Gordon Setters are energetic , fun loving dogs with an average life expectancy of 10-12 years. They are a generally healthy breed but owners should be aware of some possible hereditary conditions which can affect Gordon Setters
1/ PRA rcd-4 Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is a hereditary condition of the eye causing progressive loss of sight and eventual blindness due to degeneration of the retina at the back of the eye. Affected dogs can develop sight problems over months or years and are often affected later in life. Testing involves testing DNA from a swab taken from the mouth.
2/ Hip Dysplasia
A complex hereditary condition involving several genes- Hip dysplasia is the failure of the hip joint ball or socket to develop perfectly. Environmental factors such as nutrition, exercise and trauma may also contribute to the development of symptoms. Testing which involves x-rays of the hips gives a hip score (the lowest score being the most favourable). The breed average score for Gordons is currently 14 combined score for both hips. Symptoms may include laxity of the joints, pain, early onset arthritis, weakness around the hips and altered gait.
3/ Cerebellar Ataxia
Is a hereditary condition affecting the cerebellum the part of the brain associated with balance and coordination. Symptoms often appear later in life and include clumsiness, swaying, loss of balance, uncoordinated movement and falling.
In accordance with the British Gordon Setter Club Code of ethics all Gordons used for breeding must be tested for genetic conditions using official schemes .Your breeder will be happy to show you test results for the Dam and Sire of your puppy’s litter
-AHT PRA (rcd-4) DNA test (www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk ) -AHT offer 30% discount to ABS members
Laboklin (laboklin.co.uk ) offer 10% discount to ABS members on all DNA tests including coat colour testing
Optigen (optigen.com) offer 20% discount to ABS members
KC Eye Scheme (www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/308 )
BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia scheme (www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/308 )
The Gordon Setter Breed Council has prepared a survey which all Gordon owners are encouraged to participate in. We hope to gain valuable information to monitor and improve the health of our breed. The link below allows you to download the form.
The Gordon Setter Health Coordinator is Kathryne Wrigley she may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Conditions to be aware of
1/ Bloat / Gastric Torsion /Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)- This is a veterinary emergency as the condition may progress rapidly and the dog may die.
Excessive air taken with food plus fermentation of undigested food causes the stomach to fill with gas. The stomach may then twist closing the entrance to the stomach preventing release of the gas. This will cause shock and death if not treated immediately. It is a problem that is more common in larger deep chested dogs such as the Gordon. Symptoms include:-
- Repeated attempts to vomit or produce a stool without success.
- Distended stomach with abdomen feeling hard
- Evidence of abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive salivation and drooling
- Stiff legged stance with arched back
- Heavy panting
- Pale/cold lips and gums (indicates the onset of shock)
It may be helpful to feed from a raised bowl and exercise should be avoided immediately after eating to allow digestion and reduce risk of fermentation of undigested food in the stomach
Lack of thyroid hormone can affect many of the body’s functions. Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication.
– Weight gain
– Poor coat
3/ Parvovirus –
Along with other Black and Tan breeds, Gordon Setter puppies may not gain protection from their initial Parvo vaccinations. This is thought to be due to high levels of residual maternal antibodies. Vaccinated puppies may therefore be at risk of contracting the virus before their booster at a year old. It is worth discussing the risk of Parvo virus in your area with your vet and it may be advisable to give a third vaccination at 16 weeks or to Titre test to evaluate the level of antibody in the puppy’s bloodstream to see if this is necessary.