Visiting the Vet

If you have done sufficient planning, you will already have an appointment with the veterinarian set up for a few days after your pup comes home. This first visit is for a general health check. There will be no vaccinations. Whether or not your pup has had experience with veterinary clinics already, he may react by shaking and whining. Do not fuss over the shaking dog — you will only encourage the behavior. Just go calmly about your business, rewarding any signs of settling down.

Your Yorkie's Medical History

When you take your pup to the vet for the first time, bring with you any vaccination or other health records given to you by the breeder. These documents will go into your pup's medical record. The clinic may have you fill out a form, or the veterinarian may ask you questions. Provide as much information as possible — you want as complete a record as you can get. If your Yorkie came from a rescue group or shelter, be sure to make that known, but don't exaggerate or make unsubstantiated claims. For example, don't tell the vet that the dog must have been abused just because he now shrinks away from rolled newspapers. Only report details that you know are facts.

Photograph by Cheryl A. Ertelt

Your Yorkie needs regular veterinary visits to keep him healthy and active.

The Exam

Watch your veterinarian as she examines your Yorkie. This is your first chance to see your chosen vet interact with your dog. The pup should be kept from sliding off the table, but handled gently. If you notice any rough contact or signs of serious distress from your dog, point this out to the vet. If you are unhappy with the service you and your dog receive, consider visiting another vet to compare practices.

Keep in mind that most veterinarians are generalists, treating not just dozens of breeds of dogs, but cats and perhaps other species as well. Don't be dismayed if their knowledge of Yorkshire terriers in particular is not as deep as the breeder's. The breeder has devoted herself to a single breed.

The veterinarian should listen to your pup's heart and lungs with a stethoscope, look in his eyes and ears, and gently manipulate each leg. This contact should be gentle and slow, so as not to startle your pup. Feel free to ask any questions you may have while the vet is examining your dog in this way.

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