Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

" Could our setters suffer a genetic disaster"

I open this discussion from concern that if honesty and openness is not forthcoming, our beautiful Irish setters could once again be on the brink of genetic disaster in the near future, ( especially on problems where there are no genetic tests available).       

I love my setters, and I love yours too so don’t let this happen again, PLEASE.

                                                                                                                                                                          During the 1930`s, PRA began to appear in several prominent lines of Irish setters. As more and more, dogs became affected, PRA was widely debated over the next ten years. By 1940 it had been determined that PRA was indeed hereditary and would lead to partial and eventually total blindness.

By 1945 the problem had reached such proportions that The Kennel Club issued a ruling that no Irish setter could be registered or transferred without a signed statement declaring neither parents nor grandparents were actively affected with the disease, and that the dog in question had not produced a case of PRA.

Mr. Rasbridge, as secretary of the Irish setter Association, then devised a plan requiring test mating to identify carries and clear animals. Such a design was obviously not popular with the important breeders of that decade. As affected pups were identified, the breed was devastated with many champions, and other famous Irish setters retired after their test matings failed. In what may be the most energetic attempt to salvage any breed, conscientious Irish setter breeders  continued to test mate and clear their stock. The next ten years were spent rebuilding Irish setter lines and Kennels.Their efforts produced several influential dogs that carried the breed back from the brink of genetic disaster.


We are only a small number of setter lovers but we could make a difference if others follow, everthing has to start somewhere.

If we keep to the subject, we may learn so much more. Adding the source of any information posted will give more credibility to that post.

What do you think ?

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A worldwide health database is in my eyes a healthy idea and painfully missing in a for the public obvious sick setterworld. As not many people like to read much about misery, it should offer more. Maybe something like ES offers examples. Assuring independent quality information is necessary and protection for that. Last is demonstrated on ES as well.


Hi Henk, I think that whilst ever people who seem to go out of their way to be rude and appear to want the matter of health closed, nothing can be achieved.  And they are the people who have immense pleasure and success within the breed but abuse that wonderful opportunity which they seem to interpret as a right of passage, not a priviledge.   One minute they appear to be moving forward and offering information and the next they turn to abuse to seemingly try and close the discussion.

There wouldn't be misery in the setterworld if they pulled together and united and constructively, positively, unselfishly offered their information, help and skills.

Finn tried her platform of colour coding and it was dismissed, I tried to embellish it and keep the idea open, it certainly is not the full answer but it was a fair minded attempt to get people thinking.   It is too early in reality for it because with no health data a database cannot exist.  Breeders, who know what they have experienced, should start getting off their complacent backsides and contribute for the benefit of all.  Can I be any more blatant, I am with you all the way and sincerely hope that at some point they will hear what you are asking from them.     What do they think they are trying to achieve.   Exasperating.

The Irish setter deserves better. I enjoy your passion!

Michelle, this was a red herring by Mrs Hillocks, there was never an intent on my part to suggest such a thing, Mrs Hillocks has tried my patience beyond reasonable and I am retiring from the site and when she opens her door one and sees not one Irish Setter, she will wonder if she could have been more friendly and co operative with Henk and likeminded people.

Thank you for replying anyway.  Good luck for the future.

Georgina.....please don't leave!

Why should you, you have been treated in a very cold & callous manner by a few members who should be ashamed of themselves but I doubt it somehow!

Georgina your long well thought out replies to subjects seem to strike a nerve with some recently returned ES members. I have enjoyed reading them and the conversations on health that they have helped generate. In the past a little gang followed the pattern on misrepresenting members replies, turning them into  the opposite of what had been replied. When the member then tried to correct them their weird game would get personal and continue. Increasingly frustrating and off the topic, which was too honest for their comfort. 5 of this group used to rotate at having turns. Mel would remember those days well. Thankfully when one member was asked to leave the group and the behaviour stopped. Recognise this ploy for shutting down useful information and continue your contributions  about our lovely breed please. We do not want this behaviour to re establish itself  and by staying you will help to say no thanks.


Great Angela, that you've started this topic! Hopefully all members with breeds future at heart will contribute and stick to the subject. You have read meanwhile that I was blamed for reporting on all reports in all media here and so feel like in Roman times when your were slaughtered after reporting bad news. Let that not happen to you. Success with your topic!

Very brave, Angela! Thank you for opening this new Forum.
Finn, I think you make many valuables points especially about declaring everything about the health of sire and dam of a litter. Also, I think it would have to be a worldwide site as now so many dogs travel so easily especially around Europe.

Could it be of help to quote here the -as far as I can trace- first notifications on epilepsy in Irish setters in UK-dogpress? Bloat is dealt with as well. If contributors say yes, I will post it. If anyone feels the tone of this posting is not okay, can you please e-mail me privately and not only to the listowner? Thanks! 

If you have information that could be valuable to Breeders, I for one would like to see it.

Okay, Catherine.

UK-dogpress dealt with under more epilepsy in Irish setters as fas a I can see for the first time in 1974. L.C. James and W.J. Rasbridge, writing in breedcolumns of Our Dogs, asked readers to provide information on epilepsy because of (follows quote) "several cases on the continent".

This brought according to L.C. James "a response of telephone calls and letters beyond my expectations". Results as reported by him: (follows quote): only isolated cases in Irish setters. He does mention one case but not in the UK and notes on that:(follows quote): "A breeder in South Africa informed me of a case in a bitch he had, but after treatment and breeding a second litter, there were no further signs of any trouble." 




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