Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your English Setter puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in English Setters, the best dog food diet for feeding English Setter puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

English Setter dog breed

English Setter Health Problems and Raising an English Setter Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in English Setters:

The most common orthopedic diseases in English Setters are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.

  • The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 8255 English Setters and 17% were dysplastic. That's very high, and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. (Confirming this, the English Setter Club reports a hip dysplasia rate of around 24%.) For comparison, Irish Setters have a 12% hip dysplasia rate.
  • Elbows are nearly as bad – of 1600 elbow X-rays, 15.5% were dysplastic (the 13th worst rate of 82 breeds). Irish Setters have only a 3.5% rate.

According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, English Setters have THE HIGHEST rate of hypothyroidism of 140 breeds. Up to 40% of English Setters are affected. The OFA Thyroid Database ranks English Setters 1st of 60 breeds (their figures says that up to 50% of the breed is affected. Low thyroid levels are very treatable, but do require lifelong medication.

Allergies cause itchy skin and often lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), especially in show lines with excessive skin folds. Ear infections are common in English Setters due to the long pendulous ears and long hairs inside the ear canals.

Inherited deafness occurs in about 10% of the breed.

Eye diseases in English Setters include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), and cataracts.

Blood-clotting diseases include hemophilia A and von Willebrand's disease.

Other health issues of concern in English Setters include heart disease, lysosomal storage disease, and tumors/cancer.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR English Setter?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in English Setters today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an English Setter puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your English Setter puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy English Setter puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your English Setter lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your English Setter
The best diet for feeding your English Setter is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your English Setter. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your English Setter
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your English Setter. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your English Setter puppy really need? Does your adult English Setter need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your English Setter. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your English Setter. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female English Setter.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.