How to Examine Your Yorkie
In order to be able to spot a problem, you must be familiar with your Yorkie's normal, healthy condition. To do this, you should give your Yorkshire terrier a weekly exam. You'll come to know every curve of that little body, and will recognize any small changes. Once you've accustomed your Yorkie to the exam, it should be a happy, bonding experience for both of you. You can also combine your Yorkie's health check with regular grooming. You have to brush your dog regularly anyway.
If you've followed the previous directions to teach your Yorkie to open her mouth upon request, you can look in for any tooth problems and check on tartar buildup. Press lightly on the gums to see that a nice pink color returns quickly. Pale gums can be a sign of internal parasites, gastrointestinal disease, or other problems.
Eyes should be clear and bright. Yorkies do tend to collect some mucus at the inside corners of the eyes, but this can be easily cleared away while you're checking the eyes. Note if there's any more of it than usual — that could indicate a problem. Squinting, constant blinking, or pawing at the eyes could also mean there's something wrong.
Look down inside the ears. They should be clean and pink. If there's substantial wax buildup or debris, clean it out with cotton balls and an ear cleaner. Also, use your nose and sniff each ear. A bad smell means an infection and necessitates a visit to the veterinarian. Also, check for any weed seeds in the ears or in the coat.
Check each foot; this is most easily done with your Yorkie lying on her back. See that the nails are not too long, that no foreign substances or mats are lodged between the pads, and that the pads aren't cracked or cut. Trim long hair. Many dogs dislike having their feet touched, so work on handling them over time.
Run your hands down the chest, down each leg, and along the body. Feel for any mats or foreign substances in the coat. Check how much fat is over the ribs. Watch for any flinches that might indicate a sore spot. Pay special attention to the region beneath the tail. You want to be sure it's clean back there. If the dog is reluctant to have you touch the area around his anus, it may mean the anal glands are impacted. Your groomer or your veterinarian can express them, and can show you how to do it if you're interested.
How can you examine or clip a Yorkie's rear end if he's reluctant to be handled there?
Try trainer Terry Ryan's “peanut butter therapy” (or use low-fat cream cheese instead). Smear a little cream cheese on the refrigerator door at Yorkie height. Sit on the floor while you let the Yorkie lick off the cream cheese. Next time, while the Yorkie licks, part the hair at the dog's rear end and scratch a little, take a couple of swipes with the comb, or clip a few strands of hair. Add a more handling each time.