William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

OFA Canine Thyroid Registry

7748 - Canine Thyroid Registry Panel (Free T4, TSH, TGAA) - $82/sample*
7747 - Canine Thyroid Registry Panel (Free T4, TSH, TGAA) - $57/sample* for greater than 5 sample submission
*Prices subject to change without notice. Updated 7/1/2014

Submission Forms

UC Davis Canine Thyroid Registry Submission Form (Confidential) (fillable PDF)
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals - Application for Thyroid Database (fillable PDF)

General Instructions

Collect blood in a plain glass or plastic tube (no anticoagulants). Allow the sample to clot at room temperature for about 30 minutes then centrifuge. Remove the serum from the tube and place at least 2 mL in a plain plastic tube, labeled with owner’s name and animal ID.

Ship samples FedEx overnight with cold pack in a Styrofoam box with ice packs, Monday-Thursday only. Do not send via USPS (United States Postal Service). Samples in transit less than 48 hours are acceptable if received cool with ice packs.

● Samples received more than 48 hours in transit must be 60°F or lower, ICED to be accepted.
● Non serum samples cannot be accepted.
● Hemolyzed or lipemic serum is not recommended.
● Test results will be sent by fax or mail only to the submitting veterinarian and the OFA.
● Results are not available by telephone due to confidentiality.

Enclose a VMTH Canine Thyroid Registry submission form (PDF) and an OFA application form (PDF)  along with 2 checks: one payable to “OFA” for inclusion in the Thyroid Database and the other payable to “VMTH” to cover the cost of laboratory testing. Submissions without a check payable to the VMTH will be charged to the referring clinic. Payment to OFA is required for processing.

Mailing address: UC Davis VMTH, Central Laboratory Receiving, Room 1033, 1 Garrod Drive, Davis, CA 95616

General Thyroid Information

Autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in dogs. The disease has variable onset, but tends to clinically manifest itself at 2 to 5 years of age. Dogs may be clinically normal for years, only to become hypothyroid at a later date. The marker for autoimmune thyroiditis, thyroglobulin autoantibody formation, usually occurs prior to the occurrence of clinical signs. Therefore, periodic retesting is recommended.

The majority of dogs that develop autoantibodies have them by 3 to 4 years of age. Development of autoantibodies to any time in the dog’s life is an indication that the dog, most likely, has the genetic form of the disease. Using today's technology only a small fraction of false positive tests occur.

As a result of the variable onset of the presence of autoantibodies, periodic testing will be necessary. Dogs that are negative at 1 year of age may become positive at 6 years of age. Dogs should be tested every year or two in order to be certain they have not developed the condition. Since the majority of affected dogs will have autoantibodies by 4 years of age annual testing for the first 4 years is recommended. After that, testing every other year should suffice. Unfortunately, a negative at any one time will not guarantee that the dog will not develop thyroiditis.

Breeders in determining which dogs are best for their breeding program can use the registry data. Knowing the status of the dog and the status of the dogs lineage, breeders and genetic counselors can decide which matings are most appropriate for reducing the incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis in the offspring.

OFA Thyroid Registry Information (PDF)