Luxating Patellae

A joint problem in which the knee cap (Patella) moves in a groove on the low end of the femur.  Sometime the groove isn't deep enough and the knee cap pops out  usually to the inside of the joint.  This can effect one or both legs and is worsened if your pet is over weight.  Signs that could be (Luxating Patellae) are a hopping or skipping motion done on one of the hind legs, and can at times be noticeable when pups are only a few months old.  This can also be brought on by allowing your puppy to jump off of furniture, rough housing that puppies do when playing or it can be inherited from the dam or sire.  There are surgical procedures now that can help to correct this problem if it is caught in time.  You should ask your vet to check your puppies knees during the health check after you bring home your new pup.  If there are problems contact your breeder.
Tracheal Collapse

This is when the the trachea of a small dog can collapse which can be noticed by a honking kind of cough when the adult or puppy get excited,  Again signs can sometime be noticed when a puppy is only a few months old.  This can also be caused by both adults and puppies who play roughly with tug toys or toys that they can vigorously shake.  Some cases may require surgery but, many can be managed medically.
Liver Shunts

This is a vessel that carries blood around the liver instead of through it, sometimes this can be a congenital problem that carries in some lines or, it can be cause be diseases such as Corrhois of the liver.  Because the blood supply bypasses the liver in adult of pups with liver shunts, Toxins can build up in the blood stream or the kidneys causing the animal to lack necessary materials it needs for a ready source of energy and to help it grow.
Signs of a Liver Shunts can be seen at a young age such as poor growth, seizures, disorientation, excessive drinking and urination, diarrhea and vomiting just to name a few.
Signs can be associated with eating food with a very high protein content some animals will show no signs of the disease until they are older and start to have problems with their liver and or kidneys.  Liver Shunts can and are considered to be hereditary.  For this reason dogs known to pass on liver shunts or those who are know to have liver shunts should be spayed or neutered.
One of the test that can be done to check for Liver problems such as this is a Bile Acid test.  Samples are taken both at around two hours after eating and again after about a twelve hour fast, if for some reason only one sample can be taken it is best to opt for the one after a 12 hour fast.
Many dogs with Liver Shunts can be treated medically and go on to live long happy lives however, more than half are euthanized within ten months of discovery due to uncontrollable Neurological signs such as seizures and uncontrollable behavior.
Surgery provides the best chance for a long and happy life if your pet is found to have this disease.
Reverse Sneezing

This causes the back of the throat to go into spasms, the dog will find it hard to take in air during these spasms and will just stand there with his/her neck stretched out in a bull legged stance and honks, wheezes or snorts these spasms will stop once the animal swallows a few times.  Things that you can do to help your pet through this are:
1:   Plug the nostrils with your fingers causing the animal to breath through the  
       mouth for a few seconds
2:  Gently rub the throat helping the animal to swallow
3:  Carry the animal outside into the fresh air
Reverse sneezing can be a lot like a Collapsed Trachea so knowing ways that might help you know the difference can be helpful.

Reversed Sneezing: if snorting sounds are made when excited or after eating or turns the elbows out with stretched neck gasping inwards.

Collapsed Trachea:  Sometimes breaths thru the mouth, breathes with a raspy sound or coughs reflexively when the throat is gently rubbed.  If the cough is one or two explosive outward bursts as if trying to force air through typically with a gag or empty retch.

Please check back often as I will be adding more information to this page as time allows.  In the mean time if you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will try and find answers for you.

Leptospirosis is brought on by Bacteria not viruses that impairs renal (kidney) function and may result in kidnet failure. Clinical signs include vomiting, impaired vision and convulsions.  This disease is transmitted by contact with the urine of infected animals or by contact with objects that have been comtaminated with the urine of an infected animal.  Protection is provided by the Leptospirosis vaccine.  There are two types of this disease, both types can cause disease in dogs and can be spread to humans.
Leptospira Canicola spread mainly in the urine of other infected dogs.
Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae is spread by rats.

Leptospirosis Vaccines Be sure to discuss this with your veterinarian, while this is a very serious disease the vaccine for it has had the most frequent reports of severe anaphylactic shock which could cause your dog to stop breathing and or even die.  Severe reactions are commonly seen in puppies and small breed dogs.  Be sure to take the time to compare the risk - benefit  factor before you jump into this vaccination with small breeds.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas.  Any dog can get Pancreatitis however Yorkshires have greater risk of the disease than many of the other breeds.  It is usually brought on when a dog eats high fat content food such as, greasy table scraps.

Signs This is a very serious and sometimes life threatening disease with a very low mortality rate of 20 to 25%.  The dog may show signs of abdominal pain, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and depression.

Treatment   The dog's digestive tract needs complete rest, IV fluids and no food or water orally for several days.  Then water and food will be offered slowly until no flare-up.  Once a dog has had Pancreatitis the chances are likely that it will happen again if you are not very careful.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a disease that causes blindness in dogs, Yorkies have a higher-than-average rate of later onset PRA which usually happens after the age of seven.  This is a hereditary disease, and all dogs that are to be used for breeding should be checked for this disease.

Signs Gradual vision loss, usually starts with difficulty seeing at night, difficulty adjusting from light to dark places.  Bumping into things around the house or climbing the stairs.

Treatment  at this time there is no known treatment for PRA however most dogs are able to adjust well and go on to lead wonderful lives.  There is hope that in the future a genetic test will become available to screen for this disease.
Hypoglycemia otherwise known as low blood sugar is most common in puppies between the ages of six to twelve weeks old.  Most small dogs out grow this around the age of seven months however, the smaller dogs tend to have the problem throughtout their lives.

Signs:  These episodes can be brought on but stress, poor diet or not eating, chills or playing to hard for lengthy periods.  The puppy may stagger, seem depressed or act disoriented.  If not caught it can leave your puppy in a coma or may even lead to the death of the puppy.

Treatment  Corn syrup, honey or nutrical can be place in the dog's mouth this will usually bring the dog around with in ten to fifteen minutes.  If your dog is prone to repeated episodes this can lead to more severe complications.  Talk with your vet to find the best diet to aid in keeping the sugar level up.
Canine Bordetellosis (Kennel Cough) 
Bordetellosis is caused by bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica which is present in the respiratory tracts of many animals.  It is a primary cause of tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) which results in a severe chronic cough.  In addition to the cough, some dogs develop a nasal discharge.  Transmission often occurs by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs.
Vaccination is usually done by use of a nasal spray.  There are several effective schedules and methods for administering the vaccine.  Your veterinarian will choose the schedule that is best for your dogs.
Canine Parainfluenza
Parainfluenza is caused by a virus which produces a mild respiratory tract infection.  It is often associated with other respiratory tract viruses.  In combination there viruses are usually transmitted by contact with the nasal secretions of infected dogs.  The vaccine to protect against this disease may be combined with other vaccines to offer a broader protection.
Retinal Dysplasia
This is a condition where the retina is congenital malformtion of the retina which may be caused from trama, a genetic defect or damage caused by a viral infection, most forms are inherited.  Heritable retinal dysplasia is the most common form and has been described in many breeds of dogs
Some dogs will show no outward signs and it may not be found unless an exam is done.  Severly effected dogs and puppies can be partially or totally blind
Most cases are inherited, prenatal infections with herpesvirus and parvovirus, radiation exposure, toxins and trama can also lead to retinal dysplasia.
There is no known treatment for this disease.  The only way to cure it is to make sure that adults with RD are not bred.  Dogs used for breeding should be tested before being bred and then yearly tests done after that.
This is common in dogs and is more of a symptom than a disease, it can be dry (seborrehea secca) or oily (seborrehea oleosa) different shampoos are used depending on the type of seborrehea.  Most cases it is caused from a secondary skin disease, Identification is important to be able to treat the problem.
In some cases the scaling is primary and the puppy is born with a defect of keratinization.  In these cases, the problem is evident at a young age, usually less than one year old.  The ears are usually effected as much as the rest of the body.  Topical and systemic therapy (retinoids) to normalize the turn over of epethelial cells.
Vitamin B12 Responsive Malasorption
This is a disease in which there is selective inability to absorb vitamin B 12 from the bowel.  Affected puppies have chronic nonregenerative anemia, low white blood cell counts, low serum vitamin B 12, and  metabolites (methylmatonic acid) in the urine.  These puppies fail to thrive.
This is one of the most common hormonal conditions to effect dogs.  And typically effects middle aged dogs.  Many of the causes for this condition are still unknown.  The only known cause is when the immune system destroys the cells.
In most cases the first sign is loss of hair which isn't caused by any other skin condition through testing.  Other symptoms include: lethargy, weight loss, muscle loss and the tendency to seek warmth.
Hypothyroidism is not life threatening but, it can effect the quality of life a pet leads and shorten their life span.  Treatment is seldom sought since it often just given to the aging process of the animal.  This is an inherited condition and effect more than 50 different breeds of dogs.