Gordon Setter Club of America
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About Gordon Setters: Medical Problems
About/History | Breed Standard | FAQ | Medical Problems

Gordon Setters are generally a healthy breed, but can be prone to some health problems of varying degrees of severity:

Gastric Torsion

This is also know as torsion, or bloat. It is common among most of the deep-chested breeds, like Gordon Setters. Please ask your vet for more information on precautions that can be taken to lessen the likelihood that your dog will develop this acute and life-threatening condition. If your vet tells you not to worry about it, that bloat is not a big problem, or that it won’t happen to your dog, please do as I did and get a new vet. It is a very real problem that can and does kill dogs every year. It also important to know where the closest 24-hour emergency animal hospital is located and have a plan in place if this does happen to your dog.

Hip Dysplasia

Although this is not as common in Gordon Setters as in many other large breeds, it does exist. All dogs that are planned to be bred should have their hips checked and approved before breeding. This should be done when the dog is two years old.


This is fairly common in Gordon Setters. Proper diagnosis of low thyroid activity requires a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) response test in addition to the standard T4 test.

*Some of the medical information included in this section has been adapted from the Irish Setter FAQ authored by Holly Kruse.

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