OFA, DNA, & Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) Testing
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) was founded in 1966, with the sole mission of promoting health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease.
OFA tests, such as hip and elbow certifications, use x rays to check the health of a dogs hips and elbows. These readings can range from poor to excellent, and a certificate is issued to the dog owner after the x ray and examination of the x ray is done by a veterinarian.
These tests are used to check for the possibility of hip dysplasia and are usually performed on dogs that have the potential to develop this disease.
ALL REPUTABLE BREEDERS will perform OFA testing on their dogs and should show the certificate to those who want to adopt their pups. Dogs have the highest incidence of inherited genetic disorders, out of all domesticated animal. SADLY, OVER 90% OF BREEDERS DO NO, OR MINIMAL GENETIC & OFA TESTING ON THEIR BREEDING DOGS. Many will claim they do, but when asked to show proof, they cannot. Many will test for one or two genetic conditions and claim they do genetic testing- but they speak in half truths. Many will claim that their vet said testing wasn't necessary. THIS IS 100% FALSE!! Labradors can suffer from about 20 breed related genetic conditions, and Poodles can suffer from about 10 breed related conditions. Unless a breeder tests for ALL of the breed related conditions- it is not a thorough and complete genetic test, PERIOD!
BOTH LABRADORS & POODLES CAN SUFFER FROM HIP DYSPLASIA, and all breeding dogs should be tested and have a clearance of FAIR to EXCELLENT which indicates that the dog does NOT suffer from hip dysplasia.
DNA testing should be a staple in ALL REPUTABLE BREEDERS breeding program. These DNA tests help rule out any genetic traits being passed to puppies from the parents. Myopathy EIC, and PRA, to name a select few, are diseases that can affect certain dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles.
The breeder should be able to show those who wish to adopt one of their pups these DNA results. I give a copy of both parents DNA reports, as well as a DNA report of a puppy from each litter. I also give copies of my dogs' OFA certificates. I use Embark for my genetic testing, as they test for about 200 different genetic conditions.
Sadly, many breeders out there are charging top dollar for their puppies- while doing no OFA testing, and no, or very little genetic testing. Many genetic conditions do not surface until the dog reaches a few years of age. Now- you have a huge financial burden, which will undoubtedly cost thousands and thousands, and worse, it will take a tremendous emotional toll on someone. Most of these issues could be avoided with thorough and complete DNA testing and OFA testing on the hips and elbows.
COEFFICIENT OF INBREEDING (COI)
COI is a means of testing a dog's DNA to check how diverse its gene pool is. The lower the percent, the more diverse the dog's gene pool is. This gives the dog the potential for ultra-high intelligence and lessons the chances of genetic issues. COI below 10% are exceptional. All of my puppies have a COI of between 10% and 0%- the lowest possible. This number, however, is enhanced by a DNA profile which is clear of all genetic issues. All of my dogs are 100% clear of ALL genetic conditions. When a dog has a clean DNA profile, as well as a 0% to 10% COI, you are getting a genetically perfect animal.