3 May 1 Comment timbearden Breeder Education

Recently I’ve been asked many times where we get our OFA certifications done.  This post is geared to breeders who need to finish all their certifications before they breed and live in the Southern California area.  So if you have no plans to breed, then this post is probably not for you.

The “big four” as I call them are the hips, elbows, heart, and eyes.  These are the four certifications minimum that any breeder should obtain before breeding.  Now I realize, that some dogs are imported and their certifications are often done via other methods such as through FCI or through the Kennel Club standards in the U.K..  In that case it’s a different scenario.  In southern California there a not a lot of locations who perform OFA and or PennHIP certifications, but below are a few we have used.

Hips and Elbows

In the Inland Empire there are very few options for OFA. There are a few veterinairans around that still do them, however we’ve noticed that those who don’t do them often generally don’t do them correctly. We always take ours to Dr. Butchko. They’ve been doing them for years, and do them daily. Their office is a walk-in basis. I get there when they open in the morning before the mad rush.  Their office is very run down. I don’t go there for looks, I go there for their service and price.  So don’t be turned away by their location.  They are one of the few breeder friendly vets in Southern California. They will be going into their brand new building with 20 exam rooms soon. I can’t wait and I’m very happy for them.  I’ve been doing my OFA’s with them for over 10 years.  Their phone number is (951) 686-2242.

If you go the route of PennHIP for the hips, and with an OFA of the elbows I go to Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital. Their phone number is (909) 980-3575.  They are in Rancho Cucamonga. I do prefer PennHIP, as it’s more accurate in my opinion. It does however cost more and you have to sedate them to do it. I know a lot of breeders who rather go with OFA over PennHIP, so that is why I offered that information first.  Do be careful with Alta Rancho, as they like to charge and arm and a leg for extra things that are not a problem.  $500 to treat ear infections with little to no symptoms is outrageous and is easily treated at home.

I do know more veterinarians near the beach and San Diego that I will add later.


The Eye certification I get done either in Tustin or Upland. The veterinary practice we use is Eye Care for Animals. They do also have a practice in Palm Desert, so you could call them to see if they have clinics for an OFA Eye exam. Their Upland number is (909) 949-9200. Their Tustin number is (949) 733-8271.  I have seen that the veterinarian in Upland goes on vacation almost every time we need an exam done. So I did have to go other locations.

There is a new a practice called Animal Eye Vet in Murrietta, not one I’ve been to. They just opened last year in 2016. Their phone is (951) 801-6166.  I can’t recommend them until I’ve met them.  I’ll probably try them out soon and follow up.


Heart, I get our hearts tested in Tustin at VCA Orange County Veterinary Specialists. Their phone is (949) 654-8950.  I really like their vet. She’s really nice and they are all kind to our dogs.  I do know another one but I can’t recommend them as they are known to intentionally fail every dog on purpose and in the process charge over $500 on unnecessary testing.  So do your research before you go somewhere.

Other Exams

There are other exams that you could do and it is not solely limited to the big four. However the big four I consider a must to have done before breeding.  DNA testing can be done and in many ways very useful.  We do ours at Paw Print Genetics.  We’ve done them at other locations, however specifically for Golden Retrievers Paw Print Genetics cover all three forms of PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy).   Most alternative companies only cover 2 forms.  PRA causes blindness, so I do see it very necessary to know if our dogs are carriers of it.  Other breeds don’t necessarily carry the same diseases, so you would need to find out which diseases are relative to the breed you are working with and test for those.  There are also Thyroid tests you can have done, but that generally can be done at any veterinarian.  You just need your vet to fill out the proper documentation.

It is also possible to go to AKC dog shows for your tests.  Often many dog shows bring veterinarians to perform some of these tests at their shows.  Just look online to see when the next show near you is.  Then contact them to see if they will be having any clinics for OFA testing.

We hope this helps out those who live near us.  It was difficult for us to find who we could use when we started.  Some have already closed and we had to find new people.  So it can be helpful if you are new to the area or the hobby by getting a head start with our list.  If you are reading this and know of someone who indeed needs to be added to this list, just comment below.  We are always looking for great veterinarians

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