You Make The Diagnosis: Name The Rare Blood Disorder Found In Irish Setters

This beautiful girl is Liddie, an Irish setter with a big personality.  Liddie brightens any room she enters with her expressive and friendly face.  For this photo, she ignored me and listened to a dog in the room next door.  What a character! 

Irish setters have a rare but fatal genetic disease that causes fever, anorexia, recurrent infections, slow wound healing, weight loss, umbilical infections, gingivitis, lymphadenopathy, pododermatitis and osteomyelitis. Name this inherited disease. 

Dx:  Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (CLAD)

Canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency is an inherited disease caused by a mutation in the leukocyte integrin CD18.  It is an autosomal recessive which means that dogs with only one copy of the gene will be asympotomatic carriers while those with two usually die young.  The disease is also seen in humans and cattle.  Since CLAD is a devastating disease, I recommend testing all Irish setters prior to breeding.  Your veterinarian will collect a blood sample and send it to Optigen for testing.  More information is available at

“Gene therapy for CLAD with lentiviral vectors using the murine stem cell virus and human phosphoglycerate kinase promoters” Human Gene Therapy, June 2011; 22(6): 689-96.
“Frequency of the canine leucocyte adhesion deficiency (CLAD) mutation among Irish red setters in Germany” Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, April 2005; 122(2): 140-2.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.