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Prepurchase Examinations

The Examination of a Horse on behalf of a Purchaser

Veterinarians have developed a general routine of examination which has been found to be satisfactory as a means of detecting signs of disease and injury. This examination is conducted in five stages and all the stages should be completed. If this has not been possible it should be made clear on the certificate in what way the examination has been varied and that any opinions are based on this restricted examination.

The 2 Stage Examination consists of:

Stage 1 – Preliminary examination

This is a methodical examination of the animal’s body to assess general appearance and condition. It includes examination of the teeth, the resting heart, the eyes by ophthalmoscope, the skin, the limbs and feet, and flexion of the limb joints to reveal pain or limitation of movement.

Stage 2 – Trotting up

The animal is walked and trotted on hard, level ground in order to detect gross abnormalities of gait and action.

The Full 5 Stage Examination consists of the above 2 Stage and the following:

Stage 3 – Strenuous Exercise

The animal is given sufficient strenuous exercise (1) to make it breathe deeply and rapidly so that any unusual breathing sounds may be heard; (2) to increase the action of the heart so that abnormalities may be more easily detected; and (3) to tire the animal so that strains or injuries may be revealed by stiffness or lameness after a period of rest.

Stage 4 – A period of rest

The horse is allowed to stand quietly for a period. During this time, the breathing and the heart are checked as they return to their resting levels.

Stage 5 – The second trot and foot examination

The horse is walked and trotted again, turned sharply and backed, in order to reveal abnormalities exacerbated by the strenuous exercise stage.

A VDS blood sample is taken with both the 2 stage and 5 stage vetting. This is put into storage for 6 months. If you require the bloods to be tested, this is done at an additional cost.