The small size of a Morkie means that it is understandable for owners to become concerned about their health and welfare. Toy breeds are often prone to poor temperature regulation and injury through rough treatments. But, what about the other Morkie health issues that we need to consider?
Are Morkies healthy, long-living dogs?
The good news here is that your little companion is tougher than you might suspect and is likely to live long into double digits with the right care. The bad news is that there are some genetic traits and health care implications that come from crossing a Maltese with a Yorkshire Terrier.
It isn’t possible to predict precisely what health issues your beloved Morkie may face. However, we can look at some of the common issues experienced by the parent breeds and use that as a basis.
There is no guarantee that your pet will develop these conditions. But, you need to be prepared for them. The more you do now to limit the possibility and provide a healthier lifestyle, the better your chances of avoiding the worst health problems. Here are some issues to watch out for and some tips to help.
Morkies can develop eye problems as they get older, with glaucoma being a big issue. The Maltese parent may be to blame for goniodysgenesis, which can lead to excessive pressure and sight loss. If your dog is genetically predisposed to this condition then there isn’t too much that you can do to prevent it. But, it is still very important to prioritize eye health.
Check their eyes for signs of discharge or ill-health during your grooming regime(How often does a Morkie need to be groomed). Also, make sure that you schedule eye exams for your dog so your vet can get a better idea of their health and vision.
Ear problems are a possibility with a lot of dogs with floppy ears, which is a likely trait with a Morkie. Inexperienced dog owners don’t always think to clean the ears regularly to remove any waxy build-ups or deal with any discharge or problems. A little wax and dirt are healthy, just like with our own ears. But, if you see or smell and signs of problems, talk to a vet. Also, watch out if your dog is shaking their head a lot or pawing at their ear which can mean a sign of an inner ear infection.
Dental hygiene is vital for all dogs to maintain oral health. But, it seems that Morkies are more likely to develop problems than other dogs. This comes from the way that they chew, which can lead to bigger build-ups of plaque.
So, it is vital that you stay on top of any problems by providing effective tooth brushing as part of a regular grooming regime. You can get some great canine toothpaste products and finger-brushes to make things easier.
This is a condition that tends to come from the Yorkshire Terrier side of the family. A collapsed trachea can be incredibly dangerous as this will inhibit breathing. Dogs that develop this deformation of the airway can then suffer from a cough and problems breathing.
A common cause of this issue is a strain from collars and leashes and obesity will only make the situation. That is why it is advisable to use a harness when walking your Morkie. A harness puts less pressure on any one area of the body and poses no risk to the throat. Also, good portion control and exercise plans will reduce the risk of them becoming overweight.
While this sounds cute, it is actually very unpleasant for the dog. These sneezes are much like our own and triggered by irritants in the environment or respiratory illness. Prolonged sneezing can cause irritation and possible damage to the throat.
Where possible, figure out the cause, such as nasal mites, seeds, or other allergens. There is little to worry about if they sneeze now and then. It is a bigger issue if there are already problems with the throat and trachea. Prolonged fits of sneezing may also cause these little dogs to panic.
Other health issues to be aware of when taking care of Morkies
Hypoglycemia: this is common in toy breeds with high metabolic rates. They can struggle to maintain blood sugar levels.
Cryptorchidism: the failure of one or both of the testicles to descend. This isn’t a massive problem, but something that breeders should make you aware of.
Portosystemic shunt: where an accessory blood vessel disrupts normal circulation. Dogs can end up with too much waste product in their brain, leading to reduced cognitive function.
Hernias: the digestive organs protruding due to the incomplete development of the muscles in the abdominal wall. Painful but reversible with surgery.
Be aware that health risks can increase with “teacup” Morkies.
The whole “teacup” idea is a con anyway and best avoided. Breeders charge excessive prices for smaller dogs that they claim are a cuter, smaller sub-breed. The truth is that they are just smaller animals, quite possibly runts or dogs breed from undersized animals.
This is a bad practice that can only lead to unhealthy dogs. Make sure that you get your Morkie from a reputable breeder if you want a puppy. Check out the pups and parents before you buy and get a run-down on their medical history. Or you could adopt a Morkie in need of better love and care instead.
Seek advice from your veterinarian whenever you have any concerns.
If you have any doubts about your Morkie’s health or need guidance on any other issues, always speak to your vet. It is better to bother them with small trivial matters than to avoid asking and miss a problem.
Your vet can help you understand some of these conditions a little better and provide the testing and examinations to help. They can also advise you on some of the best products, foods, and other items to make Morkie health care even easier. Together, you can create the perfect health plan for your pet.