Pre-Purchase examinations (Vettings)

These can be divided into 2 and 5 stage examinations. With either of these the purchaser may wish to have further investigations undertaken for an additional cost. These include routine blood tests to check the general health, radiographic examination of certain joints and endoscopic examination to check the airway. We undertake these examinations for clients who are registered with the practice and for those who are registered with another practice or who live out with the area but wish to use a local equine practice. Because of the potential legal conflict of interests, we are unable to undertake examinations if both the purchaser and vendor are registered with the practice or if the vendor is our client. If this situation arises we can normally recommend an equine veterinary practice in the area that you would be able to contact to request the vetting

2 Stage Vetting:

Stage 1 - Physical examination initially in dark building to examine eyes, then outside on a firm level surface. The patient undergoes a thorough physical examination to identify any visible abnormalities or defects, including examination of the teeth to help confirm approximate age. The heart, lungs and intestinal sounds are assessed for abnormalities.

Stage 2 - Walk and trot on a firm level surface of sufficient length (20-30metres) in a safe place away from traffic. Flexion testing of all four limbs. Neurological testing. Lungeing on a firm and/or soft surface if facilities are available and it is safe to do so.

This is the end of the two stage vetting. A five stage vetting continues as below:

5 Stage Vetting:

Stage 1 and 2 above plus:-

Stage 3 - A period of intensive exercise preferably ridden, but lungeing is acceptable. The patient should be worked at the trot and canter for approximately 10 minutes to assess heart and lung function and to identify any lameness which might not be visible in hand.

Stage 4 - A period of about 5 minutes rest for the patient to cool down. The identification drawing is often completed during this time.

Stage 5 - A final walk and trot on a firm level surface to identify any lameness that might not be visible until after exercise.

At the end of the examination a blood sample will always be taken for storage and is taken at the request of our professional indemnity insurers. The sample is stored at the Horse Racing Forensic Laboratory in Newmarket for 6 months, after which it is destroyed. No charge is made for the storage, but should any tests be requested additional laboratory charges will be made. Thankfully it is rare that a sample has to be tested, but drugs such as steroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs can be screened.