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 the sire and dam’s DNA disease test results have been OFA registered, and
  • 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. Because of the possibility of new mutations or as of yet undiscovered gene mutations, 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.

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. Application to change to Public Domain.

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.

Application for Verification of Permanent Identification

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.

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.
View a sample Preliminary Evaluation Results Form

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.