5 Important Yorkshire Terrier Eye Problems You Must Know

Yorkshire Terrier Eye Problems

Your little Yorkie is susceptible to different eye problems, and it may cause visionary loss unless given apt attention. The awareness of common Yorkshire Terrier eye problems empowers you with proper tips to care for your dog’s eyes and prevent sight problems. Make sure the eye care is an essential part of your Yorkie grooming routine.

Here are five common Yorkshire Terrier eye problems along with tips to identify and avert them.

Inflammation and Infection: Most Frequent Yorkshire Terrier Eye Problems

Symptoms: Watery discharge from the eye, excessive blinking of eyes, light sensitivity, eye turning blue or red, dull-looking iris.

Causes: Eye inflammation may be due to other health issues, such as allergy, Brucellosis, Lyme disease, or fever. It may occur when foreign elements enter the eye. Long hair on your Yorkie’s face may also cause frequent eye inflammation or irritation in Yorkshire Terriers.

Treatment: It is advisable to consult with a vet if your Yorkie has any of the aforementioned eye problem signs. The vet analyzes physical symptoms to identify the problem whether it is a precursor to other Yorkshire Terrier eye problems. He may suggest a blood test if there is ample reason to associate it with any other health problem.  Anti-inflammatory eye drops are the most common prescription medicine to treat eye inflammation.

Prevention: Avoid allergy triggers and make sure the eye and its surrounding areas remain clean and clear.

Cataract: The Most Common Old-Age Yorkshire Terrier Eye Problems

Symptoms: Inability to see in dim light, cloudy pupils, light sensitivity to light, reduced vision leading to misjudged actions or bumping into walls, diabetic dogs drinking more water than their usual intake.

Causes: Cataract, though is more common in older Yorkies, may also impact younger dogs. An eye cataract in Yorkies is of three types – congenital or hereditary, juvenile – cataract in Yorkshire Terriers aged less than 5 years, senile or old-age cataract.

Cataract causes the development of a membrane over the lens of the eye. It may affect one eye or both. In Yorkies, often cataracts appear overnight resembling a chip of ice or hazy cloud on the eye pupil. Diabetes, genetic factors, and old age are three important factors contributing to cataract in Yorkies. Increased toxins in your dog, trauma, nutritional deficiencies, low blood calcium, incessant inflammation of the eye, and birth defects may also result in the early onset of the disease.

Treatment: Like other Yorkshire Terrier eye problems, a cataract can be treated. However, surgery is the only option. A pair of artificial lens is placed inside the pupil. Surgery is not beneficial if cataract induces glaucoma or retinal detachment that damages the posterior part of the eye.

Prevention: Ensure your Yorkie does not suffer from nutritional deficiencies that may impact their eye health. Avoid toxins in food and exposure to radiation, electric shock, and trauma to the eye. Diabetic dogs need special eye care to reduce the risk of cataract.

Entropion: The Droopy Eyelid Problem

Symptoms: Droopy eyelid, eyelashes touching eye surface, eye irritation and discomfort, watery eyes, eye infection and inflammation

Causes: Though not among the most common Yorkshire Terrier eye problems, it may manifest in older dogs. Reasons range from hereditary and environmental exposure to loose facial skin, trauma to the eye, eye infection, corneal ulceration, and dry eye.

Treatment: Supportive care helps in case of moderate symptoms. But for severe entropion, an eyelid surgery is the only option. Eye drops help overcome inflammation and infection associated with it.

Prevention: Avoid sudden weight loss in your Yorkie.

Genetic Yorkshire Terrier Eye Problems

Progressive retinal atrophy (decrease of the retina) and corneal dystrophy (faulty cornea) are two important genetic eye problems in Yorkies.


  • Progressive retinal atrophy symptoms include failure to see in the darkness, reluctance to move in dim light, night blindness, decreased alertness, cloudy eye, greenish eye, impaired vision, inability to climb stairs
  • Corneal dystrophy symptoms include clouding of the cornea, impaired vision

Causes: Both are hereditary Yorkshire Terrier eye problems and progress as the dogs grow older. As a result, the dog may have complete vision loss.

Treatment: No standard treatment is available for these eye problems in Yorkies while the conditions worsens with time. However, with proper care you can improve your dog’s lifestyle.

Prevention: Breeders are advised against the breeding of Yorkies with these eye disorders. Seek health certificates of parents while purchasing a Yorkshire Terrier puppy.

Watery Discharge From Eyes

Symptoms: Watery discharge from eyes

Causes: Eye infection, inflammation, allergy, cellular activity in the eye, abnormal eyelashes

The natural position of eyelids in Yorkies makes them prone to frequent ocular discharge. Eyelashes grow out of the edges of the eyelid next to the meibomian gland. As a result, they come in direct contact with ducts and the eye surface, leading to a host of Yorkshire Terrier eye problems, including tearing, and corneal abrasions. This results in inflammation and watery discharges from the eye.

Treatment: Infection and inflammation are treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Prevention: Wipe clean the eye area twice a day after meals. Don’t let the hairs in the eye zone remain wet. Avoid direct exposure of your Yorkie to wind while traveling. Keep the eye area clean and dry.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Symptoms: Brown eye, scar tissue in the eye, visible blood vessels, red, inflamed, and sensitive eye, pawing or rubbing eyes, dull eyes, hypersensitivity to light, squinting, intense blinking

Causes: Dehydrated eyes, lack of nutrition, infection, viral eye infections, and drug side effects are most common cause of dry eyes in Yorkies. A dog is more likely to suffer from this eye problem following the administration of anesthesia, trauma to the eye, hypothyroidism, canine distemper, arthritis, and conjunctivitis. Like many other Yorkshire Terrier eye problems, diabetes also contributes to the dry eye syndrome.

Treatment: Eye lubrication drops are often suggested. Surgery is an option when tear ducts are blocked or damaged.

Prevention: Keep the eye area clean and clear. Avoid trauma or injury to tear glands. Properly look after diabetic dogs.

Marcelle Landestoy
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