There is a new guideline for horse X-rays and it will be officially used in 2018. It will serve as an interpretation aid in observing X-rays of horses in the matter of purchase examination.
Every horse owner wants a healthy horse, thus before the horse changes owners there needs to be a thorough evaluation and an x-ray examination as standard procedure. It is expected that skeleton related risks can be found completely through a one-time x-ray procedure. However, this is not always the reality. Especially the division of x-ray classes has heightened this expectation, which led to people regarding it as more valuable than a clinical examination. “Yet, it is actually the clinical examination that is the most important basis of evaluating the recent condition of the body of the horse,” explains Prof. Dr. Karsten Feige, President of GPM and Director of Klinik für Pferde der Tierärztlichen Hochschule in Hanover.
With the new x-ray guideline 2018 there are several changes that will be used as determination of the horse’s condition. Once you have found your dream horse, had a great impression on your trial ride, have agreed on the price the only thing that you need to focus on next is the medical purchase examination.
Here’s what happens during the examination: The clinical examination is the most important part of the buying procedure. What if your dream horse has a nightmare “TÜV”? The vet will thoroughly examine the general condition of the horse, check the heartbeat and breathing, and everything else. There will be 18 standard x-ray photographs. That is more than the usual procedure. However it is in the buyer’s best interest not to miss out on any x-ray examinations. This will also be helpful for the previous owner as they can prove that no diseases or defects have been found in the x-rays. For example, previously, it has always been a problem to display two ankles or joints on one picture, which however is impossible, because some details might not be visible. So, the x-rays were divided into two pictures. When for example the focus was on the hoof joint, then the fetlock could be portrayed accurately. The same goes vice versa. That is why you need two pictures to make both details visible. Also for the knee, there will be another x-ray photograph added, since this is the part where most relevant risk factors are found. In the previous standard guideline of the x-ray examination the back, such as the spine of the horse, was not included. “There are not enough scientific data for the interpretation of the possible findings, meaning there is no sufficient diagnostic security. A horse can still be a good riding horse for a long period of time, despite having x-ray pictures with findings.” Says Prof. Dr. Lischer, member of the x-ray commission and director of the equine clinic of Freie University of Berlin. However you can still make an agreement between buyer and seller in determining how many x-rays to make. However the official standard guideline of 2018 will be 18 standard x-ray photographs. The aim of this new guideline will give breeders and future owners a better transparency and more security in the interpretation of x-rays. Let’s hope that buying and selling of horses will have less problematic debates and legal disputes starting this year.