Screening Procedures


See detailed instructions for ID and positioning on the second page of the application form

Radiographs submitted to the OFA should follow the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations for positioning. This view is accepted world wide for detection and assessment of hip joint irregularities and secondary arthritic hip joint changes. To obtain this view, the animal must be placed on its back in dorsal recumbency with the rear limbs extended and parallel to each other. The knees (stifles) are rotated internally and the pelvis is symmetric. Chemical restraint (anesthesia) to the point of relaxation is recommended. For elbows, the animal is placed on its side and the respective elbow is placed in an extreme flexed position.

Radiography of females in estrus or pregnant should be avoided due to possible increased joint laxity (subluxation) from hormonal variations. OFA recommends radiographs be taken one month after weaning pups and one month before or after a heat cycle. Physical inactivity because of illness, weather, or the owner’s management practices may also result in some degree of joint laxity. The OFA recommends evaluation when the dog is in good physical condition.

Chemical restraint (anesthesia) is not required by OFA but chemical restraint to the point of muscle relaxation is recommended. With chemical restraint, optimum patient positioning is easier with minimal repeat radiographs (less radiation exposure) and a truer representation of the hip status is obtained.

For large and giant breed dogs, 14″ x 17″ film size is recommended. Small film sizes can be used for smaller breeds if the area between the sacrum and the stifles can be included.

If a copy is necessary, ask your veterinarian to insert 2 films in the cassette prior to making the exposure. This will require about a 15% increase in the kVp to make an exact duplicate of the radiograph sent to OFA. Films may be returned if a $5.00 fee and request for return are both included at the time of submission.

Good contrast is desirable (high mAs, low kVp). Grid techniques are recommended for all large dogs.

Radiation Safety: Proper collimation and protection of attendants is the responsibility of the veterinarian. Gonadal shielding is recommended for male dogs.


The OFA records the results of physical examinations performed by a veterinarian in their office or health clinic environment.

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Dental Exam
  • B A E R Hearing Exam
  • Basic Cardiac Exam
  • Advanced Cardiac Exam
  • CAER Eye Exam

Please note that the Advanced Cardiac and Eye exams must be performed by board-certified veterinarians and require special forms or participation in OFA/Online.

The application forms include instructions on how to perform the exam and record the results.

Labwork: Tissue/Serum Samples

The OFA records the results of laboratory analysis of fluid or tissue samples collected a veterinarian in their office then sent to a 3rd party laboratory, or processed in-house if you are capable.

  • Thyroid
  • Kidney Function
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Serum Bile Acid

The application forms include instructions on how to perform the exam and record the results.

Permanent ID

Reading and recording the permanent id: Tattoo or Microchip number helps the OFA ensure the proper recording of the health exam results.

It is also required by the AKC to accept those results from us for inclusion on the dog’s record there.

Permanent ID verification may be perform as part of any other OFA application and there is a form for just reporting that should the owner require.

You or your customer may prepare and submit this if you are not performing any other OFA service for them.

Submitting to OFA

Payment of OFA Fees

OFA fees may be paid by the owner or veterinarian in the form of check, money order, or credit card. Checks or money orders are preferred if the sample must be sent to an outside laboratory. Each application form has a payment section where the credit card information may be provided.

All checks, credit cards, or money orders must be in US Dollars drawn against US banks or USPS.

We do allow veterinarians to keep a credit card on file with us but you must write “USE CREDIT CARD ON FILE” in the payment section of the application form.

Be sure to mark if they payment is being made by the owner or the veterinarian so we contact the correct person in the event of an issue with the payment.

No reports are issued until the OFA fees for the animal have been satisfied.

Information required in images

The radiograph must be permanently identified with:

  • the animal’s identification (full registered name if applicable OR registration number OR microchip/tattoo), registration number or name,
  • the date the radiograph was taken, and
  • the veterinarian’s name or hospital name.

If this required information is illegible or missing, the OFA cannot accept the film for registration purposes.

You or your customer may fill out this

Submitting digital radiographs electronically

You must complete the “Registration for Electronic Submission” form.

The above information must be visible in the image without having to use a special viewer program. If necessary, use a graphic editing program and add the required information to the image.

Digital radiographs are only accepted Directly from the Clinic. Owner submitted images will not be accepted.

We accept JPG, JPEG, PNG and DICOM image file formats. Make sure the required information: identification, date and name of clinic, is part of the image itself and not a DICOM overlay.

Do not embed images into a PDF or Word document.

Do not combine images into a ZIP file. The images are already highly compressed and the emails with zip attachments will be rejected by our email filter.

Submitting digital radiographs by email

Emails with digital submissions are ONLY accepted from veterinary clinics that have registered for this service. We do not accept images directly from owners.

Digital radiographs MUST be sent from an email address unique to the clinic and must be able to receive replies. If there is a problem with the submission, the OFA will reply to the sending email address to communicate the issue. We cannot accept submissions from a generic email address such as “”. If there is a doubt, please email it to yourself first, then forward it to us such that we can see your unique email address in the “From” portion of the email.

Please list the dog’s name in subject line of email. If the subject reads simply “Digital Images are being shared with you”, it takes much more effort to process and match with the application form and payment. If your equipment does this, then please send it to yourself, then forward it to us with the dog’s name in the subject line.

Please include dog/owner info in the body of the email along with contact info for the clinic in case we have problems/questions.

The OFA application may be scanned and included in the email along with image(s), or it may be faxed to (573) 875-5073. To facilitate matching, the application should arrive at approximately the same time as the email image(s). If the application is being faxed, please indicate so in the body of the email.

The OFA does not accept web links through Google Drive, Antech, View Cloud or other imaging services. Images must be sent as attachments to the email — not as a hypertext link to some internet service. Emails with links will be blocked by our email filter and we will not even know you sent it. If necessary, email it to your self, save the image to your computer, then attach it to a new email to us — without the link.

Include credit card payment information (MasterCard or Visa ONLY) in the appropriate section of the application form. Required credit card information includes: cardholder name, expiration date (mm/yy) the the 3-digit security code. For more accurate billing if there are credit card issues, please indicate whether this is an owner payment or a veterinary clinic payment. If your clinic would like to keep a credit card on file with the OFA, please contact the office manager at (573) 442-0418 x221.

If multiple applications are submitted in a single email, please make sure each file is uniquely and appropriately named.

Email to:

Submitting radiographs by Upload

OFA now permits veterinary clinics to upload radiographs and application forms.

  • Emails with digital submissions are ONLY accepted from veterinary clinics that have registered for this service. We do not accept images directly from owners.
  • The upload page prompts for all of the identification information required on Radiographs and will annotate them automatically.
  • Radiographic images may be in JPG, PNG, or DICOM format.
  • Application forms may be scanned and sent at the same time as the radiographs. This is preferred. The scanned file may be in PDF or JPG format.

Submitting radiographs by postal mail

Traditional hard copy x-rays may be submitted by the owner or the veterinary clinic. The radiograph, application and fees should be enclosed in a mailing envelope. These may be paper clipped together. Use the mail service of your choice. Obtain large envelopes from an office supply store, veterinary hospital or other radiology department. The envelope should be sealed with tape. Light cardboard may be included to stiffen the package, but is not required. Avoid using boxes, tubes, padded envelopes, stapling check and application, bending/folding radiographs, or taping application or check to envelope.

CDs/USB Memory sticks must be sent directly from the veterinary clinic. We do not accept images directly from owners. CDs should be protected by a sufficiently stiff mailer to prevent damage in transit.

If images of multiple dogs are being sent at the same time, please use separate CDs/Memory for each dog.
Include the application form and payment with the mailing. Do not fax the application. Just send it with the media.

The radiograph/CDs/USB memory, application form and fees should be mailed together to:

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
2300 E Nifong Blvd
Columbia, Missouri 65201

Here is a PDF you may print onto Avery 5263 or equivalent labels with the OFA mailing address.

Submitting physical examination results

The veterinarian and owner are encouraged to submit all evaluations, whether normal or abnormal, to help assure accuracy of the database and to assist in the analysis of patterns of inheritance in important canine congenital and adult-onset heart disease. Abnormal information will not be released into the public domain unless the owner gives permission for this release by initialing the appropriate line on the application form. Either you or the owner may submit the application form with the recording fee. Abnormal results are accepted free of charge if the owner release the results to the public domain.

The form may be scanned and emailed, faxed, or sent through the postal service.

Submitting through a laboratory

Send the sample, the application form, and OFA recording fee to the laboratory.

The laboratory will forward the results of the analysis, the original application form any check written to the OFA. The check will be returned if the results are abnormal and the owner opted to have the results placed into the public domain.

The laboratory fees are separate from the OFA fee and must be paid separately.

If you perform the lab work in-house, you may submit the results directly to the OFA.

Weekly OFA Reports

The results of radiographic analysis by the OFA is reported back to the veterinarian weekly on Monday mornings via email.
The email contains a summary spreadsheet of all results from the prior week as well as individual PDF files for each dog that you may print and add to any paper record files or attached to your electronic practice management system.

Should you have a different email address for your medical records, please call us and we can have those reports sent to a different address that usual communication.

Note: the OFA doesn’t issue reports for physical exams where you already know the outcome. e.g.: patella, cardiac, dentition, etc.