Thehorse.com - Full Article
by: Nancy S. Loving, DVM
January 12 2010
For more than 150 years veterinarians have been performing prepurchase exams, also referred to as vetting, purchase exams, and soundness exams.
The definition of "sound" in England in 1842 implied "an absence of disease or seeds of disease" as a qualification for being used for an intended purpose, noted Steve Soule, VMD, who gave a presentation on the subject of prepurchase exams at the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) convention, held Dec. 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. Soule explained that now we consider a horse as "serviceable," stressing the veterinarian neither passes nor fails a horse, but finds out what might be wrong and how this affects serviceability. With that in mind, Soule went on to say that the evaluation of "suitability" is not applicable to the veterinarian's role in a prepurchase exam (PPE).
In the late 1960s veterinarians established a standardized exam procedure in Britain, although their U.S. counterparts did not. Since then radiography, advanced imaging, endoscopy, ultrasonography, and drug testing have evolved as procedures that might be incorporated into the exam.