Explaining what all of those OFA codes mean


I wanted to explain what all of the codes mean when you are looking at OFA results.  Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is the warehouse of many of the health tests done on dogs and while we all talk about it not many people explain it.  For this example I used Stinger’s CHIC which lists the required test for an Australian Shepherd (minimum there are more if you look on each dog’s page you see the tests).

The first code AS tells OFA this test was done on an Australian Shepherd, each breed has its own code.  Because Eyes and Elbows are newer additions they both have a Alpha character telling what the test is (EYE for eyes, EL for Elbows).  Next is the number give to that dog for testing.  For Eyes both of my dogs had the new OFA eye test done almost as soon as they started it (before it was done by CERF but you will see people use CERF for both CERF and OFA eye checks, the checks are identical it really is what paper theCanine Opthamologist uses) so Stinger was the 38th Aussie to have his eyes checked through OFA.

The next number is the dogs age in months.  So for Eyes he was 23 months and Hips and Elbows he was 24 months.  If you look to the side you can see that in truth all of the tests were done less than 10 days apart but since his birthday is 11/23/11 he technically was not 24 months on his eye check.

Now only for hips do you see a grade.  That is because Eyes and Elbows are pass/fail in the US.  So if someone tells you their dogs have excellent elboys you know they are not correct.  In Stingers case he has an E for Excellent.  The other passing grades are Good and Fair.  Usually you want to see Good, you pray for excellent (those are rarely given out) and you are careful when breeding a Fair.  A lot of it has to do with proper positioning.  I use a vet who is the guru of OFA x-rays, she it worth the drive!

Next is an M for Male or F for female (Elbows have the sex before the age) and then there is another piece of really important information.  VPI means my dogs have permanent identification (in this case they are microchipped).  The vet checks before the exam to ensure the chip matches my documentation – this tells people that the test belong to that dog.  YES some people will switch dogs in testing – not all but some.  So I like that I can guarantee people my results are legitimate.  If you see NOPI that mean no permanent identification.  PI means they have identification but it was not verified.

When you have VPI on your results they show up on the AKC website for anyone to see and of course offa.org allows you to look ANY results up.

For Aussies you only do most tests once, the only test repeated in the eye exam, it should be done yearly.  I do all of mine yearly and pay the extra fee to have the boys results published.  Bummy is done but since she is retired I just keep a copy for me.

I hope this helps people understand all of the test.  As you know I am passionate about health.  To me temperament and trying to produce healthy dogs is more important than anything else.



Before Talking to Breeders

People ask me all the time – what kind of questions should you ask when looking for a…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like