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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I get the hips and elbows as to what to look for. What is considered bad hearts and eyes? Should I be looking for any other testing on the ofa website? It also seems I need to go back to clearances of what would be my great grandparents? Is it possible for a dog to have clearances and the breeder never posted them on that site or are they updated automatically? Thanks for the help
 

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Hips and elbows are automatically posted to OFA. If they passed, they’re on there. Heart and eyes have to be sent in to OFA for listing, so sometimes breeders have these and didn’t (yet) send them in.
And yes, it would be advisable to look through the pedigree on OFA to make sure all clearances are in place for at least a few generations (I’d prefer 5+ When possible). You can also look at the siblings of each dog in the pedigree to get a more complete picture.
 

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  • OFA is the only option for elbows, so if those aren't on OFA they either weren't done or didn't pass.
  • Hips could have been done via PennHIP. If that is the case, then the owner/breeder would need to send them to OFA in order for them to appear in the database.
  • Eyes - should ideally be "normal" and have been done yearly, but certainly within 12 months of the dog being used for breeding. There are a few "breeder option" notes that may not be of concern, but I don't know much about those, so if you see something, don't panic but you may want to come here to see if anyone thinks they are of concern. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can give you a summary of what notes on an eye exam should or should not concern you.
  • Hearts should either be "Advanced cardiac" or have a cardiologist notation (not a practitioner) and should be rated as normal. They only need to be done once.
You will sometimes see the results of DNA tests on OFA but they need to be sent in, so not seeing them there doesn't mean they weren't done. The K9Data listing for the dog (if there is one) is the more likely place to find any DNA tests that have been done. I personally like to confirm that the dog has been checked for ichthyosis (especially if the dog has any non-US dogs in the pedigree) and NCL (since that's fatal).
 

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Hips and elbows are submitted directly to OFA by the vet taking the radiographs. Three members of OFA's team of radiologists review them and the consensus rating is automatically posted if they pass. The owner has the option for failing results not to be posted.

Eye and heart exam forms are not evaluated by OFA, therefore they are not automatically posted. It's up to the owner to send in their copy of the form. If they are missing from the breeding pair's OFA pages, ask the breeder for copies of the exam form.

When you're looking at eyes and hearts, it's a little different than hips and elbows.

Eyes: Should be done yearly, preferably starting before the dog is a year old and every year after that until it dies. The preferred result is "Normal" for each yearly exam, however there is a thing called a "Breeder Option" that is neither passing nor failing. Conditions that are considered to be hereditary but do not cause loss of vision usually fall under the Breeder Option category. So if you're looking at a breeding pair and you see a breeder option, look it up in The Blue Book on the OFA website. The Blue Book is a compilation of hereditary/congenital eye diseases for most breeds by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. Some breeder options are just eyelashes growing in the wrong direction, some are little more serious. In general, it's best for at least one of the breeding pair to be Normal for eyes.

Hearts: MUST BE DONE BY A CARDIOLOGIST!!!! This is so super important. If you see a heart clearance by a "Practitioner" that heart clearance does not meet the GRCA Code of Ethics. Hearts should always be normal. Failing results may not be posted if the owner so wishes. ANY heart murmur at all is a failure. Heart exams should be done after the dog is 1 year old, but definitely before the dog is bred. Typically, heart clearances are done between 1 and 2 years of age. At this time, an auscultation (listening with a stethoscope) by a cardiologist is all that's needed according to the GRCA Code of Ethics. Although, many reputable breeders are also doing echocardiograms (ultrasound of the heart) in addition to auscultations these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone that gives me a little more understanding about it. I thought maybe certain things were missing because they weren’t sent in like elbows, but if a dog had their hips done they probably had the elbows done at the same time
 

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Thanks everyone that gives me a little more understanding about it. I thought maybe certain things were missing because they weren’t sent in like elbows, but if a dog had their hips done they probably had the elbows done at the same time
This is almost always true. So under this assumption, if hips are on OFA, but elbows aren’t, it’s highly likely that the dog failed elbows. And vice versa. Sometimes a breeder will do PennHIP for hips instead of OFA, but OFA is the only reputable organization that reviews elbows in North America. I am always skeptical of a breeder that does PennHIP without also submitting to OFA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is almost always true. So under this assumption, if hips are on OFA, but elbows aren’t, it’s highly likely that the dog failed elbows. And vice versa. Sometimes a breeder will do PennHIP for hips instead of OFA, but OFA is the only reputable organization that reviews elbows in North America. I am always skeptical of a breeder that does PennHIP without also submitting to OFA.
That is good to know. I know it’s gonna be harder to research since I don’t have sire and dam names of planned breedings, but I have about 5 breeders I’m interested in. So hopefully an overall overview will be enough to decide which breeder to go with
 
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