Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Yorkies do suffer from tracheal problems but you would normally hear a coughing type noise or as though it is having breathing problems. I would recommend having it checked by your vet when they are open.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

To compensate for the interference of ear flaps, dogs perk up their pinnae and tilt their heads for optimum sound collection. If an interesting sound comes from the front, a dog cocks its head in the direction of the sound. If the sound comes from the rear, the dog may turn before tilting his head.
However, a disturbance of balance can happen to any dog, and causes vary from more common issues like ear infections, inner ear tumors, and hypothyroidism to much more serious conditions like brainstem tumors, strokes, and brain inflammation. Therefore, a professional diagnosis is critical if your dog can`t stand up.
Head pressing can be caused by a number of different conditions, including: Metabolic disorders (such as too much or too little sodium) Tumors. Nervous system infection (such as rabies or fungus)
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
In the case of a stroke, your pet`s brain sends incorrect signals to their body. For example, your pet may not be able to respond to your spoken directions. Instead, he may move in a directionless fashion and seem to be walking in circles. He may appear as though he is drunk and be unable to walk in a straight line.
Some signs of a stroke in dogs include a head tilt, circling, loss of balance, and unusual eye movements. If you think that your dog is having a stroke, don`t delay getting them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment is mostly supportive, and it`s important to treat any underlying causes.
Certainly behaviour in relation to eating and drinking may change, including increased food aggression; or showing appeasing behaviour after soiling in the house. Equally, lethargy and lack of exercise tolerance are known clinical signs of Cushing`s.
Ear infection is by far the most common cause of head shaking and head tilt in dogs. Ear infections can occur because of yeast, bacteria, or fungi that may build up inside your dog`s ears. If this happens, infection can lead to swelling, inflammation, pain, and oozing, among other symptoms.
Dogs lick the air for a number of reasons: to better smell things they are interested in, to communicate anxiety, to combat an upset stomach, etc. Occasional, short-lived episodes of air-licking are not a cause for alarm, but you should watch for increases in the time and/or frequency spent licking.
You can only give your dog pain medications specifically designed for canines and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These drugs also have to be prescribed by a vet, since there are no FDA-approved OTC painkillers for dogs.
The symptoms of depression in dogs are similar to those experienced by people. Common symptoms include low activity levels, a loss in interest in the things they once enjoyed, and a change in eating and/or sleeping habits. Some dogs may also show signs of aggression, including uncharacteristic howling or whining.
Common signs that your dog might be having a stroke include: Loss of balance. Head tilt. Pacing, circling, or turning the wrong way when called.
Dogs have been known to sense all sorts of illnesses including cardiac events, like strokes. The American Heart Association (AHA) even found that people living alone with a dog had a 27% better chance of surviving a stroke than those living alone.
After a stroke, survivors often experience emotional and behavioral changes. The reason is simple. Stroke impacts the brain, and the brain controls our behavior and emotions. You or your loved one may experience feelings of irritability, forgetfulness, carelessness or confusion.
Generally, one bark is to alert. Multiple barks mean he is trying to tell you something – anything from hunger to needing attention. Yipping or whining – A pup usually yips or whines when he is uncomfortable or lonely. You will probably notice yipping as you leave or when you put him in his crate.
The last few days before your dog passes you may notice: extreme weight loss, a distant look in their eyes, a lack of interest in anything, restlessness or unusual stillness, a change in the way that your dog smells, and a changed temperament.
Addison`s disease in dogs (also called hypoadrenocorticism) occurs when your dog`s adrenal glands aren`t producing adequate levels of corticosteroid hormones. If diagnosed and treated appropriately these dogs can live a long, happy life. The adrenal glands are two small glands next to the kidneys.
Inner ear infections are a common cause of balance problems in dogs. If your dog has an ear infection, you may also notice additional symptoms such as odor in or around the affected ear, head shaking and scratching, walking in circles, and eye flicking, as well as redness, swelling, or discharge.
Earwax buildup

Another reason why dogs shake their heads is because there`s too much earwax, which can be uncomfortable, block air flow, and be another precursor of infection. If you sniff your pup`s ears and notice an odor and brown gunk but no skin irritation or discharge, it`s time to clean your dog`s ears.

In the meantime, there are some home remedies you can try to ease your pet`s discomfort, such as a warm compress, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide ear flush, and the use of natural anti-inflammatory agents like coconut oil or aloe vera gel.
Female dogs, like males, typically lick their privates to clean themselves, for instance, after peeing or pooping. Female dogs can also lick their privates more frequently when in heat. Vulva engorgement and discharge cause increased licking around the genitals in female dogs.
Your dog licks you to show they care, to get attention, to understand you better and because they enjoy it. However, the reason they may prefer your feet could be because they`re bursting with scent information that tells them a lot about you, where you`ve been and what you`ve been doing.
Focal seizures can present with abnormal motor activity (facial twitches, chewing movements, paddling of a limb), behavioral signs (fear, attention seeking), and/or changes in autonomic functions (pupil dilation, salivation, vomiting). Awareness may or may not be impaired during focal seizures.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My 2 yr old female yorkie has recently started lifting her head up and back as far as it will go so much that we suspect a problem.
ANSWER : A. Yorkies do suffer from tracheal problems but you would normally hear a coughing type noise or as though it is having breathing problems. I would recommend having it checked by your vet when they are open.

Read Full Q/A … : Dogs and Jealousy

Q. MY Shih Tzu IS 14 YEARS OLD. SHE WILL NOT LIFT HER HEAD UP EVEN WHEN YOU ASK HER IF SHE WANTS A TREAT. NORMALLY WHEN YOU SAY TREAT SHE COMES RUNNING .
ANSWER : A. From what you’re describing I think 2 things are likely. Either your dog has pain in her neck, which is causing her to not want to move her head, or she’s feeling generalized weakness.

Neck pain in small dogs is usually due to disk problems. They get a form of disk disease known as Hansen’s type II chronic disease, where the disk gradually moves upward and presses slowly on the spinal cord, causing pain and weakness.

Generalized weakness can be due to a number of conditions, starting with just not feeling well due to a GI problem (nausea, for example) to something like anemia (low red blood cell count) or heart disease. It sounds very much like your girl isn’t feeling well, and likely need some diagnostics in order to figure out what’s going on. You vet will start with a physical examination and rule out possible neck pain, and then will likely recommend blood work or other tests. If you want to talk to us further we can probably provide more information on a consult, where we can get more details about exactly what’s going on.

Q. 5 Yr old female cat change in behavior last 2 mos: hides, sleeps all the time, meows when touched, decrease appetite; last 1-2 wks wobbley.
ANSWER : A. While I think neurologic disease is certainly a concern based on what you’re describing, and should be ruled out with a good neuro exam (full examination of spinal reflexes and cranial nerves), a cat that sleeps all the time and is wobbly could have many things going on. What you’re describing sounds like generalized weakness to me, and that could be caused by heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, anemia (lots of causes to this) or metabolic/hormonal conditions like diabetes. Often cats “look” neurologic when in fact they’re just really weak.

However, as far as specific neurologic conditions that might cause what you’re seeing, chronic ear infections or a polyp in the inner or middle ear can affect the vestibular nerve and affect balance, some drugs if used long term (metronidazole) can cause it as well. Other things include intervertebral disk disease (slipped disk), cancer in the spinal cord, thiamine deficiency (not a problem if your cat eats a commercially-prepared diet) and feline infectious peritonitis.

Unfortunately the only way to start figuring out what’s going on is likely with lab work (complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urinalysis) and x-rays for starters (likely of the spine). And as I said above a good neuro exam is critical to starting to figure out whether it’s a neuro problem or not. Your vet will possibly recommend other tests based on the initial results. If you’d like to consult further about exactly what’s going on with your cat select the “consult” button.

Q. We have a 4 yr old lab-pit mix we raise from 6 weeks.If my husband tries to take hin by the collar and make him go out to pottie he growls.Problem?
ANSWER : A. This is not good behavior. Rather than take him by the collar, call him to come with you. If he’s not good about coming when called, you can work on that. Keeps treats on hand to to entice him out and reward him when he does go potty and he’ll come to look forward to it. Clicker training is another great way to teach a dog all kinds of things, from obedience to tricks.

Have treats on hand that you know he loves, then simply click and treat. He will come to associate the sound with getting a treat. Start putting distance between you so he has to come to you. Call and click and when he comes to you for that treat, treat him and give him lots of praise. Move to hiding somewhere in the house, call and click. When he comes to you reliably inside when you call, click and treat. When this behavior is consistent, move outdoors with a very long leash. Call and click, if he doesn’t respond, give a light tug on the leash. If he takes even a single step toward you, click, treat and lots of praise. Keep doing this until he comes eagerly. Next, try him off-leash in a securely fenced area. Call and click. At this point he should be responding well and coming easily to the call and click. If he does not, go back to the last step he performed reliably and work on that again until he responds well. Eventually, you can start not treating him every time, but still praise him. Gradually lessen the frequency of the treats until he comes just to the click and praise.

Keep training sessions short, ten or fifteen minutes to start, no more than 30 minutes at a time and do it a few times a day. Try not to do it any time he is overly excited so that he can pay attention to you. Always end a training session on a good note, even if it is just getting him to do something he already does well on command. And never, NEVER punish a dog when they come to you, no matter how far they’ve made you chase them, no matter how frustrated and angry you might be. That teaches your dog that coming to you is a bad thing.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs

Q. Cat isn’t moving much, not vocal, not eating much of favourite food and is limping. Indoor, urine and feces look normal. What could be wrong?
ANSWER : A. Unfortunately there could be a lot of things going on. Some of them are more likely or unlikely depending on your cat’s age, but I’ll give you a general idea. You’re describing two basic problems – lethargy and inappetance, which often go together in cats. Causes can include organ diseases, like kidney or liver problems, heart problems, hormonal diseases like diabetes, or blood disorders that cause anemia (low red blood cells). Your vet will likely recommend blood work and possibly x-rays to get started. But keep in mind it might take some testing to figure out what’s going on, because these are pretty vague symptoms. Good luck.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. My puppy refuses to walk outside on the leash. This only happens when we’re outside… Is it stubbornness or fear?
ANSWER : A. It is never stubbornness. Dogs are not stubborn, they can’t be. Dogs do not generalize well, and dogs display fearful behavior that appears to be stubbornness. Absolutely NEVER force this dog to walk outside when he is uncomfortable with doing so.. the more you force him to do it, opposition reflex – the more he will resist. The more he resists and is forced into it, the less he learns about being comfortable, and the more he becomes fearful of you and of the situation.

What you can do is carry extremely high value treats outside with you. Things like cooked white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks – all cut up into tiny little pea-sized pieces. You can also use peanut butter in a squeeze tube. First, put on the leash indoors and begin feeding him the treats. Help him make positive associations with having the leash put on. Then, take the leash off, and start over in 10min. Put the leash on, feed treats, walk to the door, open the door, feed treats, close door, take off leash. Start over in 10min. Put on leash, feed treats, go to door, feed treats, open door, feed treats, go outside, feed tons of treats and praise. Keep Titus in his comfort zone. If he doesn’t want to go far, just feed him tons of treats where he IS comfortable going. Make sure everything is calm/happy/positive. I bet in a week of doing this, he will be happy with walk further and further all of the time. If ever he is uncomfortable, feed him lots of treats for being a brave boy, and then turn around and go back home. It’s all about keeping him in his comfort zone.. it’s all about remaining within his threshold and never forcing him to feed uncomfortable.

This is very common for puppies. The world is scary! It’s brand new to them, and it’s up to you to make their interactions and discoveries positive, happy, calm, and to never force them into anything.

Q. What is the disease that affects vertebra on Boxer dogs?
ANSWER : A. There are lots of problems with the back that can go wrong , however one common one is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVD). This involves a gradual degeneration of the pads between vertebrae that are used to help pad impact and protect the nerves inside the spinal cord. This can cause pain, trouble walking, paralysis and more. Many other back problems can include Wobbler’s Syndrome- a problem where the neck and back meet, or even just plain injury to the back itself. Boxers that have docked tails may also have nerve issues in the cauda equina- a group of nerves that meet at the base of the back and tail and are important in proper function of the lower organs, tail and legs.