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Pre-Purchase Examinations (Vettings)
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Stringer Equine carries out pre-purchase examinations (PPE) throughout Devon and Cornwall and, upon special request, further afield.

There are 2 types of PPE. The standard 5 stage and the reduced 2 stage.

The Stages

1. Preliminary Examination

This includes eyes, heart, lungs, lumps and bumps, joints and limbs and a dental exam.

2. Walk and trot in hand

Assessing gait and including flexion tests if necessary.

3. Exercise Phase

This consists of exercise on the lunge on a hard and soft surface and then under saddle on a soft surface. The exercise must be strenuous enough to cause the horses heart rate and respiratory rate to increase so these can be examined after work. The limbs and gait are also reassessed for lameness.

4. Period of Rest and Re-examination

Commonly markings and identification will be recorded at this stage and blood samples obtained.

5. Second trot-up

Lastly, there is a final trot up on a hard surface to see if any lameness has become apparent after the exercise and rest.

Changes as of 2011

As of 2011 the pre-purchase examination certificates have changed slightly and now veterinary surgeons must confirm whether the horse being “vetted” is or has been a patient of the practice and if there is any history known that may detriment the horses suitability for purpose.

Blood Samples

Blood samples are commonly obtained as a security measure. These are stored for 6 months by the Veterinary Defence Society and can be tested if necessary should any problems arise, i.e. painkillers if a lameness appears or sedatives if there is a behaviour / temperament change.

Additional / Specialised Procedures

Radiographs are commonly taken for the more valuable purchases and for performance horses.

Endoscopy is routinely used to examine the respiratory systems of racehorses and can be used for any horse with a respiratory noise on exercise.

Ultrasonographical examination of the reproductive tract is available and recommended for those horses being purchased for breeding purposes, namely broodmare suitability in unproven breeders.

Stringer Equine has portable x-ray, endoscopy and ultrasound scanners so any or all of the additional procedures can be carried out at a pre-purchase examination if requested at the time with no need for transportation to a hospital centre.

The Opinion

The potential vendor is given a verbal opinion by the veterinary surgeon at the time of the PPE and a detailed certificate is issued soon after. The opinion is subject to the limitations of the examination and provides no assurances in respect of those matters that can only be established by a seller’s representation to a purchaser.