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Indicators of Respiratory Problems in Yorkies

    Preventive Care    July 22, 2014

Yorkies respiratory

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.

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.

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.Yorkies respiratory


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.

Tracheal collapse must be treated right away!

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 are 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.

Photo by Caronna

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3 Responses to “Indicators of Respiratory Problems in Yorkies”

  1. great article, really love it!

  2. Holly Loose Nelson on January 17, 2018 @ 7:45 pm

    My Yorkie is turning 12 on January 27th. He has been stumbling intermittently. His vet thinks he is tripping on his long coat. I know he does not like to walk as much as he used to; but, he is getting older. Has anyone experienced this.

    • Hi Holly,
      Sorry to hear that.
      To discard the long coat tripping why don’t you cut his hair and see how he walks?
      I would suggest you try to keep him as active as possible. As with us humans that is the secret to stay healthy.
      Also give him good quality food. It may be more expensive but it is the wisest choice.
      We have several very good options here:
      If you would like to share photos and/or an article about your experiences with him we would be happy to post them on our site.
      Sharing your own experiences can help other Yorkie owners.

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