OFA/Pennhip Health Testing for the Golden Retriever Breed
 

Recommended Health Testing; 

While there is no guarantee with Hip/elbow/eye/cardiac issues, by doing the testing, you can be sure that the parents do not have any issues, therefor minimizing the potential for issues in the potential offspring.

There really is no excuse for someone who is putting puppies into this world, even just for one litter, to not have this done. Just because a parent dog "doesn't show any obvious issues" doesn't mean they don't have any issues going on. There is absolutely no way to look at a dog and know if that dog does or doesn't have present issues, even if they do or do not walk goofy (unless they are obviously in pain). By testing, you can know that indeed the parents do not have issues. In that same sense, by testing you start a log that could potentially be followed generations down the line to determine if issues were or weren't present in the past and maybe find a genetic link.

Hip Dysplasia

OFA Hip Exam

After your dog turns 2 years of age, you can get final OFA hip certifications complete. Before 2 years of age, any OFA hip and elbow exams are known as "prelims" and they are just that, preliminary scores. Even if you do prelims, you should still get finals after 2 years old. The purpose of prelims would be to see how the dog is growing orthopedically at that time.

 

Most any veterinarian can do the radiographs and send it in for OFA hip. If you do have the option to go to a repro vet or specialist, I would recommend to go with them just for the sake of making sure you get good views from someone with experience and this is something they do often. This cost depends on what that individual vet charges for radiographs but average is around $250-$400 total with OFA elbows. 

For OFA hips you can get passing or failing scores based on position of the hips and any changes present. 

Potential scores are;

Passing; Excellent, Good, Fair and Failing; Borderline, Mild, Moderate, Severe

 

Failing dogs should not be bred and depending on their score, they may need surgery or other treatments. 

Pennhip;

Pennhip is another hip certification that you can get along with or other than OFA hips. Not just any veterinarian can do this, they do have to be certified. The difference between OFA and Pennhip is that Pennhip uses measurements and different views of the hips while OFA just uses one view and is a score based off of 3 professional opinions. Pennhip is not a pass or fail score but an average that gives an estimate of the risk for painful osteoarthritis (OA) of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) later in life. Pennhip is said to be accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks of age. 

Elbow Dysplasia

OFA Elbow Exam

After your dog turns 2 years of age, you can get final OFA elbow certifications complete. Before 2 years of age, any OFA hip and elbow exams are known as "prelims" and they are just that, preliminary scores. Even if you do prelims, you should still get finals after 2 years old. The purpose of prelims would be to see how the dog is growing orthopedically at that time.

 

Most any veterinarian can do the radiographs and send it in for OFA elbow. Elbows are typically done at the same time as OFA or Pennhip hip exams. If you do have the option to go to a repro vet or specialist, I would recommend to go with them just for the sake of making sure you get good views from someone with experience and this is something they do often. This cost depends on what that individual vet charges for radiographs but average is around $250-$400 total with OFA hips. 

For OFA Elbows you can get passing or failing scores based on position of the elbows and any changes present. 

Potential scores are;

Normal; Failing; whatever issue is present will be listed. 

Cardiac Evaluation

OFA Cardiac

For the Golden Retriever Breed, in order to get an "Advanced" Certificate you must have an echo complete by a Board Certified Cardiologist at the age of 12 months or older. Any other would be defined as "Basic" Cardiac, which is still acceptable with OFA (Auscultation via Practitioner, Auscultation via Cardiologist, Echo Via anyone other than a Board Certified Cardiologist, etc.). For Auscultation, it is recommended to renew this yearly. With the Golden Retriever breed it is recommended to at least get either an echo or auscultation via cardiologist. A full Echo can cost anywhere from $300+. Auscultation exam is typically less than $50 via practitioner or cardiologist. 

Eye Evaluation

OFA Eyes

Eye exams must be done by an ophthalmologist and renewed yearly. Eye exams by ophthalmologists are typically less than $50 and if you do not have an ophthalmologist nearby, often times shows will host clinics. We personally drive over to the Animal Eye Clinic of Spokane or catch a clinic that comes to MT. 

HOW TO FIND A CLINIC?

Click the button below to be directed to the OFA website where they have a schedule of all clinics being hosted.