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Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

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The hind legs and hips of a short-haired black dog
The hips and hind legs of a Whippet

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a nonprofit organization based in Columbia, Missouri, that aims to research and prevent orthopedic and hereditary diseases in companion animals.

The OFA, a private non-profit, funds research (nearly $3 million) on inherited diseases in pets through organizations like AKC CHF and Morris Animal Foundation. Their focus now leans towards understanding these diseases at the molecular level.[1][2]

The OFA was founded by John M. Olin in 1966,[3] after several of his dogs became affected by hip dysplasia. Initially focused on hip dysplasia, the OFA studies and has health databases on a wide range of diseases including elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, Legg–Calvé–Perthes, thyroid, cardiac, congenital deafness, sebaceous adenitis, and shoulder O.C.D. The methodology of the evaluation is considered a subjective method. There are other methodologies in practice that include a Distraction Index for Penn Hip evaluations, an objective scoring method practiced by the British Veterinary Association, and an evaluative grade based on point by point criterion in the Federation Cynologique International system.

The OFA offers DNA certification for canine degenerative myelopathy, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis for American Bulldogs, Fanconi syndrome for Basenjis, and neonatal encephalopathy with seizures for Standard Poodles. This is done through an exclusive agreement with the University of Missouri.

Online database searches[edit]

Dogs (and cats) that have had an OFA certification issued can be searched by name, part of name, or registration number. Results include all OFA certifications for the animal, and sire, dam, siblings, half-siblings, and offspring.[relevant?][4]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Greg Keller, The use of health databases and selective breeding: A guide for dog and cat breeders and owners 5th edition 2006 OFA accessed at [1] July 26, 2006


  1. ^ "OFA funded research". Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Animals foundation". World Animals Foundation. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  3. ^ Corley, EA (2000). "Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc.". In Morgan, JP; Wind, A; Davidson, AP (eds.). Hereditary bone and joint diseases in the dog: osteochondroses, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia. Hannover: Schlütersche. ISBN 9783877065488.
  4. ^ Keller, G. Gregory; Dziuk, Edmund; Bell, Jerold S. (2011-08-01). "How the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is tackling inherited disorders in the USA: Using hip and elbow dysplasia as examples". The Veterinary Journal. Special Issue: Canine Genetics. 189 (2): 197–202. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.06.019. ISSN 1090-0233. PMID 21741865.

External links[edit]