What Do Yorkies Usually Die From (#2 is Shocking)

What Do Yorkies Usually Die From

Understanding yorkie mortality and know about what do yorkies usually die from.

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately called Yorkies, are a popular small dog breed. These petite, energetic dogs have a glamorous, silky coat that swishes when they walk.

Yorkies are classified as a toy breed given their diminutive size, usually weighing between 4-7 pounds. They have a big personality packed into a little body, often asserting themselves as tiny but mighty.

Yorkies become very devoted and protective of their families. Their beautiful, hypoallergenic coat requires daily brushings to keep it free of tangles and mats.

Yorkies live on average 13-16 years and thrive well in apartments or homes.

They should be supervised when around larger pets given their fragile, miniature stature. With their spunky temperament and cute looks, it’s no wonder Yorkies have become one of the most beloved small dog breeds.

Despite their popularity, Yorkies are prone to certain health problems that can impact their lifespan. Understanding the common diseases Yorkies face can help owners provide the best care.

What Do Yorkies Usually Die From?

What Do Yorkshire Terrier Usually Die From

According to veterinary surgeons, the top 3 causes of death for Yorkies are canine parvovirus, trauma, toxicity, heat stroke, and health complications associated with old age.

The top 3 causes of death for Yorkies are trauma, toxins, and health issues associated with old age. Their small, fragile bodies are vulnerable to traumatic injuries like falls, bites, and car accidents.

Blunt force or penetrating wounds can lead to severe internal bleeding. Yorkies are also extremely sensitive to poisons and can suffer liver failure from ingesting foods, plants, or chemicals that are harmless to larger dogs.

Preventing access to toxins is crucial. In their senior years, Yorkies are prone to fatal cancers and heart disease. Congestive heart failure is common, as vital organs start to lose function.

Keeping older Yorkies lean and active can help prolong their life. But ultimately, organ decline due to the aging process will shorten a Yorkie’s lifespan.

Their petite stature unfortunately predisposes them to both traumatic and toxic demise if care is not taken to protect them.

Canine Parvovirus

  • Highly contagious and life-threatening viral illness
  • Attacks the gastrointestinal tract and immune system
  • Frequently fatal if untreated, more so in puppies
  • Prevented by vaccination

Old Age

  • Yorkshire Terriers are prone to cancer later in life
  • Congestive heart failure is common in older dogs
  • General organ decline due to aging shortens lifespan
  • Keeping senior dogs lean and active helps prolong life


  • Yorkshire Terriers are small and fragile
  • At risk for trauma from falls, being stepped on, dog attacks, car accidents
  • Blunt force and penetrating wounds can lead to shock, internal bleeding, and death


  • Yorkies are extremely sensitive to toxins
  • Can suffer poisoning from foods, plants, or chemicals
  • Toxicity can cause liver failure even with small ingestions
  • Preventing access to toxins is paramount

Heat Stroke

  • Extreme sensitivity to heat due to their small size
  • At high risk during hot weather
  • Heat stroke can cause organ damage and death quickly
  • Important to keep Yorkies cool and hydrated

How Do I Know My Yorkie Is Dying?

Determining a Yorkie is nearing the end of life there are some telltale signs owners should look for. As their organs start failing, Yorkies often lose interest in food and begin refusing meals.

They may lose weight as well as muscle mass and strength. Older Yorkies have trouble controlling their urine and bowels when kidneys decline. They may pass away in their sleep more often too.

Severe lethargy, difficulty breathing, seizures or loss of balance point to neurological issues and system shut down. Collapse, crying out in pain, and pale gums are concerning signs.

If your Yorkie shows a drastic change in personality, avoids contact, or cannot move on their own, they may be signalling their end is near.

Evaluating their quality of life and consulting a veterinarian can help provide insight on your Yorkie’s condition.

Average Yorkie Lifespan

What is the average lifespan of a Yorkie? The average lifespan of a healthy Yorkie is 13 to 16 years. With attentive veterinary care and a good diet, some Yorkies live as long as 18 to 20 years.

Common Health Problems in Yorkies

Yorkies are prone to certain genetic disorders and acquired diseases that can cut their lives short if left untreated. Some of the most common health issues seen in this breed include:


  • Low blood sugar condition, especially in puppies
  • Can lead to weakness, seizures and even death if not addressed
  • Managed by feeding frequent small meals

Collapsing Trachea

  • Weakened windpipe that collapses and obstructs airflow
  • Caused by genetic defect in cartilage rings of trachea
  • Leads to chronic coughing and difficulty breathing
  • Managed with medications and surgery in severe cases

Portosystemic Liver Shunt

  • Abnormal connection between liver and blood vessels
  • Allows toxins to bypass the liver and accumulate in the body
  • Causes poor growth, seizures, urinary issues
  • Corrected with surgery

Dental Disease

  • Yorkies prone to early tooth loss and infections
  • Caused by overcrowded teeth, genetics, poor hygiene
  • Leads to tooth decay, oral pain, systemic illness
  • Managed by dental cleanings and tooth extractions

Bladder Stones

  • Mineral buildups in the urinary bladder
  • Block urine outflow and cause infections
  • Need surgery or diet change to treat appropriately

Improving Yorkie Longevity

While Yorkies are prone to certain genetic diseases, there are steps owners can take to help them live longer, healthier lives:

  • Get early veterinary care – Annual exams and prompt treatment for any issues helps prevent disease progression.
  • Vaccinate against infectious diseases – Core vaccines protect Yorkies against parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and rabies.
  • Spay/neuter your dog – Reduces hormone-related conditions and some cancers.
  • Feed a high quality diet – Provides optimal nutrition and avoids obesity.
  • Practice good dental care – Prevents dental disease which can damage internal organs.
  • Avoid trauma – Use harness instead of collars, keep dogs supervised and limit risks.
  • Provide a safe environment – Puppy-proof home by removing toxins, securing stairs/balconies.
  • Maintain proper weight – Excess weight strains the heart and joints.
  • Exercise regularly – Walks and play help avoid obesity and improve cardiovascular health.

To maximize a Yorkie’s longevity, owners should provide routine veterinary care, vaccinations, proper diet and dental care. They should also take steps to prevent trauma, toxicity, heat stroke, and obesity. Regular exercise and maintaining a safe environment are also key.

Final Words

Yorkshire Terriers are cherished for their big personalities, but their small size makes them vulnerable to certain genetic disorders and acquired health conditions.

Common causes of death include canine parvovirus, trauma, toxicity, heat stroke, and age-related diseases like cancer.

Providing attentive veterinary care, proper nutrition, safe housing, and exercise can go a long way in supporting good health and extending a Yorkie’s lifespan well into the normal range of 13-16 years. With extra diligence, Yorkies can live happily to 18-20 years old.

Here is a table summarizing the key points about Yorkies’ health and lifespan from the content:

TopicKey Points
Yorkie Lifespan– Average 13-16 years
– Some live to 18-20 years with excellent care
– Small dog breeds prone to genetic issues
Health Issues– Hypoglycemia
– Collapsing trachea
– Liver shunts
– Dental disease
– Bladder stones
Causes of Death– Parvovirus
– Trauma/Injuries
– Toxins
– Heat stroke
– Age-related illnesses
Improving Longevity– Veterinary care
– Vaccinations
– Spay/neuter
– Quality diet
– Dental care
– Avoid trauma
– Safe housing
– Proper weight
– Exercise
Signs of Decline– Inappetence
– Weight loss
– Incontinence
– Lethargy
– Breathing difficulty
– Loss of balance
– Weakness

Important Questions

What age do most Yorkies die?

The average Yorkshire Terrier will pass away between 13-16 years of age. With attentive veterinary care and a healthy lifestyle, it’s possible for Yorkies to live up to 18-20 years. Many Yorkies succumb to illness or trauma before reaching the upper end of their typical lifespan. Small dog breeds like Yorkies often have more genetic disorders that cut their lives short if not managed proactively.

How long do most Yorkies live?

Most Yorkies live an average of 13-16 years. This is the typical lifespan you can expect for the breed with proper nutrition, exercise, veterinary care, and safe housing. Some Yorkies unfortunately die much earlier than 13 years due to accidents, toxins, or untreated diseases. On the other end, Yorkies that receive exceptional care and maintain good health into their senior years may reach 17-20 years old. But the majority of Yorkies can be expected to live 13-16 years.

What age is considered old for a Yorkie?

Yorkies are generally considered “senior” or “old” once they reach 8-10 years of age. At this point, they transition into the later stages of life. Owners will start to see signs of aging including graying fur, decreased activity levels, cognitive changes, and decline in organ function. Providing senior Yorkies with regular veterinary monitoring, joint supplements, and appropriate diet adjustments can help maintain their quality of life in their golden years.

What is the most common disease in Yorkies?

The most common disease affecting Yorkies is dental disease. Yorkies are prone to early tooth loss, abscesses, and mouth pain due to overcrowding and misalignment of their teeth. Severe dental disease can also spread infection to their internal organs. Maintaining good oral hygiene through brushing, dental cleanings under anesthesia, and tooth extractions helps prevent these issues in Yorkies and allows them to enjoy better health overall.

About Hailey Pruett

Hailey “Lex” Pruett is a nonbinary writer at YIHY primarily covering reptiles and amphibians. They have over five years of professional content writing experience. Additionally, they grew up on a hobby farm and have volunteered at animal shelters to gain further experience in animal care.

A longtime resident of Knoxville, Tennessee, Hailey has owned and cared extensively for a wide variety of animals in their lifetime, including cats, dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs and toads, fish, chickens, ducks, horses, llamas, rabbits, goats, and more!

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