Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
The Mission of the OFA
To promote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease
The OFA is guided by the following four specific objectives:
- To collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals.
- To advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- To encourage and finance research in orthopedic and genetic disease in animals.
- To receive funds and make grants to carry out these objectives.
Founded and originally incorporated as a private not for profit foundation in 1966, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has passed its 40th birthday and is moving into the future.
Credit for the formation of the OFA is generally attributed to John M. Olin, well known inventor, industrialist, philanthropist, conservationist, and sportsman. John Olin was an avid sportsman, hunter, and field trial participant. When hip dysplasia began to impact the performance of Olin’s dogs, he organized an initial meeting with representatives of the veterinary community, the Golden Retriever Club of America, and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America to discuss means of limiting the disease. This ultimately led to the formation and incorporation of the OFA in 1966. Its initial mission: To provide radiographic evaluation, data management, and genetic counseling for canine hip dysplasia.
While the OFA continues to focus on hip dysplasia, today’s OFA Mission, “To improve the health and wellbeing 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.
The OFA Databases
The OFA databases are core to the organization’s objective of establishing control programs to lower the incidence of inherited disease. Responsible breeders have an inherent responsibility to breed healthy dogs. The OFA databases serve all breeds of dogs and cats, and provide breeders a means to respond to the challenge of improving the genetic health of their breed through better breeding practices. The testing methodology and the criteria for evaluating the test results for each database were independently established by veterinary scientists from their respective specialty areas, and the standards used are generally accepted throughout the world.
OFA DNA Testing
The OFA now offers DNA based disease testing through an exclusive license arrangement with the University of Missouri. All tests offered as well as information about kits, etc. are on the OFA's DNA Test page. Tests recommended for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be found at this page.