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Examination of an animal to advise on the suitability of it for purchase.

A pre-purchase examination should be thought of as an opportunity to have an in depth examination of an animal so that an experienced vet can advise as to the suitability of it for purchase. ​

There are 5 stages to an Equine Pre-Purchase Examination (Vetting).  These include a full and thorough clinical examination covering all physical aspects of an animal including a trot-up and lunge.  The horse is then examined when ridden before a rest period and a repeat final examination.  This allows the vet to advise on any potential issues that may arise following the purchase of the animal.

For a reduced price a limited 2 stage examination can be carried out.  However this would not examine the horse at exercise when the heart is under most strain.  It will also not assess the ‘wind’ of the horse or all lameness aspects.  We would always advise a full 5 stage examination as not all aspects will be examined in the 2 stage.​

The final part of both 2 and 5 stage examination is that a blood sample is taken to detect any prohibited substances that have been given to that horse that would alter its performance during the examination.  An example of these could be pain relief (such as phenylbutazone) or sedative (such as ACP).

Asking us to perform a Pre-purchase Examination

Before completing the examination we will need to know what the intended use is for the horse.  Clearly the requirements of a child’s first pony and an intermediate level eventer will be very different and the vetting will need to reflect this.​

We will need to have the following facilities at the location of the vetting:-

  • A stable that can be darkened

  • A flat hard area suitable for trotting up and lunging

  • An area for ridden work.

​​Prior to the examination you should contact your insurance company to check if any extra procedures are required.

Additional Tests

If required, radiography, blood testing (commonly for Strangles) and endoscopy can be performed on the horse at the vetting.  These will only be done if the purchaser specifically requests.  Some insurance companies will require additional testing and you should check with your insurer if this will be required.

Both 2 and 5 stage examinations are carried out by Dave and Toby who between them have nearly 60 years experience.  We pride ourselves on delivering a prompt, professional service and will always aim to complete the examination as soon as possible after it is requested.