Purchasers and horse owners should be aware that X-rays and other imaging techniques can be as problematic as they are reassuring.

If X-rays are taken on behalf of an Insurance company, then any abnormalities identified are likely to lead the insurance company to place exclusions on the policy related to those abnormalities. Some Insurance companies place blanket exclusions based on these X-ray findings, such as excluding the whole limb. This is unfair in most cases and providing the vetting examination did not reveal clinical abnormalities, then discussion with the insurance company may help narrow the range of the exclusion and if appropriate, place time limits on the exclusion, ie. If no claim made in 2 years, and X-ray changes not progressed, then the exclusion may be removed.

It should be noted that the pre-purchase examination is not a diagnostic process, which means that if lameness is identified, the examination does not go into making a diagnosis as to why the horse is lame. Sometimes a swollen joint or something similar may give a possible indication to the cause.