The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote the health and welfare of companion animals by reducing the incidence of genetic diseases.
OFA was founded in 1966 with the original goal of researching and reducing canine hip dysplasia. Today, OFA has expanded into other inherited diseases and other companion animals, such as cats. OFA has funded and supported research in not only orthopedic disease, but also cancer, heart disease, and thyroid disease, among others.
OFA also maintains databases of genetic and other health information for all breeds of dogs and cats. Understanding the genetic health of an animal’s breed can give breeders additional tools and resources for improving their breeding practices. OFA’s databases are regularly expanded as more testing becomes available.
Their Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database is especially helpful for breeders and pet owners concerned about the genetic health risks their dog may face. The CHIC DNA Repository collects and stores DNA samples and corresponding genealogical and phenotypic information with the goal of facilitating future research to reduce the incidence of inherited diseases in dogs. Learn more about the CHIC DNA Repository here.
If you’re interested in learning more about the genetic health of your pet, ask your veterinarian about genetic testing through the OFA. You can also learn more about the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and browse some of their existing databases at ofa.org.