What I Wish Everyone Knew About Yorkie Eye Problems

Yorkie looking at the camera

There are a few eye issues that are common to the Yorkshire Terrier breed. You should know about them so that they can be spotted early.

With the help of your vet and special eye tests, if needed, your Yorkie can have a bright future.

Here are the three most common eye issues with the Yorkie:

  • Dry Eyes
  • Inflammation
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • In addition to these common problems, there are several diseases to be aware of when it comes to the eyes of your Yorkshire Terrier.

Dry Eyes

Although it is not a very serious issue, it can cause the dog discomfort and soreness. The eyes can become dehydrated, leading to more health problems.

Some causes include: A dog not receiving appropriate nutrition, a wound to the eye, a problem thyroid, side effect from medicine or infection.

Your Yorkie will be given eye drops to increase the natural tears.

If a tear duct is the cause of the problem and is damaged, surgery may be required.


According to the Yorkie Info Center, some of the symptoms of inflammation include:

  • Squinting
  • Intense blinking
  • Bright light sensitivity
  • Loss of color in the iris
  • Redness and inflammation

Something may have entered the dog’s eye; the vet should examine him to find out the source of the inflammation.

In some cases, a blood test may be done. Medication or anti-inflammatory medicine may be given.

Other causes of inflammation include allergies, Lyme Disease, Brucellosis or a fever.

yorkie laid down

Corneal Dystrophy

Clouded corneas are an inherited disease. Both eyes will be affected, and it is not painful. A present, there is no treatment.

It does not block eyesight and mainly affects how clearly the dog can see.

Grooming is of utmost importance to keep the eyes free of dirt and hair. Use a damp washcloth and dry the area.

Otherwise, there are products, such as a high-quality canine eye wipe, that will work efficiently.

Keeping the eyes clean will prevent foreign matter from entering the eye and causing problems.

The fur around the eyes should be trimmed to avoid irritation in the eyes of the Yorkshire Terrier.

Other Eye Conditions

There are certain diseases that are more common in toy dogs and Yorkies.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests that an Ophthalmologist Evaluation is recommended by the National Breed Club.

Some eye problems include:

  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Retinal Dysplasia

This is a common health problem in Yorkies and other breeds. It is an inherited disease. In this case, a thin layer of tissue covers the eyeball; it causes vision to be irregular.

In extreme cases, blindness can occur. It can cause your dog to walk into things or stumble.

It can be diagnosed by the vet, and only the most severe cases will affect your dog.

A certified ophthalmologist can perform a test from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.

anatomy dog eye

If your dog has this disease, you can make his life easier:

  • Take the same route every day when walking your Yorkie.
  • Put water as well as toys in the same area.
  • Keep furniture in the same location; avoid moving it around.


Because they usually take time to develop, cataracts slowly change your Yorkie’s vision. The structural protein in the lens of eye changes.

If caught early cataracts can be repaired with surgery. Regular vision checks at the vet can spot them early.

Prevent cataracts by ensuring that your Yorkie does not have nutritional deficiencies that could affect the health of the eyes.

Avoid exposure to radiation, trauma to the eye and electric shock. If the dog is diabetic, it will need extra care in preventing cataracts.

Droopy Eyelids

Known as Entropion, this is when the eyelashes touch the surface of the eye, causing watery eyes, redness, and irritation. It can appear in older dogs; however, it is not a very common issue.

According to Mercola pets, Entropion can also cause excessive tearing and irritation.

Surgery to the eyelid is a last resort; eye drops can help with the inflammation and irritation.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a congenital disease that can lead to two-sided retina degeneration. Vision problems can result and eventually blindness.

PRA in a puppy can be diagnosed after two months of age.

Yorkie on a bed

While the owner can look for signs of visual distress in the puppy, it is the vet who can diagnose PRA.

There is no treatment or cure at present; however, many dogs with this condition lead normal lives, as their other senses become enhanced as their vision decreases.

PRA is also common in other breeds besides the Yorkie; it can affect Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers, Poodles, Norwegian Elkhounds, and other dogs.

With proper attention and grooming of your Yorkie around the eyes, many eye problems can be avoided.

Good nutrition and timely visits to the vet can ensure that your little furry friend can be in the best of eye health.

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