What is CHIC?

CHIC stands for Canine Health Information Center. Information pertaining to health testing through CHIC can be found at www.offa.org. Below is basic information extrapolated from the OFA & CHIC website and best describes the purpose, benefits and nature of its existence.

CHIC Goals

  • To work with parent clubs in the identification of health issues for which a central information system should be established.
  • To establish and maintain a central health information system in a manner that will support research into canine disease and provide health information to owners and breeders.
  • To establish scientifically valid diagnostic criteria for the acceptance of information into the database.
  • To base the availability of information on individually identified dogs at the consent of the owner.

CHIC Benefits

Once in place and accepted within the dog breeding community, the CHIC program offers
benefits to breeders, buyers, parent clubs, and researchers.

  • For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in their breeding programs. In the future, breeders can begin to analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and weaknesses.
  • For buyers, the CHIC program provides accurate information about the results of a breeder’s health testing. For diseases that are limited to phenotypic evaluations, there are no guarantees. However, the probability that an animal will develop an inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal. Further, as more DNA tests become available and the results are entered into CHIC, the CHIC database will be able to establish whether progeny will be clear, carriers, or affected.
  • For parent clubs considering establishment of health databases on their own, CHIC provides the answer with no upfront investment required by the club. The CHIC infrastructure is supplied and maintained by the OFA. The data is maintained in a secure environment by trained staff. The services are not subject to the time, technology, and resource constraints that parent clubs might face on their own. This frees parent clubs to focus on their core strengths of identifying health concerns, educating their membership, and encouraging participation in the CHIC program.
  • For researchers, CHIC provides confidential and accurate aggregate information on
    multiple generations of dogs. CHIC information will also be useful for epidemiological
    studies enhancing our knowledge of health issues affecting all breeds of dogs.
  • For everyone interested in canine health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease
    prevalence and measure progress.

Currently the BCCA requires OFA HIPS, Thyroid and eye CERF be tested in order to obtain a CHIC number. It is possible to obtain a CHIC number having done the aforementioned tests even if one or more of the results is abnormal or below average. Additional tests are available to breeders such as OFA Elbow, Cardiac, Patella and more. To read more about CHIC and view tests results in our breed visit the OFA website at www.offa.org.

Dawn Symes
BCCA Health Committee