Allergies in Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkie puppy

Thanks to their hypoallergenic coat, Yorkies are generally safe for people allergic to pet dander.

However, this does not imply the absence of allergies in Yorkshire Terrier dogs.

Skin, respiratory and food allergies impact these dogs just like any other breed, causing serious health concerns.

What Causes Allergies in Yorkshire Terrier

Canine allergies are traced to three types of triggers – contact triggers, inhaled triggers, and ingested triggers.

  • Contact Triggers: Certain things cause allergies in Yorkshire Terrier as they come in contact with Even a few seconds of contact with the dog coat results in allergies. Some of these allergens include detergents, chemicals used for carpet cleaning, plants, fleas, coloring materials, specific fabric, shampoo, or substances used to clean their coats.
  • Inhaled Triggers: It may include allergens that are inhaled by your Yorkie while breathing. Symptoms may persist for days even if your dog is exposed to them for a short period.  These triggers, including plants, weeds, pollen, and grasses. Certain flowers cause a severe canine allergic reaction. Smoke emanating from chemical burning and even from cigars may cause allergies. Air freshener sprays are also among the risk factors.
  • Ingested Triggers: Eating certain types of foods may lead to allergies in Yorkshire Terrier dogs. Packaged dog foods have color additions and preservatives that may cause allergy in your dog. So are fish, eggs, or seafood. Such type of allergy results in troubled breathing and rashes on the skin.

Symptoms of Allergies in Yorkshire Terrier

Symptoms appear in response to allergies, as the immune system of your dog reacts.

You can detect allergies in Yorkshire Terrier dogs if they have one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Itching: It can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on your Yorkie’s exposure to allergens. Though there are many underlying reasons for itching, allergy is the most potent cause. You may see skin rashes or irritations. If your dog nibbles it, the skin may break open, causing infections.
  • Hair loss: Allergy forces Yorkies to shed. You may notice the loss of fur, patches on the coat, or thinning of the skin.
  • Congestion: Just like humans, Yorkshire Terrier dogs too suffer from nasal congestion or a runny nose if they inhale allergens. Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath may also be an indication of potential allergy.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may occur as a result of food allergy.

Yorkie running

Are Allergies in Yorkies Life Threatening?

Your Yorkshire Terrier may face life-threatening conditions when he has allergies resulting from stings by wasps, bees, or ants.

A severe allergic reaction unless treated within a few minutes may lead to anaphylactic shock, the medical name for a hypersensitivity reaction. It causes cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal distress and may even result in death.

Contact your vet immediately if your Yorkie has a weak pulse and experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or a sudden increase in the pulse rate following an allergic reaction.

Food Allergies in Yorkshire Terrier

Though food allergy is rare in Yorkies, it cannot be ruled out. Only 5% of dogs exhibit some kind of food allergy linked to foods with artificial color, flavor, and preservatives.  Some dogs are also sensitive to meat, egg, seafood, or various plant diets.

Food allergy symptoms include intense itching, watery eyes, and stomach problems.

Treating Allergies in Yorkshire Terrier

  • Prevention is the best way to cure allergies. Identify and avoid triggers. You should not allow your dog to touch, smell, or eat anything he is allergic to.
  • Switch to homemade or higher quality food if your pet is allergic to commercial dog food. You may also avoid any specific ingredient that you think may triggers allergies. Omega 3 supplements also help prevent any allergic flare-up.
  • Medical treatment of allergies in Yorkshire Terrier dogs includes the oral administration of antihistamines. Cortisone steroids may also be used to inhibit symptoms only in serious cases of allergy.
  • Ensure detergent, cleaning solutions, and other chemicals at your home stored away from your pets.
  • Get high-quality dog shampoos only. Change your Yorkie’s shampoo and conditioner if an allergic reaction persists.
  • You may have allergen tests on your doggy when you are not sure of the reason behind allergies in Yorkshire Terrier pets. Intradermal skin testing is another option to identify hypersensitivity of your pet.
  • Altered antigen injections have about an 80% success rate in inhibiting allergic reactions in Yorkies. However, you must follow the proper testing procedure before administering injections to your dog.
  • Avoid using plastic bowls while feeding your dog. Both plastic and dyes over it are known causes of allergies in pets.
  • Keep your Yorkie indoors when cleaning or mowing your lawn, garden, or bushes around your home. Don’t let him go outside too frequently during days of high pollen counts. Ensure your dog is free from ticks.
  • Carpets and flooring – your dog could be allergic to the fibers or texture of your carpeting. If it is wall-to-wall, you can put down pieces of linoleum in some areas or a blanket that has been washed in scent-free detergent. Encourage him to sleep in his dog bed instead of the carpet.
  • Products for cleaning such as carpet cleaning powders should be eliminated.
  • Toys should be of high quality; cheap ones can cause a reaction to the dyes or chemicals used in mass-produced manufacturing.

A discussion with your vet might be needed in order to obtain more tips on treating the symptoms.

You want your Yorkie to be free from allergies by finding the causes and then eliminating them.

Marcelle Landestoy
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