We advise that, where possible, the purchaser is present at the time of the vetting so as to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings. If the purchaser is unable to attend, then he/she will be rung prior to the exam to discuss their specific requirements.
Two stages (1 to 2) or five stages (1 to 5) are routinely performed in the exam. They are as follows:
- Physical examination including assessing documentation, temperament, conformation, age, eyes, mouth, heart, lungs, skin, feet.
- Lameness examination in hand- assessment at walk, trot, after flexion tests and turning in tight circles. In addition lunging/trotting in a circle on a hard surface is now advised to identify subtle problems.
- Ridden examination assessment of being saddled and mounted, ridden at walk, trot and canter (and galloping if required), wind and abnormal respiratory sounds, heart & lungs immediately after strenuous exercise.
- A period of rest until the heart and respiratory rate return to normal.
- Final trot up in hand to assess if a lameness has developed during the exam.
We recommended clients choosing the 5-stage vetting option, however, due to limitations of time or cost 2-stages may be preferred. It is now normal that a blood sample is taken at the end of the examination and stored for 6 months. This is to identify pain killers or sedatives, should they be suspected at a later date.
Other tests may be required if specific concerns have been identified. These include ophthalmology (eyes), endoscopy (wind), echocardiography (heart), radiography (x-rays). Some of these may be requested by an insurance company in purchasing valuable horses. Immediately following the examination we will report the results via telephone so please leave a daytime contact number when booking. Within a few days of the examination a detailed vetting certificate will be sent to the client in the post.
In order to minimise errors we recommend vettings are performed under the following conditions and preparations:
- A comprehensive discussion is made between the purchaser and the veterinary practice (usually receptionist) to ascertain the requirements of the vetting including and particular concerns the purchaser may have with the horse.
- If only a 2 stage vetting is requested, a signed form declining stages 3,4 and 5 is needed before the vetting is performed. This can be emailed or faxed to the purchaser.
- The horse should be trimmed or shod within the last 28 days of the vetting and ideally not within the previous week.
- All documentation is available at the start of the examination, i.e. passport.
- On presentation the horse should be well groomed and been stabled for 3 hours before start of the exam.
- Suitable premises are available to perform the vetting including: a darkened stable to perform an eye exam, a flat level hard surface for the lameness exam (a busy road is not suitable), a indoor/outdoor school or similar for the ridden exam. Please note, if conditions are not suitable the vet may choose to postpone or move the exam. If necessary the examination can be performed at our clinic where surfaces/buildings/equipment are prepared specifically for the procedure.
If you have any questions relating to the vetting procedure then please call the clinic on: 01908 560789. We fully appreciate the official nature of the process may seem a little daunting, but we will always try to assist your understanding and make the purchase of a horse or pony comprehensive yet enjoyable.
At Buckingham Equine Vets (BEV) we have four vets who are highly experienced at carrying out vettings. All vets are happy to travel far and wide to assist clients in their potential purchase.
Andrew Wallace is a co-director of BEV and through examination holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ prestigious Certificate in Equine Practice and is an Advanced Practitioner in Equine Practice. He has been working in equine practice for over 15 years working both in the UK and New Zealand.
Kieran Rowley is an experienced equine veterinary surgeon with an interest in all aspects of equine work. He is a RCVS Advanced Veterinary Practitioner in both Equine Medicine and Equine Dentistry.
Juliet is an experienced veterinary surgeon having worked in the profession for over 20 years and is also a keen rider.
Occasionally abnormalities arise during the vetting process that require further investigation. These include abnormal heart murmurs or rhythms, unusual respiratory noises at exercise, and eye irregularities. In order to obtain the most accurate advice on their long term consequence, specialist assessment is required. At BEV we are unique in the region by being able to provide in-house support from Philip Ivens, a European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine (see BEMR).
Occasionally abnormalities arise during the vetting process that require further investigation. These include abnormal heart murmurs or rhythms, unusual respiratory noises at exercise, and eye irregularities. In order to obtain the most accurate advice on their long term consequence, specialist assessment is required. At BEV we are unique in the region by being able to provide in-house support from Philip Ivens, a European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine.