Equine Vettings

Pre-purchase examinations of a horse on behalf of a purchaser are, understandably, more commonly referred to as vettings.

To “vet” is to “make a careful examination” and at The Barn Equine Surgery we are proud to do just that for both local clients and those recommended by vets in other parts of the country when their clients are buying in central southern England.

We follow the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) guidance on pre-purchase examinations which are usually conducted in 5 stages.

  1. Preliminary examination
  2. Walk and trot in hand
  3. Exercise phase
  4. Period of rest and re-examination
  5. Second trot up

The preliminary examination includes a detailed clinical examination including examinations of the heart with a stethoscope, the eyes with an ophthalmoscope, the entire surface of the body and careful examination and palpation of the limbs. The exercise phase is usually under saddle to give the opportunity to detect problems not discernible in hand including bridle lameness, headshaking, back problems, bitting issues and respiratory disease including roaring and whistling. The heart rate is increased and limbs stressed by strenuous exercise and then reassessed. Where the vetting is restricted to stages one and two at the request of the purchaser, then a signed letter to that effect is required and generally if the horse is to be ridden then a five stage examination should be carried out.

Some purchasers, usually those buying higher value animals require further investigations, usually x-rays but sometimes ultrasound scans and endoscopic examinations.

Please feel free to contact the surgery to discuss your potential purchases and any concerns you may have with one of our experienced veterinary surgeons.