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View Full Version : PPE--what to expect? Update post#18



RegentLion
Oct. 11, 2009, 02:55 PM
It has been YEARS since I've done a PPE.... and I get to have one done this week! :D

The seller is releasing the horse's old records and films. I'll be talking to her about them on the phone this coming week and hopefully that will help me decide what I want done as far as a PPE....

But how does it work these days? Is there like a "basic package" and then you go from there? I have gone through some old threads here on CoTH and I am not prepared to spend $1k or more on a vetting. This horse is a great horse and is sound through levels I do not intend to compete at, but not terribly expensive.

I know for sure that I want a basic health exam (eyes, ears, teeth, heart, lungs, blood screen) but have no idea how much that will cost... and I don't know how much faith I have in flexions either.

I realize that the vetting can be the least expensive part of buying a horse but for us budget is a concern and we are in a position where we can have a pasture puff with only marginal extra expense to us (we own our own farm).

FWIW the vetting will be done in Wisconsin by a vet from the Wisconsin Equestrian Clinic. Thanks for any and all advice. :)

Donkey
Oct. 11, 2009, 03:12 PM
Your best bet is to call the clinic and ask how they do things.

My vet does a PPE for about $450 which includes basic health and lameness exam including flexions and observation under saddle. X-rays, coggins etc are extra.

Based on what you described - you already have some x-rays the vet can take a look at those and compare to any findings from the lameness exam. If you are happy with the lameness exam results you don't have to get any x-rays, not everyone does. You will probably want to get a coggins done.

In my opinion for "faith in flexions" you just need to have faith in your vet and their experience.

Once I did a PPE exam on a horse that came with x-rays but my vet didn't believe the x-rays were done well enough and recommended they be redone (he saw the x-rays before the he saw the horse) - that horse didn't pass the lameness exam so I walked away and didn't get any x-rays redone.

Good luck and I hope you will soon have a new horse!

xitmom
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:03 PM
I would imagine that there is a big range in what vets charge for PPEs based on where you live. I recently had a PPE done on a horse and went with the vet's recommendations on what tests to do. We did the basics -- heart, lungs, eyes, ears, mouth, feet. We did the flexion test, and the vet watched the horse being worked. We also did xrays of hocks and front feet. My vet's rule of thumb was to do xrays on any horse over $10K. We did not draw blood. This ran me just under $450 and the xrays were the most expensive part of it.

There was some discussion at my barn as to whether to use your regular vet for the PPE or to have another vet do it. There are some who specialize in that kind of thing where I am. One gal in my barn said that she preferred to use a different vet for the PPE, so that if some issue did show up later, she would not have bad feelings about her regular vet. My horse was not local so I needed to use another vet.

Good luck with it!

Bogie
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:38 PM
Is the vet doing the PPE one that you know? or one near the horse?

When buying a been there done that type of horse, some of the potential issues may be around maintenance and how much you are prepared to do.

It really helps when a vet knows what you want to do with the horse (carefully describe the job) and what your tolerance is for "routine" types of maintenance such as hock injections, adequan/legend shots, etc. If this isn't your regular vet, I'd spend some time before the exam discussing this with him or her.

It's great that the sellers are sharing the horse's films and medical history. I always do that when I sell a horse because I want the horse to have a good home and if there's anything that's a potential issue, I'd rather the buyer know that up front.

I usually start with a basic PPE that includes flexions. If buying horse that I intend to keep (rather than resell) I won't do x-rays unless something comes up that warrants further investigation. However, if the vet finds something early on, I might just end the PPE there. No need to pay a vet to figure out what's wrong with someone else's horse!

As for flexions, it depends on the vet. Some of them are very good at interpreting results; some are not. Some crank those legs up to the point where all horses look bad . . . hard to say. I think they need to be looked at in the context of the rest of the exam.

Good luck -- hope you come home with a great new horse!

slp2
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:35 PM
Regent Lion--I had a PPE done by Wisconsin Equine CLinic about 3-4 weeks ago. They were terrific. We did the basic physical, flexions, took blood, and did some x-rays (which unfortunately, cause the horse to not pass) but I think my total was around $550. I think they charge (don't quote me) about $48 per radiograph. Call the clinic--they can give you a rundown of all the costs--they did for me. Their trip charge to the farm the horse was at, was about $60 also (about 45 minutes from their office). Good luck.

McVillesMom
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:05 PM
Can't speak to costs at the moment, but wanted to say that I spent 2 weeks at Wisconsin Equine this summer and they are FANTASTIC. I had an amazing experience and I think all of their veterinarians are amazing. Good luck with your PPE!

RegentLion
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:51 AM
One gal in my barn said that she preferred to use a different vet for the PPE, so that if some issue did show up later, she would not have bad feelings about her regular vet. My horse was not local so I needed to use another vet.

Fortunately (I guess) the horse is about 8 hours from me so it will definitely be a vet that isn't mine!!! I'd never thought about *Not* using my vet, if that had been an option!

RegentLion
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:56 AM
Is the vet doing the PPE one that you know? or one near the horse?

When buying a been there done that type of horse, some of the potential issues may be around maintenance and how much you are prepared to do.

It really helps when a vet knows what you want to do with the horse (carefully describe the job) and what your tolerance is for "routine" types of maintenance such as hock injections, adequan/legend shots, etc. If this isn't your regular vet, I'd spend some time before the exam discussing this with him or her.

It's great that the sellers are sharing the horse's films and medical history. I always do that when I sell a horse because I want the horse to have a good home and if there's anything that's a potential issue, I'd rather the buyer know that up front.

I usually start with a basic PPE that includes flexions. If buying horse that I intend to keep (rather than resell) I won't do x-rays unless something comes up that warrants further investigation. However, if the vet finds something early on, I might just end the PPE there. No need to pay a vet to figure out what's wrong with someone else's horse!

As for flexions, it depends on the vet. Some of them are very good at interpreting results; some are not. Some crank those legs up to the point where all horses look bad . . . hard to say. I think they need to be looked at in the context of the rest of the exam.

Good luck -- hope you come home with a great new horse!

Thanks for this helpful post! The vet I'm using is actually the seller's vet--a big No-no in some people's opinion, but I do want someone familiar with the horse and its history and based on some of the decisions she's made about the horse's care, I can say I'm comfortable with her treatment philosophies.

I also don't want to randomly pick a vet and then find out he or she is a whackadoodle!

The vet also does eventing so should be familiar with the demands of the level I want to go (BN, N, maybe someday T).

We are truly waffling on Xrays. The horse is sound and has competed at T and Prelim this year. It isn't like he's been sitting in a pasture--he's already preforming at and above the level required. I'm prepared to do the maintenance required of a horse his age. I guess I will probably see what previous films revealed before making that decision. I know the vet felt he didn't need to be injected this year which is GOOD, right?

I would like to keep the vetting as reasonable as possible without shorting myself any really NEEDED info. I plan to get insurance ASAP on the horse so would prefer the bulk of my money went there, I think?

RegentLion
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:58 AM
Regent Lion--I had a PPE done by Wisconsin Equine CLinic about 3-4 weeks ago. They were terrific. We did the basic physical, flexions, took blood, and did some x-rays (which unfortunately, cause the horse to not pass) but I think my total was around $550. I think they charge (don't quote me) about $48 per radiograph. Call the clinic--they can give you a rundown of all the costs--they did for me. Their trip charge to the farm the horse was at, was about $60 also (about 45 minutes from their office). Good luck.


Can't speak to costs at the moment, but wanted to say that I spent 2 weeks at Wisconsin Equine this summer and they are FANTASTIC. I had an amazing experience and I think all of their veterinarians are amazing. Good luck with your PPE!

Thanks to both of you! glad to hear the clinic has reputable vets.. would you guys mind PMing me with the names of the vet(s) you used?

The farm is about 45 min from the clinic and the owner said she'd split the farm call with me as her horses need some routine work. I thought that was really kind!:)

AUeventer
Oct. 12, 2009, 07:36 PM
Please learn from my mistakes!!!

DO THE FLEXION FIRST!!

in my case, spent over $300 on a huge ppe, just to have the horse completely FAIL flexion. i mean F A I L. Lunged the horse for several minutes after the flexion and still lame. Found out my 5 y/o prospect would probably be permalame in a matter of months. I could have saved a LOT of money if I had just done that first, before all the other nonsense.

RegentLion
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:06 PM
Please learn from my mistakes!!!

DO THE FLEXION FIRST!!

in my case, spent over $300 on a huge ppe, just to have the horse completely FAIL flexion. i mean F A I L. Lunged the horse for several minutes after the flexion and still lame. Found out my 5 y/o prospect would probably be permalame in a matter of months. I could have saved a LOT of money if I had just done that first, before all the other nonsense.

Did you end up taking films as well or did you just rely on the flex?:confused:

slp2
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:26 PM
RegentLion: You have a PM.

AUeventer
Oct. 12, 2009, 11:10 PM
took films after the flex. can't remember exactly what the terminology was for his problem, but i think he had a chip or something that the vet said would cause him to be essentially useless after any amount of real work, much less eventing.

scubed
Oct. 13, 2009, 08:51 AM
I have vetted horses from afar, this is the document I send to the vet (second last PPE I did was great, very thorough, but stopped before xrays and cost $275, last PPE complete with xrays as described below and was around $850)

INTENDED USE: Eventing (through preliminary or hopefully, intermediate)
Horse has been described as a 4 year old, just under 16 hand off the track bay TB gelding, described as currently sound and in good condition (and is generally quiet and well behaved. I have not seen the horse in person, but have seen photos and video footage.

Please do the following:

1) General physical. If possible, could you also measure and give your best estimate of mature height. Check heart rate, respiration, eyes, ears, nose, mouth/teeth and general physical exam and neurological/coordination exam. Endoscope to check nasal passages, pharynx and larynx (full abduction capability).

2) Gaits, hoof testers and flexion. Please check for any paddling, winging, interference, etc at walk, trot and canter. Check soundness (on both soft and hard surface, straight line and circle if available). Hoof testers and flexion for all legs. Any osselets, bows, splints? Where and of what condition? Any conformation of the legs, back or joints that would lead you to believe horse would not hold up in upper level work, as well as your general assessment of build and gaits for upper level work.

3) Radiographs if horse passes 1 and 2. If any lameness on flexion or other concern, please call me before going on with x-rays. Front feet navicular shots including sufficient views to check for ringbone/sidebone, fetlock condition as well as navicular changes, and hocks, including both the medial oblique and the lateral oblique. If there is something in the physical that makes you doubt suitability of horse for intended use, please call me before taking x-rays.

4) Don’t need any drug tests, or blood work except a coggins if the horse does not have one for 2009. If any vaccinations are not current (WEE, EEE, Rabies, Potomac, Strangles, Flu/Rhino, West Nile), please administer and create record of administration for me provided everything else on the exam is clean. If all is clean, please also create a health certificate for transport to (my barn)

mcorbett
Oct. 13, 2009, 09:24 AM
I don't want to totally hijack but...

I'm going to look at a guy this weekend-84 starts, 9yrs.

I feel like with that much wear and tear I should get xrays? He's only $1K and I don't want to spend an equal amount on a PPE, but I also want to know I'm bringing a sound horse home to be a potential prelim event horse!

Xrays? if so, are some bones/joint more crucial than others?

scubed
Oct. 13, 2009, 10:23 AM
hocks are important and in race horses, I think front ankles are too. I've never done knees if the flexions are clear and I like to do navicular.

GotSpots
Oct. 13, 2009, 10:36 AM
I always do hocks, knees, and navicular. I do knees in something that raced (because slab fractures are often present and are a deal breaker for me). I do fetlocks sometimes (more likely if it's for resale).

How much I care about the xrays depends on what the horse is doing and with what maintenance. If the horse is doing the job I want him to do with minor or unexciting maintenance, I'm not that jazzed if there's something a little funky on a hock xray or a hint of navicular. Most sporthorses, particularly ones with upper level mileage, will have some jewelry in their hocks and maybe a little bit of questionableness in their feet - what I look for is whether there are any potential dealkillers out there: is there a floating chip, is there an unresolved fracture or slab, is there something just heinous that is showing alot of inflammation or reactivity? If the horse hasn't done anything or I'm contemplating trying to flip it, I want the xrays to look alot better.

I spend more on a PPE than most, but I figure it's also a very useful baseline in a horse I'm planning to keep. Plus, no matter how cheap the horse is, it's going to eat the same amount as an expensive one. I'd rather know what I'm getting into. I also apply a similar set of "stop" points as scubed does - if it doesn't flex, I stop right there. If it's got a major heart murmur, I stop. If it's got issues in its eyesight, we stop. And we do digital xrays whenever possible so as to get a view as we're going along and so we can stop halfway through if need be.

RegentLion
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:08 PM
Update....

PPE was this morning. My parents live in the area and so were able to attend as both my husband and I were not. So my mom was on the phone with me the whole time being my "eyes and ears." She did a good job and tried hard. ;)

The vet was very kind and professional and we discussed the horse's history and record extensively prior to beginning the PPE, and plotted a course of action.

The result is that the horse vetted extremely well; in fact better than we hoped or expected. He is in great shape **given his age and competition background**.

Having my mom there was great, even though she didn't know all the terminology, she was able to tell if "he liked or didn't like something" and she was able to tell me how he "felt" after being flexed.. obviously I spoke with the vet directly and extensively after each portion of the PPE but knowing FOR SURE that the vet wasn't BSing me was really great. The vet really truly seemed very professional and VERY thorough.

I'd been feeling very edgy after one of the owners had denied releasing the horse's history to me, (this was resolved and the records were released prior to the PPE) and so went more in depth with the PPE than originally planned, but it definitely put my mind at ease. :)

We plan to pick him up as soon as we can. :D

asterix
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:20 PM
congrats!!! Have great fun with your new horse!!!

McVillesMom
Oct. 17, 2009, 10:21 AM
YAY!! Congratulations!