Bumps and Bruises
Dogs are prone to different sorts of lumps and bumps, especially as they grow older. Some are no cause for concern, while others definitely require veterinary intervention. It can be difficult to tell which is which. Check for any new bumps every time you groom your Yorkie so you'll at least catch them early. Your Yorkie's annual exam should include an all-over body check for any lumps and bumps. Senior Yorkies should have an exam every six months.
Usually Harmless Lumps
The “old dog” bumps commonly seen are sebaceous adenomas. They often appear around the eyes or on the legs. They're smooth, pink, and healthy-looking and usually present no problems. If they develop on the eyelids, they may have to be removed to prevent irritation.
Cysts are firm lumps you can feel under the skin that develop in blocked hair follicles. There's no need to take any action unless they become infected, in which case they will need to be drained or removed.
Warts can grow anywhere on the body. Also called papillomas, they result from a virus. They only require veterinary attention if they're growing in an area that makes them uncomfortable, such as in the mouth.
More Worrisome Lumps
Abscesses are infections resulting from a puncture wound. Though they are more commonly seen in cats than dogs, they can happen to Yorkies. They will need to be drained, and the dog will be put on antibiotics.
Hematomas happen most often in the ears, maybe as a result of violent shaking of the head. A blood clot forms and creates a lump. Some hematomas resolve on their own, while others must be drained. If they recur, the veterinarian will sometimes stitch the section of the ear flap together — front to back — to keep liquid from gathering there.
Dogs can develop several kinds of skin cancer: basal cell tumors, mast cell tumors, melanomas, and squamous cell carcinomas. All require veterinary treatment, ranging from surgery to radiation and chemotherapy.
Perianal tumors develop in older dogs, nearly always male, and usually intact (not neutered). They appear as lumps around the anus, either singly or in clusters. They are surgically removed, and the dog is often neutered at the same time. Some can be malignant, in which case radiation and/or chemotherapy may be needed.
If you have an armload of groceries or are carrying a laundry basket, it's really difficult to see the Yorkie running around at your feet. Even without a load in your arms, if you don't glance down, you might not realize the dog is there. So, unfortunately, Yorkies often are unintentionally stepped on, kicked, or knocked with opening or closing doors. To avoid such mishaps, try to know where your Yorkie is before you move, especially around doors or stairs. Be particularly careful in the kitchen. Tripping over your Yorkie while you're carrying pans of hot water or food could result in serious burns for both of you.
You might want to teach your Yorkie to stay out of the kitchen while you are cooking. She can learn to watch from the doorway, close enough to keep an eye on things, but she won't be underfoot. Be sure to reward her for good behavior.
It's often hard to judge the extent of an injury of this sort. Many dogs are stoic and won't complain about the pain. Any misadventure that appears potentially serious — falling down the stairs or being slammed with a door — should be followed with a visit to the veterinarian. Dogs have died from unrecognized internal injuries.