5 star vetting or five stage pre purchase exam for a horse. Is it as sparkling as it sounds? What should you know about a 5 stage vet check or pre purchase examination when you buy a horse in spain?
The 5 star pre purchase vet check for a horse is a standard basic test to examine heart, lungs and movement.
According to Jeremy Mantell*, horses are no longer examined for soundness, nor are they ’passed’ or ’failed’. Rather, they are examined thoroughly, then the relevance of any defects, illnesses or injuries is assessed with ’specific regard to the intended use of that particular horse for that purchaser.’
*Jeremy Mantell, BVetMed, CertEP, MRCVS, Chairman of the British Equine Veterinary Association’s working party on the review of the pre-purchase examination.5 star vetting and what else is important
If you are buying a horse advertised with a 5 star vetting, ask specifically whether this includes xrays and blood tests. These are not an automatic part of a pre purchase exam.
X Rays in a pre-purchase vet check are designed to show up things that are not obvious to the naked eye and the external examinations. This could include bone changes, internal issues of a hoof etc.
Blood samples in a prepurchase vet check are usually taken to assist a vet to check whether the horse he has been examining has been given any chemicals - for example, a pain killer which could disguise lameness, or a calmant that affects his behaviour and apparent temperament.
Quote Jeremy Mantell*, ref above. . . the working party believes strongly that the taking of a blood sample for subsequent medication analysis is to be encouraged.
In Spain it is normally the purchaser who pays for a vet check. This means you have the right to request the x rays and blood tests, and a complete report.
NB: If a horse is advertised as having vet clearance, be sure it is a full and official vet check, acceptable to you, not merely a pre-export clearance - see blog entry below.
The grey stallion is ready to leave for his new home outside Spain. That means paperwork - including a visit from the State Vet. Such visits of course are at Vet’s time & convenience, and have to be carefully managed to match anybody else’s time & convenience!
These export vet checks are compulsory, being part of the international accord & World Health agreements for international equine travel.
The tests vary, depending on which country a horse goes to. It is the owner’s responsibility to have had the tests done, and to have the results on hand, plus the horse’s Health Card which shows his vaccination record. The State Vet then confirms that the horse has has had all the required tests and vaccinations for the specific country of destination.
He checks the microchip and ascertains that the horse in front of him is the horse that the papers say is being exported.
But he does not perform a ’vet check’ as buyers understand a vet check to be - i.e. the things such as testing for flexion; nor does he write an analytical report on the horse.
Cases where buyers have been told that a horse has ’passed his vet check’ - while in fact all the horse has is this export approval constitutes what I would term ’misinformation’ - info given in such a way as to lead the buyer into a conclusion.
’The aim of the pre-purchase examination as defined in BEVA’s Manual of The P.P.E:
The aim of the PPE is to carry out a thorough and complete veterinary examination of the chosen horse and to identify and attempt to assess those factors of a veterinary nature that may affect the horse’s suitability for its intended use, so that the prospective purchaser may make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed with their chosen purchase.’
There is some good information available on the internet on what a 5 Point vet check should include.For further reading on the veterinary Pre Purchase examination of a horse, we suggest works from Jeremy Mantell and the Liphook Equine Hospital.