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Baggage

Now that I'm home, bathed, settled, and fed, All nicely tucked into my warm new bed. I would like to open my baggage Lest I forget, There is so much to carry - So much to regret.

Hmm... Yes there it is, right on the top - Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss, And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.

As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave - I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain. I loved them, the others, the ones who left me, But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me. Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack? Or will you just look at my things and take me right back?

Do you have the time to help me unpack? To put away my baggage, To never re-pack? I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see, But I do come with baggage - Will you still want me?

By Evelyn Colbath

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Health Issues

Information on diseases that can affect Yorkies

Bladder Stones, Campylobacteriosis, Coccidiosis, Collapsing Trachea, Cushing's Disease, Giardiasis, Heart Worms, Hemorrhagic Gastric Enteritis, Hyopglycemia, Leptosporosis, Liver Shunt, Pancreatitis, Paravovirus, Patella Luxation, Protein-Losing Enteropathy, Reverse Sneezing,

 

Bladder Stones-- more correctly called uroliths, are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder.  They may occur as a large, single stone or as dozens of stones the size of large grains of sand or pea gravel. Stones that form in the bladder may pass into the urethra.  All dogs can develop bladder stones.  Stones in the bladder eventually cause painful urination and blood in the urine.  Your dog may cry in pain, especially if pressure is applied to their stomach.

Campylobacteriosis- is commonly mistaken for Parvovirus, but needs different treatment.  It's a BACTERIAL imbalance in the digestive tract. It is a disease that produces acute infectious diarrhea in puppies and kittens.  This is NOT a new form of Parvo. Parvo tests will show a LOW positive & subsequent tests will continue to show low positives, will be inconclusive, or will give erratic results. This disease is so similar to Parvo, that some dogs have tested in the low positive for Parvo. But they do not have Parvo, and it has been recommended that three parvo tests are needed to exclude Parvo.

This disease can be tested for specifically, so if you have an affected dog that appears to have Parvo, but in your mind know that, that could not be possible, have them tested for "Camby". It is important to note that this disease can be transferred between humans, dogs, cats and other livestock.  It starts with fecal mucus sheath & continues to get progressively softer until it is watery and contains blood. It then becomes explosive. Vomiting may accompany and may or may not also contain blood. Feces have a sweet/flowery aroma along with a "slaughterhouse on a summer day" smell (similar to parvo diarrhea but with a floral hint). Feces are usually mustard colored. Dogs dehydrate at an astounding rate. Dogs are also at risk of intussusceptions.

Coccidiosis-is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals, caused by coccidian protozoa. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion of infected tissue. Diarrhea, which may become bloody in severe cases, is the primary symptom.

Collapsing Trachea-is a condition characterized by incomplete formation or weakening of the cartilagenous rings of the trachea resulting in flattening of the trachea. It can be congenital or acquired, and extrathoracic or intrathoracic. Tracheal collapse is a dynamic condition. Collapse of the cervical trachea (in the neck) occurs during inspiration; collapse of the thoracic trachea (in the chest) occurs during expiration. Tracheal collapse is most commonly found in small dog breeds, including the Yorkshire Terrier. We recommend using a harness to walk your dog on a leash.

Cushings Disease-is probably more accurately referred to as hyperadrenocorticism -- the production of too much adrenal hormone, in particular corticosteroids. It can be naturally occurring or due to over administration of corticosteroids such as prednisone (iatrogenic Cushing's). The latter is easy to cure - just cut out the corticosteroid administration slowly to allow the body to return to normal function. The former is more difficult.

Giardiasis-is a single-celled parasite that lives in your dog's intestine. It infects older dogs but more frequently infects puppies. Dogs become infected when they swallow Giardia that may be present in water or other substances that have been soiled with feces.

Heartworms- Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats and other species of mammals, including wolves, foxes, ferrets, sea lions and (in rare instances) humans. Heartworms are classified as nematodes (roundworms) and are filarids, one of many species of roundworms. Dogs and cats of any age or breed are susceptible to infection. This is preventible by keeping your dogs on monthy heart worm preventitive.

Hemorrhagic Gastric Enteritis- If you are going to become a toy dog owner you will want to familiarize yourself to the symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar levels (glucose) fall well below normal.  Glucose is what the body uses as fuel and is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function.  Hypoglycemia is often seen in toy breeds, and frequently in young toy puppies.   It can cause your puppy to become confused, disoriented, drowsy, have the shivers, stagger about, collapse, fall into a coma, or have seizures.   Typical signs are listlessness, depression, staggering gait, muscular weakness, and tremors -- especially of the face.  Puppies with a severe drop in the blood sugar develop seizures or become stuperous and go into a coma.  Some puppies may only exhibit weakness or a wobbly gait, and occasionally a puppy that seemed just fine is found in a coma.  Most of the time the symptoms can be controlled by eating, or by giving some glucose such as honey water to the puppy. If not treated it can result in death.

Hypoglycemia-- If you are going to become a toy dog owner you will want to familiarize yourself to the symptoms of hypoglycemia.  Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugar levels (glucose) fall well below normal.  Glucose is what the body uses as fuel and is necessary for the brain tissue and muscles to function.  Hypoglycemia is often seen in toy breeds, and frequently in young toy puppies.   It can cause your puppy to become confused, disoriented, drowsy, have the shivers, stagger about, collapse, fall into a coma, or have seizures.   Typical signs are listlessness, depression, staggering gait, muscular weakness, and tremors -- especially of the face.  Puppies with a severe drop in the blood sugar develop seizures or become stuperous and go into a coma.  Some puppies may only exhibit weakness or a wobbly gait, and occasionally a puppy that seemed just fine is found in a coma.  Most of the time the symptoms can be controlled by eating, or by giving some glucose such as honey water to the puppy. If not treated it can result in death.

LEPTOSPIROSIS-- Leptospirosis is a disease is caused by spiral shaped bacteria called leptospires. It occurs worldwide and can affect humans as well as many wild and domestic animals, including dogs and cats. Dogs become infected by leptospires when abraded skin comes into contact with the urine of an infected host.  The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth), especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also cause infection.  The organisms quickly spread through the bloodstream leading to fever, joint pain, and general malaise which can last up to a week.

LIVER SHUNT-- Also called Portosystemic shunts, are abnormal veins that allow blood from the intestine to bypass the liver.  Normally, blood flows from the intestines to the liver. where the by-products of digestion are metabolized. When there is a shunt, blood bypasses the liver with disastrous and often fatal consequences. Ammonia and other toxins are not metabolized or removed from the circulation, resulting in signs of hepatic encephalopathy (type of brain inflammation caused by high levels of ammonia and other toxins in the blood).   Symptoms can be dramatic, including stunted growth, persistent vomiting and diarrhea, weight loss and seizures. But they can also be subtle--increased urination, thirst and salivation. Liver shunts are operable, but not always successfully. The errant blood vessels may be inside or outside of the liver, and the ones inside the liver are much more difficult to repair

PANCREATITIS -- Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, an elongated gland that serves many functions in the process of digestion and metabolism. When digestive enzymes that normally are excreted into the intestinal tract are activated in the pancreas instead, they cause inflammation. Foods high in fat, or a lot of greasy table scraps, tend to trigger pancreatitis.
This is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease. Mortality is upwards of 20 to 25 percent. Affected animals will have severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, lethargy, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration is also a danger.

PARVOVIRUS -- Canine parvovirus is an acute, highly contagious disease of dogs that was first described in the early 1970's.  The disease is transmitted by oral contact with infected feces.  Parvo affects dogs of all ages, but most cases occur in puppies 6 to 20 weeks of age.  Parvovirus is characterized by severe, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, high fever and lethargy. The diarrhea is particularly foul smelling and is sometimes yellow in color. Parvo can also attack a dog's heart causing congestive heart failure. This complication can occur months or years after an apparent recovery from the intestinal form of the disease. Puppies who survive parvo infection usually remain somewhat un-healthy and weak for life.

PATELLA LUXATION (slipping kneecaps, slipping stifle*)--is a relatively common condition in the Yorkie and often results in the intermittent lifting of one or both hind legs when walking or running. It is possibly recessively inherited and therefore it is sensible not to breed from afflicted animals. Today, veterinary orthopedics are such that corrective surgery is usually extremely successful.

PROTEIN-LOSING ENTEROPATHY-- is a fancy way of saying that protein is being lost from the body through the intestine. This is a serious problem as the body's proteins are not easily replaced and the only way to replace them involves the absorption of protein constituents (the amino acids that make up proteins) from the intestine. If the intestine is actually leaking nutrients out instead of absorbing them in, the result is a nutritional disaster. Protein Losing Enteropathy is an inherited immune-mediated disease of the intestines. Many dogs don't show clinical signs of this disease until they are over the age of 5. Abnormal fluid accumulation may occur secondary to decreased protein levels in the blood.

REVERSE SNEEZING (Pharyngeal Gag Reflex*)--is a dramatic, rapid inhalation and exhalation of air through the nasopharynx. Dogs may do this when they have a mild irritation at the back of their throat. Often confused with seizuring or gasping for air, it is usually a harmless event. 

Reverse sneezing isn't really a health problem, but something that dog owners should be aware of as it is very common in toy breeds.  It  is characterized by honking, hacking or a snorting sounds. It usually happens when a dog is excited or can sometimes happen after drinking, eating, running around, or while pulling on the leash. The dog will usually extend his/her neck while gasping inwards with a distinctive snorting sound, it is reverse sneezing.

Usually by gently rubbing the throat of your dog, the spasms will stop after they swallow a couple of times and that's the end of it. Other dogs respond well by taking them outside for some fresh air. Or you can plug the nose holes forcing the dog to breathe through her mouth and that will usually stop an episode as well.

Reverse sneezing is a harmless condition and medical attention is not necessary. It is important to not confuse reverse sneezing with a collapsing trachea.