Questionnaires were used to obtain data about Irish setters with gastric dilatation (GD) and control Irish setters. The risk of GD increased with age (P < 0.01) but was not associated with gender. Age and gender-matched controls were compared with cases (n = 74). Predisposing risks were aerophagia (unadjusted odds ratio 12.44, P < 0.001), a single food type (adjusted odds ratio 3.15, P < 0.01) and feeding once daily (adjusted odds ratio 2.90, P < 0.02). Apparent risk from a dry food diet and a condition score of less than 2 was not confirmed by logistic regression. Precipitating risks were recent kennelling (unadjusted odds ratio 100, P < 0.005) or a car journey (unadjusted odds ratio 3.29, P < 0.025). No risk was attributed to intensity or duration of exercise, temperament, appetite, speed of eating, vomiting or diarrhoea.