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When Yorkshire terriers experience seizures, it is a sign that the dog is experiencing some health problems. The Yorkie is a small breed and is more at risk of health problems than other breeds. The disorders can develop fast. If you see your dog having a seizure, you should contact a veterinarian right away.

Seizures in Yorkie Terriers Can be a Sign of Health Problems

A Yorkshire terrier can experience hypoglycemia if the dog doesn’t eat for a long period of time. Its liver will not be able to dispense sugar into the blood properly. Because it is a small breed, it stores less sugar than a large dog. Puppies that are two to four months old are at a higher risk because they are smaller. Their brain requires a lot of energy and makes up a large part of their bodies compared to adults. The brain gets its energy from the sugar in the blood and that’s why it is one of the first areas to display hypoglycemia.

Puppies suffering from hypoglycemia usually have seizures after they show signs of confusion, weakness, abnormally pale gums and drooling. It is recommended to feed the dog at least four times a day to avoid hypoglycemia. If the dog is having seizures, it should be fed with honey mixed with Gatorade.

Liver shunt is another condition that a Yorkie and other small breeds can develop. Puppies don’t need to filter their blood while in the womb. But if the bypass vein fails to close after birth, blood is allowed to pass through the body without being filtered by the liver. The unfiltered blood may trigger seizures, as well as vomiting, thirst, stunted growth, and lack of coordination. A liver shunt can be diagnosed through an ammonia tolerance test and X-ray. The only way to treat it is through surgery.

Seizures in Yorkie Terriers
Photo by Yinan Chen

Canine Epilepsy is also another common cause of seizures. It occurs in two to three percent of dogs, no matter what their breeds might be. There are several health reasons that can cause epilepsy and a vet can control the seizures if it is due to epilepsy.

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Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are two diseases that are caused by ticks. A Yorkie can have seizures in severe cases of Lyme disease. It is important to keep the dog free of ticks.

Brain injury or tumor can also cause seizures. Tumors can cause pressure on the brain that can lead to seizures. Trauma to the head may also cause seizures in your dog.

What is A Seizure in Yorkshire Terriers?

Cutie Patootie Yorkie

A seizure in Yorkshire Terriers is just like a seizure in human beings. It’s a brain disorder that causes neurological abnormalities. Because of a seizure, your senior Yorkie can shake uncontrollably, lose consciousness, and collapse on the floor all of a sudden. When such episodes become too repetitive, it’s time to see your vet.

Signs of Seizure in Yorkshire Terriers

Besides falling down on the floor and treading invisible waters, these are the most common signs of terrier seizures:

  • All of a sudden, your pet starts looking unsteady and confused.
  • Starts showing strange padding motion with their little paws.
  • He may show signs of muscle twitching, stiff joints, tongue chewing, drooling, or oozing foam out of the mouth.
  • Sometimes, Yorkie seizures and vomiting go hand in hand.
  • He may fall to a side of the floor or collapse entirely.
  • Taking a poo or piss is a common sign of seizure in dogs.
  • Temporary blindness is also a typical sign of a seizure in Yorkshire Terriers.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Causes of Seizures in Yorkshire Terriers

Types of Seizures in Yorkshire Terriers

What does a Yorkie Look Like

There are four main types of seizures in Yorkshire Terriers. These are:

  1. General: These are the most common types of seizures, during which a canine shows convulsions and may lose consciousness entirely. General seizures affect the entire brain activity and may last for a few minutes.
  2. Focal: Focal seizures affect one side of the body and show as an abnormality in a limb. That’s because it impacts only one part of the brain. When frequent, it may progress to become a general seizure.
  3. Psychomotor: This type of seizure shows in the form of disoriented behavior in your pooch. He may start chasing his tail for a few minutes.
  4. Idiopathic: Such seizures are due to a genetic problem.

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What Causes Yorkies to Have Seizures

There can be one or a combination of causes that may result in seizures in Yorkies. We are discussing a few in the following lines:

Yorkie Breeds

  • Brain Tumors – The most common cause of seizures is a brain tumor. Now, this can be malignant or not. Tumors reduce blood supply to and from the brain, causing pressure on the nerves and blood vessels.
  • Head Injury – A head injury can also cause seizures. It may manifest immediately after the injury or even several weeks after. The severity of injury often influences the degree of convulsive movements.
  • Poison – The presence of toxins can also cause seizures. When your pup consumes any toxic materials such as flea powder, rat poison, or chemicals, it manifests in the form of seizures within minutes.
  • Liver Shunt – Liver shunt is a genetic problem that travels in offspring. This condition reduces the flow of blood to the liver, causing excessive toxicity. As a result, your pup experiences seizures.
  • Kidney Diseases – Yorkies with underlying kidney diseases also suffer from seizures during their lifetime.
  • HypoglycemiaYorkshire terrier hypoglycemia is a condition in which there is low blood sugar. Small dog breeds like Yorkies are prone to low sugar levels in their blood. Hypoglycemia can be fatal if you don’t treat this condition on time.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance – Especially during summers when the weather is hot, pups lose many fluids, resulting in dehydration. Low fluids mean that Yorkies are unable to regulate their body temperature, which sometimes manifests in seizures.

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How To Deal With Seizures in Yorkshire Terriers

Best Food for Yorkies

Whatever the type, seizures increase the risks of brain damage, muscle impairment, and even death. Therefore, you have to treat it as an emergency. As soon as your Yorkie shows any symptoms of a seizure, start the treatment. You can begin by slowly sliding him away to a secure place. Touching his mouth is not recommended. You should also avoid giving him any medication as it can choke and further aggravate his condition. Try to cool down the body temperature of your dog. Make sure there is no obstruction to breathing.

Once your pooch regains consciousness and overcomes the seizure, take him to a professional. They can then perform any physical examination, suggest medication, or propose further blood tests if necessary. Keep in mind certain anticonvulsant drugs cause liver damage when taken in a large amount. Therefore, if your pup has an underlying liver condition, ask for alternate medication.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll also enjoy: Preventing Tear Stains if You Have Yorkshire Terrier


Brain seizures are indeed scary. No one wants to see their lovely pet go through the horror. That’s why you need to understand the condition (or disease) that may be causing it to your dog. With this understanding, you can properly handle the situation, control your pet’s health, and take care of your pet. Remember, it’s always a good idea to take advice from a professional before administering any pills to your pup. We hope the information in this article is useful, and it leads to a life full of joy and happiness for you and your dog.



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