Gordon Setter Health Clearances before Breeding

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Photo by Bob Segal

As with any question, ask several breeders the same question and you’ll get several different answers. When it comes to acting responsibly as a breeder to bring healthy Gordon Setter puppies into the world it’s agreed that completing certain health clearances on breeding animals before any mating occurs should be a priority. However, ask any breeder which tests are necessary or which certifications are the most important – that could become a topic for debate. For purposes of this article, we are listing the screening tests that address health issues that pertain to the Gordon Setter along with where to obtain or find proof of existing certification. These screening tests are suggested tools that will prepare you to make informed breeding choices that will affect the health of many future generations of Gordon Setters. OFA Sticker

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – screening/certification organizations. Click any of the active links below to be taken directly to that website for complete information.

Elbow Dysplasia

  • OFA
  • OVC (discontinued – certifications from 2007 – 2012 are available in a searchable database.)

Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Opthalmologist:

RCD4 Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA Late Onset)

Cerebellar Degeneration (CD) ( Cerebellar Cortical Abiotrophy CCA or Cerebellar Ataxia CA)

As a breeder it would be also important to understand the role CHIC plays for future genetic research. Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)  Please see our previously published article by Jerold S. Bell DVM The CHIC DNA Repository for Gordon Setter for more complete information regarding this organization. Briefly Dr. Bell’s opening stated… “The CHIC DNA repository is a joint project of the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). It is open to all breeds of dogs. The stated objectives of the program are to: Facilitate more rapid research progress by expediting the sample collection process; Provide researchers with optimized family groups needed for research; Allow breeders to take advantage of future DNA based disease tests as they become available; and to Foster a team environment between breeders/owners and the research community improving the likelihood of genetic discovery.” Additional Links:  GSCA Health Survey 2004 Results


6 thoughts on “Gordon Setter Health Clearances before Breeding”

  1. The article has not been corrected to include screening information for CA thanks very much to Jolie and Jim’s fast catch on my miss! Thank you everyone for helping us to publish up to date and correct information! Together we run this site!


  2. Thanks to both Jim MacWalter and Jolie for your mention of the CA test. I actually had begun a draft of an article or two on that topic that is not yet completed for publishing. So watch for information to follow on that subject – very soon, I promise!


  3. From Jim MacWalter: It was my understanding that a DNA test for Cerebellar Degeneration was being requested by GSCA for all dogs intended to be bred. Is this incorrect? I didn’t see it mentioned in the article.

    Sundance Setters: I looked at the GSCA websited and did not see that mentioned Jim but I will go back to double check on that question and get back to you. Thanks for asking!

    Jim MacWalter: Not sure, but perhaps this was the reason for the testing. http://www.akcchf.org/research/funded-research/0407.html
    The Genetics of Canine Cerebellar Degeneration | AKC Canine Health…

    Sundance Setters: Thanks so much Jim, I actually have an article in my drafts that is still in progress on Cerebellar Degeneration so watch for it soon!


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