Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a not-for-profit organization based in Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...

 that aims to research and prevent orthopedic and hereditary diseases
Genetic disorder
A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes, especially a condition that is present from before birth. Most genetic disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions....

 in companion animals.

As a private not-for-profit foundation, the OFA has funded nearly $3 million in research aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of inherited companion animal disease. The OFA funds projects through the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF), the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) and occasionally through direct grants. The OFA has achieved Ruby Donor status with MAF, and Millennium Founder status with the AKC CHF. OFA supported research is not limited to orthopedic disease, and has included cancers, heart disease, and thyroid disease as examples. Some research has been breed specific, some for all breeds, some for multiple species, and has been done at many of our leading universities and research institutions. And, with the recent completion of the mapping of the canine genome, the OFA is focusing more of its research dollars towards research at the molecular level. Source, http://www.offa.org/research.html

The OFA was founded by John M. Olin in 1966, after several of his dogs became affected by hip dysplasia. Originally studying hip dysplasia alone, the OFA has expanded its efforts and now studies and has health databases on a wide range of diseases including elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, legg-calve-perthes, thyroid, cardiac, congenital deafness, sebaceous adenitis, and shoulder OCD. 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 objectvite 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 now offers DNA certification for Degenerative Myelopathy, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis for American Bulldogs, Fanconi Syndrome for Basenjis and Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures for Standard Poodles through an exclusive agreement with the University of Missouri.

OFA Online Database Searches

The OFA has the largest fully searchable online canine health database in the world, with over 1,000,000 records. Each dog (or cat) who has ever had an OFA certification issued can be searched by name, part of name, or registration number. Results automatically include all OFA certifications for that dog, plus sire, dam, siblings, half-siblings, and offspring.

Further reading

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