Most common health problems in English Setters, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your English Setter

If you want to AVOID health problems in your English Setter, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your English Setter already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


English Setter dog breed

English Setter Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of English Setter health problems

English Setters have the highest rate of thyroid disease of all breeds, with up to 40% affected. Thyroid disease is treatable, but does require lifelong medication.

High rates of hip and elbow dysplasia occur in English Setters, causing pain and lameness. Hereditary eye diseases can lead to blindness.

Chronic allergies cause itchy skin that can progress to skin infections (hot spots). Ear infections are common due to the long narrow ear canals filled with hair.

Inherited deafness occurs in about 10% of the breed.

Other health issues of concern in English Setters include heart disease, blood-clotting disease, and tumors/cancer.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your English Setter have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of thyroid disease, hereditary eye diseases, and hip and elbow dysplasia, your English Setter has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your English Setter, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your English Setter puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


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

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.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your English Setter
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" 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 some vets aren't telling you.


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


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


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.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of English Setter health problems

Let's start with orthopedic issues: hip and elbow dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 11,400 English Setters and 16% were dysplastic. That's 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%. Elbows are just as bad – of 3300 elbow X-rays, nearly 16% were dysplastic.

According to both the Michigan State University Thyroid Database and the Orthopedic Foundation of America Thyroid Database, English Setters have the highest rate of hypothyroidism of all breeds. Anywhere from 26-40% of English Setters are 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.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.