Welcome to Irish Setter Health

Irish Setter Health is for everyone who cares about Irish Setters, or Red Setters as they are often known.  Hopefully some of your questions will be answered whether you are thinking of buying a puppy or if you are already an owner.  The aim of the site is to share knowledge and experience in a responsible way to increase understanding of the breed, particularly its health and welfare.  Although it is not a veterinary or scientific site we hope to provide you with information and help.  However, this should never replace veterinary advice and if you are worried about your pet’s health then please contact your vet. 

Irish Setter Health is run by the South of England Irish Setter Club in conjunction with its site www.SEISC.co.uk.  This site complements the club website and our prime focus is on caring for your setter, puppies and health issues.  We would like to thank both Professor Ed Hall, Chairman of the Breed Health Committee, and Dr Jeff Sampson, who was The Kennel Club's Geneticist for many years, who have been consulted on our health articles. We will continue to add more articles and information and would be pleased if you would let us have any information you feel would be appropriate. Please continue to help us make this a site for all Irish Setter owners.

Nero Head

Spotlight on...


EYE TESTING              

Sunday 16th July 2017

Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ

The Irish Red and White Setter Club of GB are holding an eye test at the Kennel Club Building on the same day as SEISC Champ Show.  This is open to all Irish Setters attending the show (and maybe other breeds as well).

1 dog - £55 each - extra dog(s) in the same ownership  - £48.50 each.  If we can get 25 or more dogs at the session - £38 each. Dogs over 8 years old  - £32 each.

DNA sample kits are available free. For more information or to book an appointment time please telephone Ann Millington  on 01782 502451


Exciting Update on Epilepsy Research.

During the last four years around 40 DNA samples from UK Irish Setters which have been diagnosed with epilepsy have been sent to Professor Hannes Lohi’s Canine Genetics research group at the University of Helsinki. Samples from some 80 close family members of these dogs and some 40 older dogs which have not had seizures have also been sent.

The University has just released some exciting news which can be found on a separate page:


If you would like to send DNA samples see the original page.




Give A Dog A Genome

Give a Dog A Genome is a recent initiative launched by the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the AHT to create the UK's largest canine genome bank to help generations of dogs. This genome bank will improve dog health by radically increasing understanding of the canine genome. The aim is to sequence the entire genomes (all 2.4 billion letters of DNA) of 50 different dog breeds by the end of 2016. The AHT has been appealing to dog breed communities to donate £1000 towards this project and is matching each donation with funding provided by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust. In return, the breed will represent one of the 50 genomes sequenced and will help to make a significant contribution to the future of canine genetics research.

We are delighted that The Irish Red Setter Charitable Trust has funded this for our breed and have confirmation that we have been included in the 50 breeds. Sequencing the Irish Setter genome will aid future research into inherited disease.  We look forward to hearing how the research progresses.

Further information can be found on the AHT website:  www.aht.org.uk/gdg


Compulsory Microchipping Law with effect from 6th April 2016. 

On 6th April 2016, in England, Scotland and Wales, it became law for all dogs to be microchipped.

All puppies must be microchipped before they are 8 weeks old and

it is illegal to sell a puppy which is not microchipped and part of a registered database.

The breeder must always be the first recorded keeper of the puppies.

All relevant documents, including microchip details, must be passed to the purchaser (keeper).

It is the keeper's responsibility to keep their details updated on the databases.



Caterpillar of the oak processionary moth. 

Extract from an article on The Forestry Commission website:

People in parts of London and Surrey are being reminded not to approach caterpillars of the oak processionary moths which are now emerging from oak trees in these areas. They are also being advised to keep children and animals away from the caterpillars and their nests, because the caterpillars' hairs can cause itching skin rashes and other health problems. The public is urged to report any sightings.

 Further information can be found at:


These caterpillars can cause serious health problems in dogs.


Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Committee

We have recently been informed of an Irish Setter in mainland Europe which has been confirmed as being PRA RCD-1 affected.  Of course, since 2011 all Irish Setters  registered in UK must be either tested clear or hereditarily clear, but this is not the case in other countries.

Our advice is that if you are importing an Irish Setter (or semen) into the UK, that you check its RCD 1 status. 

Professor EJ Hall

Chairman, Joint  Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Committee

September 2014


Hannes Lohi and his team at Helsinki University are

carrying out research  into epilepsy in Irish  Setters.


See our article to find out if you can help.


Kennel Club/Animal Health Trust Genotyping Project

See the article giving information about this project from AHT


The AHT are investigating mystery New Forest Dog Deaths and are appealing to owners who walk in the Fordingbridge area of The New Forest



Please look at our article on Saying Goodbye.

Maybe you can help the breed. 


Collecting information on Irish Setters with MO

Please look at the article on megaoesophagus and see if you can help.