Pre-purchase examinations (Horse Vetting)
A pre-purchase examination (PPE or vetting) is a thorough clinical examination of the horse on behalf of the prospective purchaser. It is done to assess factors of a veterinary nature which could affect the horse’s suitability for its intended purpose.
The PPE provides an assessment of the horse at the time of the examination to help the purchaser decide whether or not to continue with their purchase. It is NOT a guarantee of the horse’s suitability for the intended purpose.
The standard PPE is conducted in five stages. Some purchasers decide to have only a ‘Two-stage vetting’, which is limited to Stages 1 & 2.
The five stages are:
- Preliminary Examination – A thorough external examination of the horse at rest to detect signs of injury, disease and abnormality. It includes examination of the incisor teeth, eyes, heart and lungs.
- Walk & Trot (in hand) – The horse is walked and trotted in hand on firm, level ground to detect abnormalities of gait and action. The horse is turned sharply each way and is also backed up a few paces. Flexion tests and trotting in a circle on a firm surface MAY be carried out if safe and appropriate to do so (not a mandatory part of the PPE).
- Exercise Phase – The horse is given sufficient exercise to enable the vet to assess it’s increased breathing and heart rate and it’s gait at walk, trot, canter and, if appropriate, gallop.
- Period of rest and re-examination – The horse is allowed to stand quietly for a period and the vet may monitor the respiratory and cardiovascular systems as they return to their resting levels.
- Second trot up – The horse is trotted in hand again to look for any signs of strains or abnormalities made evident by the exercise and rest stages.
The horse is identified on the PPE Certificate by the vet who will record the horse’s markings in the form of a diagram and written description. The vet will also search for a microchip and inspect any documentation such as the horse’s passport.
A blood sample is usually taken for storage (usually 6 months) for possible future analysis to detect substances present in the horse’s system at the time of the PPE that might have masked any factors affecting the suitability for the purchaser’s intended use. The blood sample is not routinely tested and any tests carried out incur an extra cost.
Sometimes, additional procedures such as x-rays, endoscopes, scans etc. are carried out on the recommendation of the vet, at the request of the purchaser or are needed for insurance purposes.
Contributor: B&W Equine Group was formed in 2009 following the merger of two established, dedicated equine practices, namely Bushy Equine Vets and The Willesley Equine Clinic. Their intention was to provide nationally and internationally renowned cutting edge veterinary care which would be the backbone of our referral service. Throughout the process, it remained paramount to maintain the high level of service that their local clients had become accustomed to.
B&W Equine Group aim to provide the very highest level of equine veterinary care as well as performing innovative procedures. They strive to provide the highest level of professional and personal care for you and your horse or pony, whether that be be via our vastly experienced mobile team or at our equine hospital. www.bwequinevets.co.uk