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Pre-Purchase Examinations

Pre-Purchase Examinations

Pre-Purchase Examinations (PPEs) are carried out on all types of horses and ponies, ranging from family pets to elite performance horses and those being sold abroad. We are happy to carry out PPEs for both registered and non-registered clients. The examination is always conducted on behalf of the purchaser and the vendor is not entitled to know the findings of any examination, unless agreed with the prospective purchaser.

If the vendor is a client of our practice, the examining Veterinary Surgeon will request disclosure of the animal’s clinical history to the purchaser. If this request is denied by the vendor, the Veterinary Surgeon will be unable to perform the PPE.

The Pre-Purchase Examination comprises of the following stages:

  • Stage 1 - Clinical Examination

This a full clinical examination of the horse/pony at rest. The vet will use palpation and manipulation to detect clinical apparent signs of injury or disease. This stage includes examination of the eyes, heart and lungs.

  • Stage 2 – Trot up

Walk and trot in-hand. This stage is used to detect abnormalities in gait and action, including lameness. Flexion tests are performed on each limb and the horse is lunged on a firm surface if the examining Veterinary Surgeon considers it safe to do so.

  • Stage 3 – Exercise phase

The horse is ridden for this phase, unless ridden work is not suitable (in which case the horse will be lunged).

  • Stage 4 – Rest, test and re-examine

The horse is allowed to stand quietly, a blood test is taken for storage (usually 6 months) for possible future analysis of detectable substances in the horse’s blood that may be present at the time of examination, for example sedatives or analgesics.

  • Stage 5 – Final trot up

The horse is trotted again in-hand to look for any signs of injury exacerbated by exercise. Any other tests may be performed here at the discretion of the examining veterinary surgeon or at the request of the purchaser.