Yorkshire terriers, like most other dogs, have a handful of breed predispositions to various ailments, whether low blood sugar, luxating patellas or anything else. In terms of skin conditions, atopic dermatitis specifically is a prominent concern for the fluffy toy pooches. The skin disorder is a genetic one.
Atopic Dermatitis Basic Information
Atopic dermatitis is characterized by itching, itching and more itching. If your Yorkie consistently or frequently experiences bouts of nonstop itching and scratching, atopic dermatitis could be the culprit. The condition arises due to an allergic reaction to something in its surroundings. Some examples of these allergens are dander, bugs, dust mites and pollen. Canines can gain exposure to allergens via their skin, or they can breathe them in.
The itchiness of atopic dermatitis seems especially bothersome on their faces and feet. However, itchiness isn't the sole symptom of the condition. Other symptoms to look out for are inflammation, red skin and persistent feet chewing behavior. Although not especially common, some dogs with this dermatitis also experience nasal or eye discharge. Waste no time in seeking veterinary attention for these signs. Veterinary management for atopic dermatitis often involves minimizing discomfort, whether through antibacterial medicine, immunotherapy, itch-reducing antihistamines or a handful of other options. Your veterinarian can tell you which plan is most appropriate.
Age and Gender
Dogs of both sexes are equally vulnerable to the development of atopic dermatitis, with no biases toward either gender. Atopic dermatitis generally shows up -- for the first time -- in pooches who are on the younger side, say between 1 and 3 years old.
Yorkies aren't the only prone breed, as far as atopic dermatitis goes. The skin condition is also prevalent in boxers, Labrador retrievers, Chihuahuas, Irish setters, English bulldogs, wire fox terriers, pugs, West Highland white terriers, golden retrievers, miniature schnauzers and American cocker spaniels, among others.
Hypothyroidism -- or underactive thyroid -- also is common in the Yorkie world. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism in Yorkies might seem similar to those of atopic dermatitis. Chronic skin issues -- including itching -- are indicative of the ailment, as are exhaustion and loss of fur.
- SkinVet Clinic: Canine Atopic Dermatitis
- North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs
- Animal Health Hospital: Environmental Allergies in Dogs and Cats
- American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: Development of a Diagnostic Method for Canine Atopic Dermatitis
- Stokesley Veterinary Practice: Atopic Dermatitis or Atopy
- Aptos-Creekside Pet Hospital: Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs
- Animal Planet: Yorkshire Terrier
- DogChannel.com: Yorkshire Terrier
- Vetstreet: Yorkshire Terrier
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Hypothyroidism in Dogs
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images