OFA


Why OFA?

  • Access to OFA data can help improve pet health whether you’re a vet, a breeder, or a prospective owner.
  • Veterinarians can help educate their clients as to best breeding practices or what health screens to look for as a prospective owner. Vets can also use OFA information to educate themselves on new clients, to understand the background of a new puppy client, for example, so as to know what health risks are possible.
  • Breeders can share information about their own dogs and research potential breeding mates.
  • Prospective owners can research breeds and common health risks, as well as potential parents, in order to pursue the healthiest offspring possible.

How things work

If you’re new to OFA, here is a brief summary of how things work:

  • Companion animals are screened by a veterinary professional and those results are submitted via application to OFA.
  • OFA assigns a certification code based on the screening results, and issues a certificate to the owner.
  • All NORMAL results are automatically stored in the OFA databases, and are therefore available as searchable on this website. The OFA recommends ABNORMAL results be added to the database as well, but owners have a choice as it relates to public access to this information.
  • Dogs that have undergone ALL screenings as recommended by their parent breed club (and made those results publicly available) will also be assigned a CHIC number and achieve CHIC Certification if their breed club participates in the CHIC program. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.

Methodology
The testing methodology and the criteria for evaluating the test results for each database were independently established by veterinary scientists from their respective specialty areas, and the standards used are generally accepted throughout the world.

Databases
The OFA databases are central to the organization’s objective of establishing control programs to lower the incidence of inherited disease. They serve all breeds of dogs and cats, and provide breeders a means to respond to the challenge of improving the genetic health of their breed through better breeding practices. The OFA databases are expanded as more tests become available.

CHIC
The CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) database is a tool that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. This centralized pool of data is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. The CHIC program is breed-specific. In order to be in this database, a dog must be CHIC Certified. Read more about the CHIC Certification program.

DNA Repository
The CHIC DNA Repository collects and stores canine DNA samples along with corresponding genealogical and phenotypic information to facilitate future research and testing aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited disease in dogs. Read more about the DNA Repository.

DNA Testing
Separate from the DNA Repository, the OFA offers DNA-based disease testing through an exclusive license arrangement with the University of Missouri. All tests offered, as well as information about kits, etc. are on the DNA Test page.

History

OVER 50 YEARS OF DEDICATION TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF CANINE HEALTH

Founded and originally incorporated as a private not-for-profit foundation in 1966, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has passed its 50th birthday and is moving into the future.

Credit for the formation of the OFA is generally attributed to John M. Olin, well known inventor, industrialist, philanthropist, and conservationist. He was also an avid sportsman, hunter, and field trial participant. When hip dysplasia began to impact the performance of Olin’s dogs, he organized an initial meeting with representatives of the veterinary community, the Golden Retriever Club of America, and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America to discuss means of limiting the disease. This ultimately led to the formation and incorporation of the OFA in 1966. Its initial mission: To provide radiographic evaluation, data management, and genetic counseling for canine hip dysplasia.

While the OFA continues to focus on hip dysplasia, today’s OFA Mission, “To improve the health and well-being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease,” reflects the organization’s expansion into other inherited diseases and other companion animals such as cats.

OFA Fee Schedule

Test Type Age Fee Litter Rate * Kennel Rate **
Hip dysplasia > 24 mo $35 $90 $15 ea
Elbow Dysplasia > 24 mo $35 $90 $15 ea
Hips + Elbows together > 24 mo $40 $90 $15 ea
Hip Prelims 4- < 24 mo $30 $60 $15 ea
Elbow Prelims 4- < 24 mo $30 $60 $15 ea
Hip + Elbow Prelims together 4-24 mo $35 $60 $15 ea
Eye Certification Registry, New submission No Min Age $12 $30 $7.50 ea
Eye Certification Registry, Resubmit No Min Age $8 $30 $7.50 ea
Legg-Calve-Perthes1 > 12 mo $25 $45 $15 ea
Shoulder OCD > 12 mo $25 $45 $15 ea
Shoulder OCD + Hips &/or Elbows together > 12 mo $5 extra No additional fee No additional fee
Thyroid3 > 12 mo $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Basic Cardiac2 > 12 mo $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Advanced Cardiac Database > 12 mo $15 $30 $7.50 ea
DNA Registration fee (any) any $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Patellar Luxation2 > 12 mo $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Deafness2 (Dalmatians see note below) any $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Sebaceous Adenitis3 > 12 mo $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Dentition No Min Age $15 $30 $7.50 ea
Multi-Registry Discount4 $7.50 each test

The following notes apply to the asterisks and footnote symbols noted within the fee schedule.

* Litter Rates: Three or more members of the same litter, submitted together

** Kennel Rates: A group of five or more individuals, owned/co-owned by the same person, of the same application type (hip, eye, cardiac, etc), submitted together

1: Evaluation fees for dogs determined by the OFA to be affected will be refunded. If the dog has an existing hip dysplasia certification, a Legg-Calve-Perthes certification is no charge upon the submission of the
A Legg-Calve-Perthes certification is no charge if submitted with a hip application for evaluation.

2: Equivocal and Affected dogs no charge. Cardiac, Patellar Luxation, and Deafness resubmit studies are no charge.

3: The OFA does not charge a fee to enter abnormal SA or Thyroid results (the fee is refunded to the owner), or to enter resubmitted results on previously tested clear or equivocal dogs. A number of owners have assumed that the OFA policy not to charge on resubmits applies to the laboratories as well. This is not the case. Please note, the laboratories/dermapathologists charge a fee every time they process a new sample. Please consult the lab prior to submission for their current fees.

4: Three or more soft tissue applications submitted together on a single dog (example: Cardiac, Patella, and Eye applications on single dog submitted together) *Note – this discount does NOT apply to any applications requiring radiographic evaluations.

Dalmatians Deafness Note: The OFA will continue to register BAER Hearing Test Results for whole Dalmatian litters at no charge until further notice. The fees are being underwritten through a generous grant from the Dalmatian Club of America Foundation.

Canadian/Foreign Funds Policy

For OFA customers outside of the US, please use one of the following methods of payment. Payments must be made in US Dollars.

  • Checks or money orders drawn on US financial institutions (*checks made out in US Funds drawn on Canadian Banking Institutions are NOT accepted due to the increased processing fees. Many Canadian Banks maintain offices within the US. If the checks are drawn on a US branch, those checks are accepted).
  • Postal money orders.
  • Visa or Mastercard. Please provide us with the credit card number, the expiration date, the three-digit security code, and the name as it appears on the card.
  • For international wiring instructions, please email the OFA at ofa@offa.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I test my dog for genetic disease?

Veterinarians and responsible breeders of purebred dogs and cats are well aware that hip dysplasia and other inherited diseases can be controlled by careful, selective breeding programs. for specific diseases remain the “gold standard” in determining an animal’s genotype, but in the absence of available DNA tests, phenotypic evaluations are the best alternative. Information regarding the test results from the sire and dam, along with information on other close relatives such as siblings, half-siblings, aunts and uncles allows breeders to apply greater selective pressure to produce normal offspring and avoid affected offspring.

How do I know which tests I should do for my breed?

A number of sources are available in determining what tests are the most appropriate for your dog. These include your veterinarian, the OFA statistics section, the CHIC program, and the health concerns documented on the websites of various national breed clubs.

I have a mixed breed. Can she get an OFA number?

Yes. The OFA does not require dogs to be purebred or registered in order to perform an OFA evaluation or to register test results into our databases.

My breed isn’t listed in your statistics. Why not?

Breeds are not included in the OFA statistics tables until a minimum number of individuals have been evaluated. For hips, each breed must have at least 100 evaluations in the database. For all other databases, there must be at least 50.

Do you do tests for cats?

Yes, the OFA accepts cats into the hip dysplasia cardiac patellar luxation databases. Requirements, protocols, procedures, and fees are identical to dogs.

How do I contact you?

The OFA can be reached by phone, fax, mail, or email.
Our hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Central Time, Monday thru Friday excluding major holidays.
Phone Number: (573) 442-0418
Fax Number: (573) 875-5073
Mailing Address: 2300 E Nifong Blvd, Columbia, MO 65201-3806
Email Address: ofa@offa.org

Does the OFA require dogs to be permanently identified in order to be evaluated or included in its databases?

No, the OFA does not require permanent identification. However, the AKC does require verified permanent identification for inclusion in their database. All assigned OFA numbers will clearly indicate whether the dog was permanently identified through the use of the -PI, -VPI, and -NOPI suffixes.

Why is my dog’s OFA number not printed on its AKC paperwork?

There is a lag time of approximately one month between the time the OFA issues clearance numbers and the time this information is imported into the AKC registry. At this time, the AKC only imports OFA hip, elbow, and eye clearances. It should be noted that the AKC requires dogs to be permanently identified in the form of tattoo or microchip in order to include their OFA results in the AKC database. Per AKC policy, only dogs with verified permanent identification (VPI) will have their OFA data transmitted to the AKC for inclusion in their database.

Are the sire and dam fields on the applications required to be filled out?

No, the sire and dam are not required entries, however they are useful in helping breeders analyze the health records of related animals. If at all possible, the sire and dam AKC registration and/or OFA numbers should be included. This will allow relationships to show properly in internet search results.

Is the OFA still sending paper certificates?

As of April 2020, the OFA has transitioned to electronic reporting.

OFA has not implemented a fee increase in over 15 years and by lessening the costs associated with printing and postage OFA is able to keep the existing service fees in place for the time being.

The electronic reports are emailed as PDF documents and are in the same format as the reports previously mailed.

For those that find additional value or importance to the printed cardstock certificates, they are still available at a reasonable cost without imposing increased service fees on everyone. If you would like a printed cardstock certificate, you may request one once the electronic reports have been generated and sent.

To request a copy, please email ofa@offa.org with the dog name, breed, registration number, OFA application number, and the report(s) which you would like to have printed and mailed. There will be a $5 fee per request.

How do I get a corrected or duplicate copy of my dog’s OFA certificate?

To receive a corrected or duplicate copy, please send a written request and in the case of corrections, include the original incorrect certificate with the corrections indicated. Where possible, please send verification such as the AKC registration papers to verify the requested changes. Following receipt of the request, the OFA will update its records, and mail a new certificate. There is a $5 fee for duplicate certificates.

OFA Numbers

How do you read OFA numbers?

Example: LR-100E24M-PI

LR = Breed Code, in this case a Labrador Retriever

100 = Ascending numerical identifier given to each animal within a breed evaluated as normal and given a number, in this case the 100th Labrador to be given a num

E = The phenotypic OFA evaluation, in this case E = Excellent, other normal phenotypes include G (Good) and F (Fair).

24 = The age in months when the testing was done, in this case 24 months

M = Sex, in this case a male

PI – Indicates that the animal has been permanently identified in the form of tattoo or microchip. If the dog has been permanently identified AND the identification has been verified by the attending veterinarian, a suffix of VPI is applied. If the animal lacks permanent identification, a suffix of NOPI is applied.

What does the PI, VPI, or NOPI stand for?

Effective January 1, 2001, the OFA adopted a policy acknowledging animals that have been submitted for inclusion in its databases that have permanent identification in the form of tattoo or microchip. Animals not permanently identified will continue to be evaluated; however, they will be issued a number clearly indicating that the animal has no permanent identification. Animals with permanent identification will have a suffix of PI added to the OFA number. Animals that are permanently identified AND have had the identification verified by the attending veterinarian will have a suffix of VPI applied. Animals with no permanent identification will have a suffix of NOPI applied. Effective 1/1/08, only dogs with verified permanent identification (VPI) will have their OFA data transmitted to the AKC for inclusion in their database.

What do OFA numbers beginning with GDC mean?

GDC stands for the Institute of Genetic Disease Control. GDC formerly maintained canine health databases similar to those of the OFA. In late 2002, the GDC databases were merged with the OFA. Numbers beginning with GDC indicate that the evaluation was performed by GDC prior to the merge.

OFA Policies

Clear By Parentage

As a greater number of DNA-based disease tests become available, a policy regarding the clearing of offspring out of DNA tested parents has become necessary.

For direct mutation gene tests only, the OFA will issue clearances to untested offspring:

  • If the sire and dam have both been DNA tested “Clear,”
  • If all three (sire/dam/offspring) have been DNA identity profiled and parentage verified.

The DNA profile paperwork must be submitted along with a completed OFA DNA-based disease application

The resulting OFA certification will have a suffix of “CBP” (clear by parentage), indicating that the dog itself was not tested and that the clearance was based on the sire and dam’s test results, and known science at the time. To further ensure integrity of clearances given to untested dogs, only first generation offspring will be cleared.

For linkage or marker based tests where a margin of error including both false positives and negatives exists, the OFA will not issue any clearances to untested dogs.

DNA-based disease screening is an evolving area. This policy is subject to change by action of the OFA Board of Directors as technology and science advance.

Public Access (Moving Information to the Public Domain)

The OFA recommends owners release all test results to the public domain as it is in the ultimate health interest of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and breadth of any resulting research and/or pedigree analysis.

However, owners have a choice regarding the release of abnormal results.

Currently, all normal results from data submitted to the OFA are automatically included in the public domain. For abnormal results, the OFA provides owners the choice of reporting information in the public domain. If you would like ALL results included in the public domain, please check the appropriate box on the application.

If your animal previously received an abnormal result and you would like to release that information to the public domain, please complete the form below.

If your animal received an OFA certificate, there is no need to change the status.

Please print, complete, and sign the following form. The completed form may be mailed, faxed (573-875-5073), or scanned and emailed to ofa@offa.org

Permanent Identification Requirements

In order to add a higher level of integrity to the OFA databases, all OFA application forms have been modified to include an area for the attending veterinarian to indicate whether or not they verified the supplied permanent identification.

Veterinarians are encouraged to make the verification part of their standard procedure for taking OFA hip and/or elbow films. Owners are encouraged to brief their vets on this policy change and when necessary proactively request that the verification step be done.

Dogs with acceptable permanent ID are assigned a PI suffix to their OFA number, dogs without permanent identification are assigned a NOPI suffix.

The OFA’s policy regarding permanent identification is an extension of the AKC’s policy in that the AKC will only accept OFA numbers into their registry for inclusion on registration papers and pedigrees IF the dog is permanently identified and verified.

While DNA profiles are able to uniquely identify individual dogs, it is also the AKC’s policy to limit permanent identification for health screening purposes to tattoo or microchip. The rationale is that DNA profiles are not immediately verifiable, they require a sample to be taken and subsequent laboratory analysis.

The AKC’s premise is that tattoos are visually verifiable immediately, microchips are immediately verifiable using a scanner, and that the verification should be done at the time of testing.

Preliminary Evaluations for Hips and Elbows

In an effort to encourage open sharing of health test results, the OFA will post preliminary Hip and Elbow results on its website

IF the owner initialed the authorization block to release all results (including abnormal results) at the time of submission TWO additional criteria must also be met in order to publish the preliminary results:

  • The dog must be at least 12 months of age at the time of radiograph
  • The dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo
Release of Results for Preliminary Evaluations Submitted Prior to January 1, 2004

The OFA will also allow owners to publish preliminary test results for dogs evaluated before January 1, 2004 if they submit a written request to the OFA.

In addition to the written request, all three of the above criteria must have been met — the owner must have initialed the box for open disclosure at the time of evaluation, the dog must be at least 12 months old, and the dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo.

Preliminary Evaluations for Animals Under 24 Months

Frequently, breeders want early knowledge of the hip status on puppies in a given litter. Preliminary hip evaluations may be as valuable to the owner or breeder as the final OFA evaluation. This allows early selection of dogs for use as show/performance/breeding prospects and dogs best suited for pet homes.

The OFA accepts preliminary consultation radiographs on puppies as young as 4 months of age for evaluation of hip conformation. If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced. These preliminary radiographs are read by the OFA staff veterinary radiologist and are not sent to the outside consulting radiologists. The regular OFA hip grading scheme (excellent, good, fair, etc) is used to report preliminary cases.

A previous OFA veterinary journal publication* compared the reliability of the preliminary evaluation hip grade phenotype with the 2 year old evaluation in dogs and there was 100% reliability for a preliminary grade of excellent being normal at 2 years of age (excellent, good, or fair).

There was 97.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of good being normal at 2 years of age, and 76.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of fair being normal at 2 years of age. Reliability of preliminary evaluations increased as age at the time of preliminary evaluation increased, regardless of whether dogs received a preliminary evaluation of normal hip conformation or HD.

For normal hip conformations, the reliability was 89.6% at 3-6 months, 93.8% at 7-12 months, and 95.2% at 13-18 months. These results suggest that preliminary evaluations of hip joint status in dogs are generally reliable. However, dogs that receive a preliminary evaluation of fair or mild hip joint conformation should be reevaluated at an older age (24 months).

*Corley, EA, et al. Reliability of Early Radiographic Evaluation for Canine Hip Dysplasia Obtained from the Standard Ventrodorsal Radiographic Projection. JAVMA. Vol 211, No. 9, November 1997.

Submitting Non-OFA Health Screening Results

PennHIP

The OFA will record PennHIP results on request. The dog must have an existing OFA record of some type. To submit, the owner should email or mail a copy of the PennHIP report to the OFA at: ofa@offa.org, or 2300 E Nifong Blvd Columbia, MO  65201. The fee to record these results is $25, and payment must accompany the request.

The OFA will record the left and right DI’s only, not the percentile. The OFA reviews all requests on a case by case basis, and reserves the right to not to record or publish any evaluations from outside organizations.

International Evaluations

Owners residing in the US or Canada may submit health screening results from international evaluating organizations. This service is offered primarily to benefit breeds where breed clubs have long standing evaluation relationships with specific organizations such as German Shepherds and the SV grading scheme or Rottweilers and the ADRK grading scheme.

For submission, the dog must have an existing OFA record of some type. The OFA reviews all requests on a case by case basis, and reserves the right to not to record or publish any evaluations from outside organizations without further explanation. Because reporting formats vary widely, and the OFA is forcing results into limited available fields, the online reporting format may often vary.

To request recording of an international health screening result, the owner should email or mail a copy of the report to the OFA at: ofa@offa.org, or 2300 E Nifong Blvd Columbia, MO  65201.

The fee to record these results is $25 per dog, and payment must accompany the request.

Owners outside the US or Canada desiring CHIC certification

For owners and dogs residing outside the US or Canada, owners may submit their country’s equivalent health screening results for listing on the OFA website.

The OFA reviews all requests on a case by case basis, and reserves the right to not to record or publish any evaluations from outside organizations without further explanation. Because reporting formats vary widely, and the OFA is forcing results into limited available fields, the online reporting format may often vary.

To request recording of international health screening results, the owner should email or mail a copy of the report to the OFA at: ofa@offa.org, or 2300 E Nifong Blvd Columbia, MO 65201.

The fee to record these results is $25 per dog, and payment must accompany the request.

Once these results have been recorded with the OFA, owners may request CHIC numbers if they’ve met all the breed’s CHIC requirements through regular OFA registration or OFA registration of international equivalents. These requests should be emailed to chic@offa.org and are handled on a case by case basis.