Pre-Purchase Examinaton

Our experienced veterinary team perform a full range of pre-purchase examinations following the BEVA/RCVS guidelines. This offers important information on the suitability (or otherwise) of potential purchases and are increasingly required by insurance companies.

We can perform pre-purchase examinations either at the vendor premises, purchaser premises or increasingly at the hospital. The hospital has the advantage of purpose built trot up and lunging area with the full range of ancillary investigations requested by the purchaser or insurance company. Radiographs, ultrasonography and endoscopy can be performed at the time of vetting.

5 Stage Pre-Purchase Examination

This is the most thorough vetting available and the one we would generally recommend except for young unbroken animals. It consists of 5 separate stages;

  • Thorough examination of the horse at rest including auscultation of the heart and lungs, appraisal of conformation, inspection, palpation and manipulation of the limbs/joints and inspection of the skin, eyes and teeth including an estimate of the horse’s age.
  • Examination of the horse at walk and trot in hand including flexion tests.
  • Strenuous exercise, in most cases ridden. This allows further evaluation of the horses movement as well as the detection of abnormal respiratory sounds and auscultation of the heart immediately following exercise to detect abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias) and sounds(murmurs).
  • Rest period,to allow the heart rate to return to normal and any stiffness post exercise to develop. The horse will be observed for any vice like behaviour.
  • Further examination of the horse at walk and trot in hand.

If the horse is considered suitable for purchase, a blood sample will be taken and stored for 6 months to allow subsequent analysis should a lameness or temperament problem develop.

2 Stage Pre-Purchase Examination

This is a limited examination consisting of the first two stages of the five stage vetting. For unbroken or young horses or ponies this type of vetting may be requested by the purchaser, or the purchaser chooses this option due to reduced costs involved. Certain abnormalities can not be detected during this limited examination, and so we request you to sign a disclaimer form to this effect prior to the vetting taking place.

Mortality Insurance Vetting

This examination is similar to the 2 stage vetting, and allows a horse to be insured for mortality purposes.

Facilities / Requirements

Certain facilities are required for us to perform any pre-purchase examinations. These include;

  • A dark stable,
  • A flat hard surface, suitable for trotting the horse or pony in a striaght line, and a circle if possible.
  • An arena or flat field for strenuous exercise, and someone to ride.
  • The horse must have been stabled for the day of the vetting.
  • The passport must be present at the time of vetting.

We are happy to travel outside our routine area for pre purchase examinations, this will incur a slightly higher visit fee, so please contact us to discuss.