Skip to Content
The Puppy Mag is an Amazon associate and earns a commission for qualifying purchases. Affiliate Disclosure

Seizures In Yorkies: Causes, How Often, & What To Do

As a concerned Yorkie owner, it’s important to understand the various health issues that can affect your furry friend.

One such issue is seizures, which can be alarming and scary for both you and your Yorkie.

In this article, I’ll discuss what seizures are, what causes them in Yorkies, and how to handle them if they occur.

Everything you need to know is below!

yorkie seizures

Seizures in yorkies

Seizures are a symptom of an underlying health issue and should be taken seriously. They can indicate a range of health issues, including epilepsy, liver disease, kidney disease, brain tumors, and infections.

It’s important to note that not all seizures are the same. They can vary in frequency, duration, and intensity.

Some seizures may be mild and short-lived, while others can last several minutes and be more severe.

It’s important to seek veterinary care if your Yorkie experiences a seizure, especially if it’s the first time they’ve had one.

What exactly is a seizure in a yorkie?

A seizure is an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that causes a range of symptoms.

During a seizure, a Yorkie’s body may shake or twitch uncontrollably, they may lose consciousness, and they may foam at the mouth.

Seizures can be frightening for both the Yorkie and their owner, but it’s important to remain calm and seek veterinary care.

Signs of a seizure

The signs of a seizure can vary depending on the type and severity of the seizure. Some common signs include:

  • Shaking or twitching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Stiffness or rigidity
  • Excessive drooling
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

If you notice any of these signs in your Yorkie, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Types of seizure in yorkies

There are several types of seizures that can affect Yorkies, including:

  • Generalized seizures: These seizures affect the entire body and can cause shaking, loss of consciousness, and foaming at the mouth.
  • Focal seizures: These seizures only affect a specific part of the body, such as the face or limb, and can cause twitching or jerking.
  • Psychomotor seizures: These seizures can cause the Yorkie to exhibit odd behaviors, such as biting at the air or running in circles.
  • Cluster seizures: These seizures occur in clusters, with several seizures happening within a short period of time.
  • Status epilepticus: This is a medical emergency and occurs when a seizure lasts for more than five minutes or if the Yorkie has several seizures in a row without regaining consciousness.

Official Info Resource: Types of Seizures in Dogs

What causes yorkies to have Seizures

Seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Genetics: Yorkies, like some other breeds, may have a genetic predisposition to developing seizures. Some research suggests that the gene responsible for this may be passed down from parent to offspring.
  2. Liver disease: Liver disease can cause a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream, which can affect the brain and lead to seizures. Yorkies are known to be susceptible to liver disease, so it’s important to monitor their liver function through regular check-ups and blood work.
  3. Brain tumors: Tumors in the brain can put pressure on surrounding tissue and disrupt normal brain activity, leading to seizures. This is more common in older Yorkies.
  4. Head injury: Trauma to the head, such as from a fall or car accident, can cause seizures. It’s important to take steps to prevent head injuries in your Yorkie, such as keeping them on a leash when outdoors and providing a safe environment indoors.
  5. Infectious diseases: Certain infectious diseases, such as canine distemper or encephalitis, can cause seizures in Yorkies. Vaccination is key to preventing these diseases, so it’s important to ensure that your Yorkie is up to date on all recommended vaccinations.
  6. Toxin exposure: Exposure to certain toxins, such as lead or antifreeze, can cause seizures in Yorkies. It’s important to keep potentially toxic substances out of reach of your Yorkie and to monitor them closely when they are outdoors.
  7. Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels can cause seizures in Yorkies, particularly in young puppies. Feeding your Yorkie a balanced and regular diet can help prevent hypoglycemia.

Our of the causes listed above, the most common causes of seizures in Yorkies are genetics, liver disease, and brain tumors.

Yorkies are more prone to liver disease than many other breeds, and tumors in the brain are more common in older dogs.

How to handle an ongoing seizure

If your Yorkie experiences a seizure, it’s important to remain calm and seek veterinary care immediately. That’ the first piece of advice.

During the seizure, try to keep your Yorkie safe by removing any objects that could harm them, such as furniture or sharp objects.

You should also avoid restraining your Yorkie or putting anything in their mouth, as this can cause injury.

After the seizure has ended, you should take your Yorkie to the vet for an evaluation. Your vet may run tests to determine the underlying cause of the seizure, such as blood work, a urinalysis, or imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan.

If your Yorkie has frequent seizures, your vet may prescribe medication to help control them. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions for administering medication and to keep all follow-up appointments to monitor your Yorkie’s progress.

Are seizures common in yorkies?

Unfortunately yes, seizures are considered common in Yorkies.

According to some estimates, up to 5% of all Yorkies may experience seizures at some point in their lives. (which is far more than other breeds)

However, it’s important to note that not all seizures are caused by the same underlying factors, and some Yorkies may be more prone to seizures due to genetic factors, while others may develop seizures due to health issues such as liver disease or brain tumors.

If you’re concerned about your Yorkie’s risk of developing seizures, it’s important to discuss any concerns with your vet and to ensure that your Yorkie receives regular check-ups to monitor their health. By working closely with your vet and being proactive about your Yorkie’s health, you can help minimize their risk of developing seizures and other health issues.

Last thoughts

Seizures can be a scary experience for both you and your Yorkie, but it’s important to remain calm and seek veterinary care immediately.

By understanding the signs of a seizure, the types of seizures that can affect Yorkies, and the underlying causes, you can be better prepared to handle a seizure if it occurs.

Remember to take your Yorkie to the vet for regular check-ups and to follow any treatment plans recommended by your vet to help manage seizures.

With proper care and attention, you can help your Yorkie live a happy and healthy life, even in the face of seizures.

Helpful resources:

Veterinary Emergency Group – Seizures

VCA Hospitals – Dog Seizure Advice


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.