Health Issues

The English Setter is normally a very healthy dog, but as in all breeds there are problems to be aware of when purchasing a puppy or an older dog.

One concern of most owners of large breed dogs such as English Setters is Hip Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia:
Two well respected authorities and registries on the subject are Guelph University in Canada and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals in the U.S.A.
Quoted from OFA Hip Dysplasia Guide for Dog Breeders and Owners 2nd Edition, 1989
Canine hip dysplasia is currently accepted to be an inherited disease caused by the interaction of many genes (polygenic)> No environmental cause has been found, but environmental factors may influence the degree of expression of the genes within an individual animal. The only current means for reducing the genetic frequency of canine hip dysplasia is by selectively breeding for normal hips. Radiography is currently the accepted means for evaluating the hip status.

English Setters should always be tested for hearing impairment which is easily detected at a very young age by a test called BAER (Brain Auditory Electrical Response). This test can be done in most Provinces in Canada and in the United States. Its a simple test to detect that the dog can hear in one or both ears or to confirm deafness in an animal.

Since both of the problems are genetic, it is suggested that when purchasing a puppy check with the breeder that they do X-ray their breeding stock for hip dysplasia and that they are conscientious when they are breeding to improve the quality of the hips of the animals in their breeding program and that they also test their breeding stock for any hearing disorders.

Please note that testing and clearances for hip dysplasia or deafness in any breed do not guarantee that these problems will not occur but do slow down the percentages of this happening in the progeny of dogs tested and cleared for these problems.

We recommend that you ask breeders if they test for these above issues and request copies of their health clearances when inquiring to puchase a puppy.