause of your canine’s respiratory problems.

Treatments differ depending on the condition. In most cases, antibiotics can be an effective remedy. But, antibiotics cannot treat all problems. Various forms of respiratory therapies can also greatly help with breathing problems. Similarly, Ventilator treatments are another effective method in certain conditions.

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Preventing Respiratory Problems in Yorkies

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Preventing respiratory problems in dogs isn’t always possible. That’s why you have to be extra vigilant and highly watchful. Usually, a dog with a respiratory condition improves on its own within 21 days.

The very first thing to do when you sense a respiratory problem with your pet is isolated them. Respiratory infections are highly contagious. These viruses and bacteria can travel through the air or via direct contact with humans. That’s why you should always wash your hands after coming in contact with an ill canine.

A runny nose, hacking cough, and watery eyes are all sure-fire signs of respiratory disease. Sometimes, your Yorkie snorts like pig. Take your Yorkie to your family vet for kennel cough and flu vaccination on a regular basis. Keep in mind that it’s always possible that your dog catches a flu virus strain that you didn’t vaccinate it for. Still, vaccination is very effective in preventing respiratory diseases in dogs.

The best strategy is to watch out for the symptoms. If your dog starts showing any signs of a respiratory illness, take him to the vet as soon as possible. A delay can be disastrous as many of these conditions can worsen over time and lead to death.

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