Our hospital offers OFA x-ray services for identification of hip dysplasia in dogs. Hip dysplasia, a common cause of limping in dogs, is an inherited condition and, though all breeds are susceptible, is more commonly found in larger breeds.
OFA is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, an organization created to aid breeders in helping reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia. Dogs must be over 2 years of age and the x-rays must be taken using general anesthesia for accurate diagnosis.
X-rays taken by a veterinarian are submitted to the OFA to be evaluated by a radiologist, who examines it for signs of abnormal joint structure, softness of the muscles, connective tissue and the ligaments that together normally support the joint. Three different radiologists review the x-rays and a score is given based on the dog's hip conformation relative to other dogs of the same age and breed.
OFA categories are graded as normal (excellent, good, fair), borderline dysplastic, or dysplastic (mild, moderate or severe). For owners who plan on breeding their dogs, it is useful to know that dogs scored with hips that are borderline or dysplastic are not eligible to receive OFA breeding status. Please ask our staff if you have any questions about the OFA technique.