Common Skin Problems in English Setters

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

English setters are a medium-sized dog breed in the same family as the Irish setter. English setters are longhair dogs that were originally bred for hunting. Originally from England, this dog is known for its athleticism and high energy, but underneath its long, fine fur, it is prone to some skin problems.

External Parasites

External parasites are parasites that feed on the dog from the outside, usually on the skin. The most common external parasites that affect English setters are fleas and ticks, which can affect all dogs. English setters with fleas and ticks may act like they have very itchy skin and continually scratch, which can lead to infection. If a setter lives in the country, the risk of contracting Lyme disease from ticks is higher, but Lyme disease vaccinations may be available from a vet if the area is known for ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can cause skin problems in English setters. A bacterial infection could either be from a cut or abrasion that bacteria gets into, or a certain bacterial infection of the skin called pyoderma. Pyoderma can lead to lesions, hair loss, pustules, crusty skin and itchiness, but can be treated with antibiotics.

Atopic Disease

Atopic disease is an immune response to a foreign material such as pollen or grass, and results in itchy skin and feet. English setters are especially susceptible to atopic disease because of their sensitive immune system.


Food allergies can lead to skin issues in dogs, including English setters. They have a sensitive immune system and are generally more prone to food allergies than other breeds These skin issues could be mild -- including dandruff and itching -- or become severe, with rashes or hives.