University of Missouri/OFA Hip Dysplasia Biomarker Study

In partnership with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the University of Missouri’s Thompson Laboratory for Regenerative Orthopaedics is researching a new way to predict Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) by looking at blood and urine samples in puppies between 4 and 6 months old. Participants are currently being recruited for this study. As you review the information on this study, if you have any questions please email or

Study Goal

Validate the Mizzou Canine Hip Dysplasia Biomarker Panel as a predictor of Canine Hip Dysplasia in client-owned dogs.


While the traditional pelvic X-ray screening method is very accurate for diagnosing and grading CHD in mature dogs, an accurate predictive tool of CHD in puppies would be beneficial for owners to make earlier and more informed decisions regarding the future health, care, performance, and breeding decisions of their dogs. At the University of Missouri’s Thompson Lab, a team of veterinarians and researchers have developed a method using blood and urine proteins such as those associated with join inflammation and cartilage deterioration to predict if young puppies would develop hip dysplasia or not.

The panel, named the Mizzou Canine Hip Dysplasia Biomarker Panel, proved successful in a small cohort of puppies when they were only 5 months old. Now, the research team is partnering with the OFA to continue to research to fully validate this biomarker panel by testing fluid samples from up to 500 puppies between the ages of 4 and 6 months. Later, the dogs will be radiographed at 1 and 2 years of age through the standard OFA hip dysplasia screen process, and the team will see if the biomarker panel accurately predicted the presence or absence of CHD.

How to Participate:

  1. Use the OFA Biomarker Study Enrollment Form to apply for participation
  2. Upon acceptance, you will receive a Study Enrollment Kit
  3. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for collection of urine and blood for when your puppy is between 4 and 6 months of age. Present the enclosed Veterinarian’s Instructions to your veterinary clinic at this appointment.
  4. Schedule an appointment for hip X-rays for when your dog is 1 year of age, and follow the regular OFA process for prelim submissions.
  5. Schedule an appointment for hip X-rays for when your dog is 2 years of age, and follow the regular OFA process for of-age submissions.

Study Benefits

  • You will be participating in a study that has the potential to significantly impact the control of CHD through early prediction of susceptible puppies.
  • All future OFA evaluation and application fees for participating dogs will be waived
  • Automatic enrollment in the CHIC DNA Repository
  • Regular progress reporting throughout the duration of the study
  • When the study is complete (in 3-4 years), you will receive individualized reports

Enrollment Guidelines

  • Participation in the study entails a long-term commitment, including blood and urine samples when the dog is between 4 and 6 months of age, a pelvic X-ray at approximately 12 months, and a second pelvic X-ray when the dog is over 2 years of age.
  • Dogs must be microchipped to be included in the study, and veterinarians should verify the chip during each study related office call.
  • Puppies may be enrolled in the study prior to registration using their microchip numbers as their identifier. If enrolling puppies prior to registration, remember to update the OFA with their registered names and numbers once available.
  • Owners remain responsible for the veterinary fees related to the specimen collection and radiographs, as well as shipping. Some veterinarians may consider discounted fees since the samples and radiographs are supporting research.
  • The owner may receive periodic communications from the OFA or the University of Missouri study team directly.
  • If the ownership of the dog changes while enrolled in the study, please contact the OFA regarding the change. New owners will be given an enrollment form to sign if they agree to continue in the study.
  • In appreciation for participation in the study, all OFA services for the life of the dog will be at no-charge.
  • A portion of the blood sample will be placed in the CHIC DNA Repository.
  • The dog’s identity as a study participant will not be disclosed out the OFA or University of Missouri. The dog’s identity will not be detailed or disclosed in any resulting publications.
  • Please remember to inform the OFA if for some reason the dog needs to be withdrawn from the study. Once withdrawn, study related communications and benefits cease, and a dog cannot be reinstated into the study.

Questions can be emailed to or

We ask that you do not call OFA with questions as the majority of staff will not be able to answer questions related to the study.