The differences between a 5 stage and a 2 stage vetting

Discussion in '2005 Archive of Posts' started by Volvic, May 25, 2005.

  1. Volvic

    Volvic & Harry!

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    I know a 5 stage vetting is very thorough & you can have x-rays and blood tests done & I've watched a 5 stage vetting being done (it was only for a relatively unfit 12hh pony so she wasnt worked too hard), but what happens in a 2 stage vetting?

    Is it the first 2 stages of a 5 stage vetting? Is the horse ridden in a 2 stage?

    I hope this makes sense! If any of you vet-school people could break down the 2 vettings into what happens in each, I would be very grateful & more enlightened!!! :)
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  2. DITZ

    DITZ New Member

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    The First stage incorporates examination of the external structures of the horse - listening to the heart and lungs and examining the eyes. Other areas to inspect include teeth and limbs.

    The Second stage involves assessing the horse's soundness at walk and trot on a hard flat surface. Flexion tests of the limbs can be undertaken at this stage; this involves the vet manually flexing the horse's limbs and joints. The horse will also be circled in hand and backed up.

    The Third stage involves the horse in strenuous exercise, the degree which depends on his fitness and could range from a dozen laps of an indoor school at canter to fast work on gallops. During this stage of the vetting the horse's soundness at faster paces, and his cardiovascular and respiratory systems can all be tested.

    The Fourth stage follows a period of rest, often after completion of identification silhouette drawings on the standard pre-purchase form. The vet watches the horse trot-up to ensure it is sound after both exercise and rest.

    The Final stage consists of a thorough examination of the horse's feet. In addition, a blood sample may be taken to test whether the horse has been given anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Bute) which can mask lameness.

    X-rays may be taken too, and the vet has the discretionary power to request that other tests be undertaken - such as a rectal examination if a horse is suspected of having internal malignant tumors.
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  3. chewitmonster

    chewitmonster Silver! Hey-ho Tonto!!

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    This is probably the same as DTIZ but I got this from horse and hound:

    Stage one is observation of the horse at rest in his stable. The vet notes his breathing rate, listens to his heart and if the horse points a toe at rest or crib bites, this will be in evidence.

    The horse is then taken outside for a full surface examination of the skin, limbs and teeth in good light. The inspection of his teeth is simply to confirm age – a full dental examination will only be conducted at your specific request.


    Any lumps and bumps denoting old injuries, or sarcoids on the body, should be apparent at this stage. The vet should view and preferably palpate every inch of skin to check for abnormalities, even under the belly. Any conformational defects should be observed at this point.



    Stage two should be carried out on a hard surface and involves walking and trotting up the horse in a straight line, looking for signs of lameness and then conducting flexion tests on the joints of the lower limbs.

    If all these tests are passed, the horse should be reined back and trotted on a circle each way – this will exacerbate any subtle problems.



    Stage three requires strenuous exercise, preferably ridden or lunged. The vet will check for a dipped or cold back when mounting, and coordinated movement once mounted. If the horse is unbroken he should be loose-schooled. The vet will then listen for abnormal heart and wind sounds after exertion.


    Stage four is a period of rest for 20- 30 minutes, to elicit any stiffness when the horse is re-examined at stage five.


    Stage five involves trotting the horse up, listening to the heart and looking further at any areas of concern. A blood sample will also be taken and stored.

    Obviously a two-stage would just go to stage 2. I would reccommend a 5 stage in pretty much every case, especially if you want to ride the horse. xxx
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  4. Volvic

    Volvic & Harry!

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    Thanks guys! Thats really helpful! :D

    I thought so, but I just wanted to check :)

    1 more question - roughly how long does a 5 stage vetting take for a relatively fit horse being bought for RC activities & do the vets normally charge a standard fee + callout or do they charge for how long they are actually doing the vetting?
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  5. chewitmonster

    chewitmonster Silver! Hey-ho Tonto!!

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    Um horse and hound said that it can take about an hour and a half for all 5 stages. Not sure about prices...will get back to you once I've spoken to mum! xxx

    EDIT: right, mum said she paid around £200 for the vetting and that included the call out fee...hope that's right (was a long time ago) xxx
    Last edited: May 25, 2005
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  6. DITZ

    DITZ New Member

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    £175 here and about 2 hours.
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  7. andreaB

    andreaB New Member

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    about £220 by me inc call out & blood , takes a couple of hours , my vet charges £235 if xrays are required , its only usually for expensive horses that these are done
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