Vettings or Pre – Purchase examinations can be performed by our vets at the yard where your potential new horse is based, or here at Bourton Vale Equine Clinic.

It is up to the purchaser to decide which vetting they require and this is usually dependent on the value of the horse and the use for which it is intended. If you intend to insure the horse, it is also advisable to check with your insurer which vetting they may require to provide your chosen cover.

Pre-Purchase Examinations

We undertake pre-purchase examinations (vettings) on all types of horses.

The full five stage examination consists of:
Stage 1 - Preliminary examination
This is the methodical examination of the animal’s body to assess general appearance and condition.  It includes examination of the teeth, the resting heart, the eyes by ophthalmoscope, the skin, the limbs and feet, and flexion of the limb joints to reveal pain of limitation of movement.

Stage 2 - Trotting up
The animal is walked and trotted on hard, level ground in order to detect gross abnormalities of gait and action.

Stage 3 - Strenuous exercise
The animal is given sufficient strenuous exercise (1) to make it breathe deeply and rapidly so that any unusual breathing sounds may be heard; (2) to increase the action of the heart so that abnormalities may be more easily detected; and (3) to tire the animal so that strains or injuries may be revealed by stiffness or lameness after a period of rest.

Stage 4 - A period of rest
The horse is allowed to stand quietly for a period. During this time the breathing and heart are checked as they return to their resting levels.

Stage 5 - The second trot and foot examination
The horse is walked and trotted again and turned sharply on the hard circle, in order to reveal abnormalities exacerbated by the strenuous exercise stage.

A part vetting consists of stages 1 and 2. This is a cheaper alternative to a full 5 stage exam but the examination is obviously more limited.

Travel costs to the horse’s location are additional to any vetting cost. If you would prefer the horse to be vetted at the clinic, there is no additional travel fee. 

Our portable digital x-ray machine allows us to do vetting x rays which may be required by yourself or your insurers even if the horse cannot be brought to the clinic.

We offer four packages:

  1. Feet 
  2. Feet and fetlocks  
  3. Feet, fetlocks and hocks
  4. Feet, fetlocks, hocks, stifles and back. 

The costs for these are in addition to any vetting fee. 

We can usually arrange a vetting to be completed within a couple of days. You will need to provide us with details for yourself, the current owner, the horse and the location, along with payment details if you are not one of our regular clients.

To book one of our Vets to perform a vetting on a prospective new horse, please call our reception team who will be more than happy to arrange it for you. 
Alternatively, you now can now book online here. 

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