In my last post, Is your Morkie a Porkie, we looked at how and why small dogs become overweight, and what we can do about it. No surprise it’s the same problem we have — too much energy in and not enough out. But is a pudgy dog anything to really worry about? Well, yes.. as you’ll see when you read on…
Impact of your Morkie being overweight
Your Morkie is half Yorkie and half Maltese, and both of these breeds (and all pure breeds) have hereditary diseases that they MIGHT suffer from in their lifetime – it doesn’t mean they WILL get these diseases but they are more likely to than other breeds. A number of specific hereditary diseases that your Morkie could get, are made much worse by too much weight.
Yorkshire Terriers, and to a lesser degree, Maltese, have a potential hereditary defect called Patellar Luxation – or “floating” kneecaps. The kneecap or patella, actually slips in and out of place. This disease is a result of years of breeding to produce all the good things we love about the Yorkie. Unfortunately along the way, some of the negatives stick too.
You can imagine that extra weight on that leg aggravates the problem.
Maltese dogs are more susceptible to Cushing’s Disease than many other breeds. This is another hereditary condition and it happens when the normal hormonal feedback loop goes crazy. Too much cortisone is produced by the adrenal glands. It’s more common in older dogs, and can even seem like the aging process itself, because the dog will gain weight, lose hair and pee in the house. Controlling weight of a dog with Cushing’s is more challenging, but it can be done. Your Vet will probably prescribe on-going medication to treat the disease, and can give you advice on managing your Morkie’s weight at the same time.
Any breed can have these problems being overweight
Besides breed-specific hereditary diseases that are made worse by too much weight, there are more common problems that any breed can suffer. These include:
- Canine diabetes.
- Digestive problems including constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Phew, who needs it!
- Serious damage to joints, bones, and ligaments are a direct result of too much weight being borne by the joints.
- Heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Difficulty breathing – fat pushes on the abdomen wall and there is less room in the for the lungs to fill properly. Overweight dogs often wheeze, unable to take a full, deep breath.
- Increased chance of cancer – could be another risk to your Morkie who’s overweight. The exact link between obesity and cancer isn’t known for sure, but why risk it!
- A shorter life – just like people, dogs with all the burdens overweight causes, simply don’t live as long.
In conclusion, keep your Morkie fit and at a healthy weight and she’ll be a happy, lively companion for many years.