What is OFA?
OFA stands for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and was founded in 1966 to provide radiographic evaluation, data management, and genetic counseling for canine hip dysplasia. It continues to help prevent passing on hip dysplasia in many dog breeds but has since evolved to help prevent passing on genetic conditions within companion animals.
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.
Who needs OFA certifications?
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, however OFA evaluations are most often performed on purebred or registered dogs to help prevent passing on genetic malformities within a purebred line of dogs. To know which tests your breed may benifit from please schedule an appointment to consult with us or your veterinarian or visit the Breed Statistics page on the OFA website
What do I need to schedule an OFA screening test?
Your dog must be 24 months or older for OFA certification, For Preliminary Evaluations (<24 months), there are specific criteria that must be met which can be found on the OFA website.
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.
Information Necessary to bring to your appointment
- Full Registered Name (if applicable)
- Registration number (if applicable)
- Microchip or Tattoo (if applicable)
- Patient Age or Date of Birth
- AKC Registration paperwork.
What to expect for Hip and or Elbow screening appointment
- Your pet will have to be sedated for proper positioning during the x-rays
- Do not feed your pet within 10 hours of your appointment
- Some blood work will likely be required prior to sedation
- Your appointment will likely take 1-2 hours to allow for pre-anesthetic blood work, sedation, radiographs and recovery time.
- OFA certification turnaround time is usually 2-3 weeks after the application is submitted.