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The Queen's Veterinary School Hospital


The aim of the pre-purchase examination (PPE), or vetting, is to carry out a thorough clinical examination on behalf of a potential purchaser to identify and assess factors of a veterinary nature that could affect the horse’s suitability for its intended use. Although the pre-purchase examination does not guarantee the future soundness of the horse, it enables our vets to identify certain medical conditions or lameness at the time of the examination. The vetting is performed on behalf of the prospective purchaser so that the opinion can be based on that person’s individual needs and intended use of the horse. We are able to perform vettings on horses owned by clients of the practice as long as this and any relevant veterinary history is declared to the prospective buyer.

Two levels of PPE are available, two stage or five stage. The two stage PPE is more basic in nature and comprises a clinical examination and a lameness examination at walk and trot. A five stage PPE includes the clinical exam and lameness examination, in addition to a period of strenuous exercise followed by a short rest and a second lameness examination. The five stage PPE aims to identify subtle lameness, as well as respiratory and cardiac conditions that may only be obvious during strenuous work. The five stage PPE usually includes a blood sample. This blood sample is stored at an external laboratory and can be tested for drugs in the event of a query after purchase. This is intended to protect both the purchaser and the vendor. This blood sample is not used to check for medical conditions. If you have any queries about vettings or are unsure as to which level is most suitable for your needs, please contact us.

For further information please visit: BEVA Pre-Purchase Examination Guidance Notes.

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