OFA Canine Thyroid Registry

OFA Canine Thyroid Registry


Both submission forms are required for each sample submitted

NOTE: All laboratory requests and submissions must be made by a veterinarian, and results will only be released to a veterinarian. We cannot accept laboratory submissions directly from animal owners.


Pricing effective December 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023.

  • 7748 - Canine Thyroid Registry Panel (Free T4, TSH, TGAA) - $115/sample*
  • 7747 - Canine Thyroid Registry Panel (Free T4, TSH, TGAA) - $82/sample* for greater than 5 sample submissions
  • *Prices subject to change without notice. Updated 12/1/2022.

General Instructions

Per OFA's "Veterinary Instructions for Submission": Collect blood in a plain glass or plastic tube (no anticoagulants). Place the sample in the refrigerator for 60-90 minutes to allow clotting, then centrifuge. Transfer at least 2mL of serum to a plain plastic tube, labeled with owner’s name and animal ID. Store the aliquoted serum refrigerated prior to shipping, or frozen if the time prior to shipping will be 12 hours or more.

Ship samples FedEx overnight with cold pack in a Styrofoam box with ice packs, Monday-Thursday only. Our FedEx Reduced Price Shipping Program is available for for veterinarians and veterinary clinics. FedEx is the preferred shipping method for overnight delivery. Please do not ship using USPS; USPS mail is delivered to a central campus location before being distributed to our labs, delaying transit time of sensitive laboratory samples.

  • Samples arriving unchilled or room temperature (72°F) received within 48 hours from collection time are acceptable.
  • Samples received after more than 48 hours after collection must be stored chilled or frozen and arrive at the lab at room temperature (72°F) or lower.
  • 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

Biological samples submitted to the VMTH Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories may be used for VMTH teaching and research purposes consistent with the mission of the University.

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 dog's 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)