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Vet who finds x-rays unnecessary on PPE??

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  • Vet who finds x-rays unnecessary on PPE??

    I was talking to a (pretty well respected) vet about getting a PPE done on a horse. Horse is 17. Vet has an x-ray machine but no longer takes it out on call. I was saying that I would need to get horse trailered in for x-rays. Vet says, "I'm sure she doesn't need them. How about I come out and look at her instead?"

    May I repeat, 17 year old horse...isn't that strange of the vet to act like x-rays aren't necessary?

  • #2
    Uuuuuh. I'd not be ok with that.

    If I was set on using that vet (though to be honest I'd probably run) I'd make it very clear that I only wanted to pay one call for a PPE, and that it may require films.

    That seems so weird. I wonder if they really meant it the way it sounds?
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KiraSophia View Post
      I was talking to a (pretty well respected) vet about getting a PPE done on a horse. Horse is 17. Vet has an x-ray machine but no longer takes it out on call. I was saying that I would need to get horse trailered in for x-rays. Vet says, "I'm sure she doesn't need them. How about I come out and look at her instead?"

      May I repeat, 17 year old horse...isn't that strange of the vet to act like x-rays aren't necessary?
      Most vets I know, in basic PPE protocols, those don't require x-rays unless something is found and there are some areas that need checking further, or the client insist on it.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't find that strange at all. It's a 17 year old horse - not a 5 year old. If the horse flexes clean, you are good. If he/she doesn't, then you can decide if it's worth the x-rays or not. Depending on your goals and the price of the horse, it may not make a difference. If I have the vet out to see the horse on site for a PPE I don't expect the x-rays. If you think it will need it, I'd have the horse trailered to the clinic.
        If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
        ~ Maya Angelou

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        • #5
          A piece of key information is missing from OP. Does the vet already know this horse and what he's likely to find on the x-rays? That could be one reason why he's saying don't bother. Most horses that age will show something on their x-rays. If it's a reasonably priced horse for what it is, he may think it's not worth your money. Especially if the seller is being forthright about the maintenance the horse is currently on. With that said, I would still want x-rays so that I had some idea of what type of maintenance I might expect.

          Like Tif_An, I would be more concerned with the flexions. IMO they are more telling re: the horse's soundness for the job at hand than x-rays.

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          • #6
            LOL, does it mater if the horse is 5 or 17 when it does/does not flex clean?

            This day and age, a PPE without film....astounding.

            I would be in the boat that at 17 you might want to have at least a basic look at what's at the base.

            naturally,we all know that the films are not 100% conclusive...

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            • #7
              Shrug. Some vets are very basic. I have a vet that loathes doing PPEs and instructs people to just ride the horse for awhile and make sure it suits them and what they want to do. He is a fabulous, no nonsense vet who is always my first call for emergencies. I just use someone else when I need some higher level lameness investigation, and I would not use him for a PPE.

              If you don't like the vet's approach, call someone else.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                LOL, does it mater if the horse is 5 or 17 when it does/does not flex clean?
                No, but I would expect that the price, fitness, and goals of a 5 year old horse would be different than for a 17 year old. I'd be much more apt to x-ray a five year old than a 17 year old even if it showed some issues on PPE. *shrug* I'd also expect something to show up on an x-ray of a 17 year old, just from age and use.
                If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                ~ Maya Angelou

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                  LOL, does it mater if the horse is 5 or 17 when it does/does not flex clean?

                  This day and age, a PPE without film....astounding.

                  I would be in the boat that at 17 you might want to have at least a basic look at what's at the base.

                  naturally,we all know that the films are not 100% conclusive...
                  Yeah, it does. It is WEIRD for a 5 year old to not flex clean...in fact, I wouldn't even bother exploring at that point. It's pretty normal for the average 17 year old to flex a little off...they're 17! At that point, you can look into some x-rays if the vet feels like it's anything past a little arthritis.

                  I've bought three horses, and haven't done more than a flex test on any of them. Then again, two were under $500 (although the third was $4k), and I have the pasture/ability to deal if something turns up.

                  Unless it was a remarkably high dollar horse, I wouldn't pull films on a 17 year old.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                    Unless it was a remarkably high dollar horse, I wouldn't pull films on a 17 year old.
                    Agreed
                    OP: what are your plans for this horse?
                    Unless pretty strenuous use is in the plan, I'd probably not bother with x-rays myself.
                    Are films available from present owner's vet?
                    If so, then at least you have a baseline for comparison.
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                      Shrug. Some vets are very basic. I have a vet that loathes doing PPEs and instructs people to just ride the horse for awhile and make sure it suits them and what they want to do. He is a fabulous, no nonsense vet who is always my first call for emergencies. I just use someone else when I need some higher level lameness investigation, and I would not use him for a PPE.
                      A little too bare bones for my taste. There are other key things besides lameness that the horse should be checked for. Teeth, eyes, and heart for starters. Things that most of us don't have the knowledge and/or equipment to do. Blood test--be sure the horse hasn't been drugged. Verify age by looking at teeth if no papers are available. Have a baseline evaluation of the overall condition of the horse. The vet is bound to find something, and many things will be miniscule and not affect your plans for the horse. However, they may give you a tool for negotiating the price.

                      If you are going to take the horse on trial, I would say it's essential that you have a PPE done BEFORE the trial so that if there is a preexisting condition, you cannot be blamed for it after the fact.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't always take radiographs on a PPE. It depends on what happens in the exam/flexions and what the buyer wants to do with the horse, as well as what the horse has done so far in its life (major events like injuries, shown consistently, show jumping vs trail riding etc) but I do take a machine with me. I'd just call him back and ask him why he doesn't think they're necessary and let him know you're more comfortable doing the PPE where you can get rads at the same time if the horse needs them (perhaps he will spin a horse that needs rads on PPE d/t +flexions or other signs and that's why he thinks they're unnecessary?)
                        Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                        Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                        Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                        Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My vet has always taken the position that "if we find anyting suspicious, we will Xray". (Except horses at the track, then he wants to Xray a lot of things.)

                          With an older horse, the Xrays are always going to find "stuff", and it is rarely a good predictor of future soundness.

                          "Has the horse been working at roughly the same level and intensity that I plan, for the last couple of years?" is a MUCH better predictor of future soundness.

                          If the horse had an injury in the past, or is just coming back into work? Yes, then Xrays (and /or ultrasound) make sense.

                          If the horse has been trailriding, and you plan to do eventing or jumpers? Yes, then Xrays make sense.

                          B ut if the horse is already "doing it", then Xrays are not a useful predictor of future soundness..
                          Janet

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                          • #14
                            I would not do a PPE without quick and easy access to X-rays should anything raise concerns. I know cases where the buyer knew the horse very well, and found game-changing surprises on PPE X-rays, and I know cases where X-rays confirmed that nothing, at all, was wrong with a particular area of concern.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have had several PPE's done without X-rays . If they flex clean and don't respond to hoof testers what would be the point?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I find it weird that the vet says that they are not necessary with out knowing that, yes.

                                When I scheduled my last PPE (a year ago) the vet asked specifically if I would want x-rays if the exam was moving in that direction. We agreed that we would start without x-rays and if something seemed to point towards needing them we would go to x-rays.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Really don't have enough information here to take sides.

                                  Would have some concern the x ray machine is not even on the vets truck though???? That would be a little odd for a busy vet. Unless they were stepping into retirement and cutting way back.

                                  But if the horse has been in work doing what the buyer wants to buy it to do? I can see skipping the pictures if it checks out OK visually, especially if the vet knows the horse.

                                  I'm not sure I even want to see the flexions on a 17 year old.

                                  But if the purchaser would like some x rays as a baseline and is willing to pay for them? I would think a vet would be willing, long as the purchaser knows there is no warranty of future soundness explicit or implied and they are NOT going to be clean on a 17 year old.

                                  Maybe the vet has been sued on a PPE? It happens.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                    Maybe the vet has been sued on a PPE? It happens.
                                    I would think that would make him either not want to do PPEs at all or want to do more diagnostics, not less.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Xrays are often a waste of time unless you have a previous set to compare them to for changes.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I guess I just was told my whole life that a full set of x-rays are part of a PPE. I've gotten them done on all my previous horses. Interesting to see that not everyone here agrees. You learn something new every day!

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