Health info


The FAC (Breeding Advisory Committee) was founded on 26/02/1977, with the main purpose of
helping and informing breeders in their breeding plans, assisting them in starting their kennel, informing them about the hereditary content of the breeding animals and in breeding a litter. Member breeders may seek the advice of the FAC at any time.

We have a database where all data about our Irish Setters are processed. HD results, DNA, health tests, hereditary diseases, buyers lists,… in short everything that has to do with our Irish Setter. The club also has its own pedigree program where more than 2100 pedigrees are stored.

The FAC also conducts litter checks at our member breeders at 8 weeks of age.

It is very important that breeders and owners report health problems to us. If we detect a problem in doing so, the breeding policy will be adjusted accordingly. All Irish Setter owners receive a health survey via mail at the age of 4 years.

Our breeding regulations should help to breed healthy, beautiful and good character Irish. Our member breeders are also obliged to advise and assist their buyers in raising their Irish. If any of their bred dogs are later looking for a new home, they are obliged to help with this.


Below are briefly the problems known to exist in the Irish Setter, and how the association deals with them.

HD = hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disorder of the hip joints caused by both hereditary and environmental factors. Symptoms include difficulty getting up and lameness in the hindquarters. HD can be diagnosed by taking X-rays of the hip joints. Results of HD-A are the best, HD-E the worst.

Within the ISC, HD testing is mandatory and is part of the breeding regulations. Only HD A, B and C dogs may be bred, where dogs with HD C may only be paired with an HD A or HD B.

CLAD= Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency or also known as Granulocytopathy.

It is an immune deficiency disease, succinctly defined it is about an abnormality whereby the dog’s defense mechanism does not function correctly. This abnormality does not affect adult dogs but only puppies, resulting in puppy death.

Only CLAD-free dogs may be bred. The parent animals must be subject to the available DNA test, unless these animals are descended from DNA-tested free parent animals


PRA RCD-4 = Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

This is a slowly progressing blindness, both eyes are affected. It occurs between the ages of 5 and 11 years.

The parent animals must be subject to the available DNA test, unless these animals are descended from DNA-tested free parent animals.




The early-onset form of PRA. Dogs with this defect become blind before the age of 2 years. Only free animals may be bred.

von Willebrands Disease in the red and white Irish Setter

vWD is a blood clotting disorder that occurs in 3 types. The Irish Setter has been diagnosed with Type I, the mildest form. Here there is reduced production of a certain clotting factor that can cause dogs to show prolonged bleeding time. Owners often do not notice anything about their dogs. Carriers are at little to no risk but sufferers can have problems with larger injuries and surgeries.

A DNA test is available. Only dogs that are free of ” von Willebrandt ” may be used


In epilepsy, a sudden disturbance in the brain occurs, in which a dog loses control of some of its bodily functions: it falls over, suffers severe muscle spasms, may froth, and it may pass urine or feces. However, there are also milder manifestations. Epilepsy can be hereditary but can also be caused by environmental factors. The hereditary form usually reveals itself in the Setter at the age of 6 months to 6 years. Preventive DNA-testing for carriers is unfortunately not possible.

Gastric torsion

Gastric torsion or stomach tilt is a dangerous condition in dogs that is very painful and can be fatal if not acted upon quickly. There are several causes that affect the likelihood of stomach torsion. By taking a number of things into consideration, you can reduce your dog’s chances of gastric torsion. All breeds with deep chests are at risk for stomach torsion.

FAC Members 
Caroline Blockx

Gwenny Boussery

FAC Members

Caroline Blockx

Gwenny Boussery