Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD) is an inherited immunodeficiency condition which affects the white blood cells ability to fight infection. Affected puppies show infections from a very early age, often with umbilical (navel) infections from birth with other recurring infections of skin, mouth and sores that do not heal. There may be tonsillitis, pneumonia as well as joint and bone problems. These infections usually respond well to antibiotics but, as soon as they are stopped, the infections return.
One of the health problems people associate with Irish Setters is PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) which is a term for several different forms of hereditary conditions which lead to blindness and which is found in many breeds of dogs. This was a major problem for the breed in the 1940’s and 1950’s and was the greatest threat to the breed. This eye condition leads to gradually worsening vision and eventual total blindness in both eyes. The condition is hereditary and is carried by a simple autosomal recessive gene.