Heart failure is a leading cause of death among Yorkshire Terriers in their golden years. Most heart disease in dogs is caused by weakening of a valve . A heart valve slowly becomes deformed so that it no longer closes tightly. Blood then leaks back around this valve and strains the heart. Pets with heart valve disease (sometimes called mitral valve disease) have a heart murmur. If your dog has a heart murmur or outward signs suggesting heart problems, we’ll perform testing to determine the severity of the disease. The same tests will need to be repeated at least every year to monitor the condition. If heart valve disease is diagnosed early, we may be able to prescribe medications that could prolong his life for many years. Veterinary dental care and fatty acid supplementation can help prevent heart disease and weight control can help diminish symptoms.
So you don't think its dry skin and you don't have the hallmark signs of fungus? Another common problem is contact dermatitis. You may have contact dermatitis if you have a red, scaly, itchy rash and it is in the pattern of your new sandals or perhaps socks. You can also get contact dermatitis from a new cream or tanning lotion. Any kind of topical allergen can cause a skin reaction. I've even seen dermatitis from an ankle bracelet! Contact dermatitis is usually a new problem and a little detective work will help you find the culprit! Topical treatment with a steroid cream coupled with removing the allergen usually rapidly relieves the itchy rash. Rarely an oral steroid is needed to calm down the itching and alleviate the rash.
The target organ for atopy (unlike the respiratory signs in people) is the skin. Cats may have many different areas of the body affected, making this problem difficult to differentiate from other skin diseases. Often, after eliminating more easily diagnosed problems, veterinarians will try a steroid trial. This involves either an oral medication given daily or an injection given every 6-8 weeks, as needed. The daily medication allows for more precise dosing and less risks of side effects but can be difficult with some cats (to say the least!). An alternative medication called cyclosporine is more in favor now due to fewer side effects; however, it is a more expensive option.